1933-1949

From 1933 to 1949 concluded the first stage in Mr. Qin Xuanfu' s art career.
In 1930, he went to Paris, France, the most flourishing center for western fine arts for five years, pursue his study of oil painting. He was admitted by the French National School of Fine Arts and was lucky to study work at the Dean, Mr. Luiren Simon's studio for four years, He was also an honored France Fine Arts Academician. Therefore Mr Qin laid firm and solid foundation for culture and painting. We can say that he achieved mastery of essentials in Chinese and western cultures.

 

sketch "Naked"(1930)

sketch "Naked French Male-Standing Figure"

sketch "Sculpture"(1931)

oil painting "Naked French Female-Standing Figure"

 

But Mr. Qin had a broader vision and a more ambitious goal. When he was in Paris, he not only learned painting skills, but he studied western art history. He was admitted by Louvre School within Louvre Museum as well as by the Archaeology Institute at Paris University. During vacations, he visited several cities including London, Madrid, Toledo in Spain; Milan, Rome, Venice in Italy; Munich, Berlin in Germany, Poland, and Russian to

experience with his own eyes original paintings by western artistic masters especially those by the Impressionist giants. This laid solid foundation for him in studying western art history, broadened his view points in studying painting and nourished and enriched his painting skills. Mr Qin Xuanfu was one of the very few artists at the time who have both exquisite western painting skills and deep knowledge of art theory.

 

1931年在法国卢森堡公园合影照1930年在凡尔赛宫草地上的照片徐悲鸿先生1944年推荐信

 

Oil Painting "French Young Man"

Oil Painting "Van Gogh"(an imitation)
Foreign friend's sketch of Mr.Qin Xuanfu

Photo of the painting "The portrait of Madam Kapanzie"

The oil painting "Court Lady"

Photo of the oil painting "Merry Go-Round"& the draft of figures in the "Merry Go-Round"

 

During his stay in Paris, Qin Xuanfu's oil painting "The portrait of Madame Kapanzie," was selected for exhibition at the French Salon and was highly praised by Mr. Xu Beihong who then recommended this painting in his letter to his friends.

Mr. Qin's other two paintings, "The Court Lady" and "Merry Go-Round" were also selected for exhibition at French Salon, des Independents, where both of them were well received.

As for "The Court Lady", the distinguished fine arts critic Shao Dazheng commented: the painting has a daring and unique design with solid modeling skills. This indicates during the study, Mr. Qin was nourished and enriched by paintings of classical masters and impressionists, or to be more exact he knows well the classical spirit in impressionist masters paintings and was able to apply it into his won art creations; he discarded their focus on the pursuit of external bright colors, but at the same time assimilated in his own art creations their achievements in colors. "The Court Lady" was later selected in 2000 for exhibition at "China Oil Painting in Twentieth Century", was published in "The China- Art Collections in Twentieth Century",and in the collections of "Chinese Oil Painting in the Twentieth Century" by Beijing People's Press and Beijing Arts and Photography Press in 2001.

"Merry Go-Round" oil painting was lost, only the photo of the painting remained, together with an oil sketch of a figure's profile where one may still have a peep of the original.

It was rare at that time that three art works of a foreign student were selected by the French

National Spring Salon and Independent Salon in two consecutive years. It was no doubt a success to Mr. Qin! Based on the "Lin & Keng Galary" report, for the twenty-three years from 1922 to 1945, there were only 36 art works by those Chinese artists, who studied fine arts in France, were selected for exhibitions in French salon. and of which, three pieces were from Mr.Qin Xuanfu alone! This fully demonstrated his talents, his hard work and outstanding art skills.

The style of "Carmen" is quite different from that of "The Court Lady", where Mr. Qin applied daring and heavy strokes that made the sharp contrast of light and dark. In this painting, he also used large colorful brushes and thick drawing lines for modeling. In some places of the painting, one can even tell, that the paint was directly smeared on carve with palette knife! The modeling was solid and the style was unconstrained This painting was also selected into the "Chinese Oil Painting in 20th Century".


The chalk draw "Naked French Female"

The oil painting "Carmen"

"Chinese Art Exhibition in Paris," co-authored by Mr. Qin and Mr. Li Jianwu in 1933 Paris

Under the Invasion of the Japanese army, the Chinese people lived a miserable life. Mr. Qin fought with his brushes and painted a group of paintings reflecting Japanese' crimes such as "The torture" and "Food as the Foundation of Life", "Poor Family", and "Picking Grains".
We can feel the heaviness, cruelty and coldness of live at that time in Mr. Qin's painting "Snow in Chongqin". This is another Oil painting that was among the six paintings selected in the "The Twentieth Chinese Oil Paintings", published in 2001.

Yet, Mr. Qin was optimistic. His oil painting "Celebrating the Lantern Festival", that reflects the traditional Chinese custom, made us feel the unyielding spirits of the Chinese people. As for the artistic features of this painting, the famous artist Lu Sibai said that the painting "depicts a joyful but tasteful night scenery with its unique design, the sharp contrast of bright and dark colors, and the humorous expressions of the characters. Those who familiar with Rembrandt and Goya paintings must know its subtleness. ,.."

