Xu Beihong (1895.7-1953.9), male, of the Han nationality, was born in Yixing city, Jiangsu province. He studied calligraphy and painting with his father, Xu Dazhang, from his own childhood. When he was 13 years old of age, his hometown suffered from flood hazard. Then he followed his father, roaming about and living by selling oil paintings with the autograph "national child prodigy". He passed the entrance examination and matriculated by French Department of Fudan University in 1915. Later on Mingzhi University solicited Cangjie Portrait and his work was a success. As a result of this successful portrait he got to know Kang Youwei, Wang Guowei, etc and had a chance to fully enjoy the masterpieces of calligraphy and painting. At that time, he tried to combine light and shade perspectives of western painting in order to express the sense of space of Chinese paintings. He worked out many pieces of Chinese traditional paintings. Mr. Xu was engaged advisor of Draughting Research Institute of Beijing University in 1917. In 1919, he was enrolled by France Fine Arts Academy and became one of the students of Fulumon, president of the academy. There, he got acquainted with artist Dayang and improved quite a lot. The oil paintings by him were exhibited in France National Fine Arts Exhibition Fair in 1923 and won good reputation. From 1925 on, his style of art became mature and stable. "Sound of Vertical Flute", "Honeymoon", "Listening faraway", "Watching Disappointedly" and " Touching Cat Family" are the main works that were produced in succession. Among them, "Sound of Vertical Flute" and "Listening faraway" are the most famous ones. In April 1927, he returned China and became head of Fine Arts Department of Nanguo Art Institute sponsored by Mr. Tianhan. Not long after this, he became professor in Central University also. He finished the great oil painting " Tianheng 500 Soldiers " in his spare time. In 1929, he was engaged president of Beijing Art Institute. Later on, he abdicated the office and came to Nanjing because of the persecution resulting from appointing Qi Baishi professor. Then he taught in Art Department of Central University. In 1933, he came to France, Italy and Russia to conduct modern Chinese painting exhibitions and to Belgium, Germany to conduct personal painting exhibitions. He returned to China in the autumn, 1934. In 1935, he came to Guangxi to paint from nature and worked out such Chinese paintings as "Missing Man of Honor", "Alba", "Ancient Cypress". In 1937, he was still a teacher of Central University while worked out such Chinese paintings as "Sichuan Woman Shouldering Cage", "Self-portrait". In the spring of 1940, he came to India to give lecturers at the invitation of Mr. Tagore. He drew portraits for Tagore and Gandhi and conducted personal exhibition of paintings. Later, he came to Dajiling India and worked out some Chinese paintings such as "Yugong Removing the Mount", "Himalayas" and oil painting "The Pride of the Morning in Himalayas". In 1946, he was assigned president of Beijing Art Academy and visiting president of Beijing Association of Fine Arts Workers. In 1949, he was appointed president of Central Fine Arts College and was selected chairman of China National Association of Fine Artists. He stuck to the realistic tradition in his Chinese paintings and borrowed ideas from foreign craftmanship so as to enrich the expressive methods of Chinese paintings. He combined craftmanship of both home and abroad, of both ancient and modern times into one body so as to integrate capable and vigorous artistry and rich national feature. His works covered a broad range, mainly including landscape, character, bird and flower. He was good at drawing horses especially. The galloping horse painting by him is reputable all over the world. He was engaged in fine arts education for several decades and he respected talented persons and assisted them.
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