Lin Fengmian

Lin Fengmian

Lin Fengmian was born in 1900 in a small village on the Meijiang River in Guangdong province. In 1918, he went to France to study at the L’Ecole National Superieure in Paris and Dijon where he was influenced by the work of the Post Impressionists he saw in the Paris salons. In particular, he was drawn to Matisse. In 1925, he returned to China and became the first Director of the Beijing National Art College which would later become the Central Academy of Fine Art. In 1950, Lin Fengmian founded and became the first Director of the Hangzhou National Art Academy. In 1960, he moved to Shanghai and was selected to be Vice-Chairman of the Chinese Artists’ Association’s Shanghai branch. Because Lin Fengmian was recognized as one of the pioneers of modern Chinese art, and was a leader in the ‘New Art Movement’ he was imprisoned during the Cultural Revolution and many of his paintings were destroyed. In 1977, he was released from jail in Shanghai and he moved to Hong Kong where he began to paint again. Lin Fengmian died in Hong Kong in 1991. His works are sought after by museums and private collectors world-wide and numerous books and exhibitions on his work have been produced since his death. He is considerd the father of modern Chinese painting.

  • Still Life, C. 1970's
    Ink and Gouache on Paper
    26 5/8" x 26" (67 1/2cm x 66cm)

    About this work

    One of Lin Fengmian’s well-known students, Wu Guanzhong has said of Lin Fengmian’s art, “Lin’s painting’s are lyric poems, they evoke such deep poetic associations they do not need poetic inscriptions – the poem is the painting.” This particular still life by Lin Fengmian uses a typical Chinese device whereby the artist’s perspective seems to be from both above and straight on. The viewer looks down on the table with various vases, and yet sees directly into the brightly colored flowers providing a sense of movement. This also became a device used by the Cubist painters. The most unusual aspect of this still life, however, is the range of colors and tonality Lin Fengmian has accomplished by overpainting his standard brush and ink with gouache, adding an almost textural effect.

  • Opera Figure with Bow and Arrow, 1970
    Ink and Color on Paper
    13" X 12 3/4" (33cm x 32cm)

    About this work

    Lin Fengmian is perhaps best known for his series of paintings of Chinese opera figures. While most are multi-colored, this beautiful portrait is produced in muted tones and with incredible delicacy of line and is an exceptional example of Lin Fengmian’s ability to draw the human figure.