"Mother Teacher" in which the artist, with originality, tried to express the sentiments of anti-Japanese war through an ordinary family scene a mother teaching her child. The triangle design,

eye contacts, and gestures of the characters, draw our attention to "Our Air Forces". There was not much decoration on the wall except the painting of a "Castle", which added to the heaviness of the war climate. The character portraits were concise and detailed; the color of the skin and the attitude for mother and son are natural but full of life. Mr. Lu Sibai commented, "The structure is simple yet concise. The loving expression of the mother, the harmonious combination of light and shadow on the son's face, and the simple but solid strokes, all composed a touching picture."
This painting was chosen for the 3rd Chinese National Art Exhibition in 1942 and won the 2nd prize with no one won the first prize.

 

sketch "Refugees"

Photo of painting: "Poor Family"

Photo of painting: "Food is the Foundation of Life"

Photo of painting: "Snow in Chongqin"

Photo of painting: "Celebrating the Lantern Festival"

The oil painting: "Mother Teacher"

 

During this period, Mr. Qin painted portraits for many people. Here are comments on Mr. Qin's portraits from Lu Sibai. "Colors Xuanfu used to portray people, especially women, are rich and beautiful. One

examples is "Portrait of the Wife" which depicts an elegant, dignified lady. Looking closely, one can see her smooth and tender skin. As for her hands, it is extremely subtle. I dare say that he has already truly grasped Renoir's techniques."
As for Xuanfu portraits, Xu Beihong, the master of fine arts in China, commented "all his portraits convey well his subjects' spirit."

 

Photo of Painting "Portrait of the Wife"

The Oil painting "Girl in Red"

The Oil Painting "Portrait of Jiang Biwei"

The Oil Painting "Portrait of Renee Nikel"

Photo of painting "The girl with a dole"

Oil painting "The Girl with chrysanthemum"

Chalk painting "Under the Light"

The Oil Painting "Portrait of Wu Zuoren"

Chalk Painting "Portrait of Wang Linyi"

Sketch "Young Child"

 

 

As for Mr. Qin Xuanfu's landscape and still life paintings, Mr. Lu Sibai commented: "I believe Xuanfu's success in landscape painting is not beautiful morning clouds and sunset sceneries, nor the poetic element expressed in wind, rain, dark and light, but his feelings about the Nature. One example is his small landscape painting, "Rain Approaching the Mountains". It was based on the scenery of one corner of a castle at Fenghuang Mountain. There is the curving river with snows in

the distance, and thick mists and heavy clouds approaching from the river, pushing everything behind. This is indeed, poetic and impressive, but what is more: this is also a jade, a masterpiece. A artists easily get involved in the scenery of the Fenghuang Mountain with spring wildflowers blooming all over the mountain and with the river flowing with the winter clear and emerald water through the sandy beach. At dusk, one can really feel the magnificence of the sunset. Xuanfu enjoys all this, since he puts such feelings into his paintings as in "Mountain Flowers" (Shanhua), "Thin Dusk" (Baomu), and "A Farmer's House" .
Water color paintings "Fog in Chongqi" and "Scenery in Mount FengHuang" presented the hazy fog in Chonqi in a way that the moisture and the smell of the maintain fog can almost be felt. Buried in the fog are different levels of mountain objects painted by free, daring stokes. The paintings are poetic.

 

Oil painting "Terrace in Chongqing"

Oil painting "Ciqikou Scenery"

Oil painting "Rain Approaching the Mountain"

Little house in Fenghuang Mountain"

Oil painting "Mountain Flowers"

Oil Painting "Back Home"

Oil Painting "Farmer's house"

The water color "Fog in Chongqing"

The water color "Scenery in Mount FengHuang"

Sketch "Scenery in Mount FengHuang"


The still life painting "Fish" delicately depicted a fish with lively strokes, especially the quality and the color on the scale that makes the fish almost alive.
His painting "Entering the E-Mei Mountain" displays such a rich scenery; green mountains , mountains covered with heavy mist and fog, an artist, carrying a large heavy painting case on his shoulder walking on the mountain trails. The painting is full of loving emotions and taste. In his oil painting "Dujiang Dam", the author used large color blocks as the background, heavy strokes, and strong light and color to depict moving clouds in the sky as well as the steep mountains on the ground.
The painting "Chain Bridge over the DuJiang Dam" vividly depicted rich and subtle changes in the river, the river bank, and the lights reflected on tree leaves.

 

The Oil Painting "Fish"

The Oil Painting "Entering the E-Mei Mountain"

The Oil painting "Looking the Glacia from Golden E-Mei Peak"

The Oil Painting "the Dujiang Dam"

The Oil Painting "Chain Bridge over the Dujiang Dam"

 

 

 

It has few characteristics which can be summarized as follows:

 

1. Mr. Qin Xuanfu had become a mature first class visual artist. His oil painting "Mother Teaching" that gained the Third National Fine Arts Exhibition Award is a milestone. In one of his books, Mr. Wang Rizhang, one of the famous artists in China, pointed out "Xuanfu's paintings are really of the first class, not only in China, but also in the world. His techniques are so perfect." Mr. Fu Baoshi also said that, "Mr. Xuanfu is full of talent and has his own style; no one could possibly be able to paint such paintings." Mr. Xu Beihong also praised Mr. