Qi Baishi’s Ci­cada

That's China - - That's China 城市漫步 -

In his oc­to­ge­nar­ian years, Chi­nese paint­ing mas­ter Qi Baishi (1864-1957) seemed to be most fas­ci­nated by ‘ci­cada’.The in­flu­en­tial painter noted for the whim­si­cal, of­ten play­ful style of his wa­ter­color works, was born to a peas­ant fam­ily in Hu­nan Prov­ince and be­came a car­pen­ter at 14. He learned to paint by him­self. The sub­jects of his paint­ings in­clude al­most ev­ery­thing. He the­o­rized that "paint­ings must be some­thing be­tween like­ness and un­like­ness, much like to­day's vul­gar­i­ans, but not like to cheat pop­u­lar peo­ple". In his later years, many of his works de­picted mice, shrimp or birds. What is unique about the artist is that his work shows no western in­flu­ences, un­like most other artists of this time. He was praised for the “fresh­ness and spon­tane­ity that he brought to the fa­mil­iar gen­res of birds and flow­ers, in­sects and grasses, her­mit-schol­ars and land­scapes” .Al­though Baishi wasn’t the first artist to fo­cus on small things in nd na­ture, he was highly rec­og­nized for his thought­ful and lyri­cal ap­proach in de­pict­ing these sub­jects.

齐白石花鸟画的草虫是其绘画创作中最具特色,同时也是最成功的部分。白石老人的笔下,鸟、虾、蟹、蛙、蝌蚪、鼠、蝉、蜻蜓、蚱蜢、蜜蜂、甲虫、蝴蝶都栩栩如生,而这其中蝉似乎是他的最爱。齐白石的神笔,真正画出了中国成语中的“薄如蝉翼”,透明的蝉翼后面的腹背部细节,让观者忍不住伸手触摸。

极度逼真的模拟再现,其实是极富精思的艺术提炼,达到了画家自己所言的:“不似则欺世盗名,太似则媚俗,吾画在似与不似之间”。在白石老人热烈、明快、夺目的画中,一只如有生命的蝉伫立在如夕阳般火红的枫叶枝上,那带着一丝幽然凉意的鸣声仿佛就在观者的耳边……

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