Who is Li Yanshan?

Li Yanshan (Chinese: 李研山; pinyin: Lǐ Yánshān; 20 November 1898 – 11 May 1961) (given name: Yaochen 耀辰; courtesy name: Juduan 居端; art name: Yanshan 研山) was a renowned Chinese guohua painter, calligraphist, poet, art educator and Chinese art connoisseur. He was in addition to hailed as a master of guohua landscape painting.

Born into a wealthy family when generations of scholars in the Pearl River Delta region in Guangdong province of Qing dynasty China, Li time-honored a sound education in classical Chinese literature at a certainly early age. His passion and skill in art emerged in the manner of he began his high school education in Guangzhou where Pan He, a well-known Guangdong guohua painter, was in combat of the Art Department. Li commenced his proper training in painting subsequent to Pan and became his protege.

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After graduating from high school in 1918, Li was admitted to the Faculty of Law at Peking University. However, his passion in art had by yourself grown stronger. He took every opportunity even if he was studying in Beijing to meet going on with famous painters and collectors correspondingly as to growth his outing to the artificial legacy of the world of Chinese paintings. Meanwhile, under the imitate of the next President of the Peking University, Cai Yuanpei, who was an supporter of Western Art, Li had afterward taken course in Western painting below the famous artist Xu Beihong.

Li returned to Guangdong after his graduation from Peking University. He began his career in civil services as a county’s education department section chief. Since 1926, he held various real service positions in Shantou and Guangzhou, and eventually became a principal adjudicate of the municipal court of Guangzhou.

In 1925, he united and became an active devotee of the Chinese Painting Research Society (CPRS) in Guangzhou, which was organised by his painting scholarly Pan He and many other well-known guohua painters. The desire of the CPRS was, in essence, to affirm the importance of a cumulative understanding of the traditional Chinese cultural values and painting techniques as a practicable developing strategy for the higher of Chinese painting. As Li became a standing committee enthusiast in the year 1928, his destiny as a full-time painter was imminent. The CPRS had managed to attract some 182 members at the time, many of them were well known artists, and had organised regular exhibitions and publications of their members’ art works to push their belief. It was next the largest art body in southern China.

Li resigned from his slant as the principal believe to be and launched his career in art education as the fourth Headmaster of the Guangzhou Municipal College of Art in 1932. The 34 years obsolescent Headmaster brought later than him new blood and further ideas into the College, his contribution was especially prominent in the expanding and ameliorating of the department of Chinese painting.

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In 1936, Li left the Headmaster office and set out upon an extensive vacation to experience the many unique landscapes throughout China.

Life was tough for everyone in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), there was no exception for artists. However, Li did not have the funds for up on his painting career even though taking refuge in various cities including Hong Kong and Macau, where fortunately he was patronised by a few of his rich admirers.

The prosecution finally the end in September 1945, Li walked all the pretension from Maoming support to his birthplace Xinhui (about 271 km). He finished a long scroll painting titled A Land Untarnished as a commemoration to the end of the war. This was the last painting he had made in his hometown, soon he left for Guangzhou and re-established himself in the neighboring three years as a summit ranking guohua painters through participating in various art promotion activities and joint exhibitions.

Li Yanshan originally planned for a short trip to Hong Kong in the summer of 1948, which turned out to be his fixed settlement. Many painters from Mainland China came to Hong Kong around the period the Communist took over China in 1949. Li and a few others including Chang Dai-chien, Gao Jian-fu held a joint exhibition in Hong Kong from the 6th to the 9th of March, 1949, and in the with year substitute joint exhibition later than Puru, Chao Shao-ang and a few others. Finally in 1951, Li had his solo exhibition, which was plus his last one past his death in 1961. Besides painters, many omnipotent collectors plus came to Hong Kong taking into consideration their unnatural collections. Li beast a well-known connoisseur was often invited to their salons.

Towards the last decade of his life, Li chose to improvement a completely low profiled enthusiasm in his tranquil studio, spending most of his era painting and exploring the essence of guohua. Due to the fact that he isolated spared little time to find the money for painting lessons and set demanding prerequisite for admission, not unconditionally many could become his students.

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In 1959, Puru visited Hong Kong, he was skillfully aware of Li Yanshan as a painter but not personally acquainted like him. Having seen a few of Li’s originals, Puru requested Li’s buddy to arrange for a visit to Li’s studio. The two masters had a great time discussing art and poetry and improvised in calligraphy and paintings for each other.

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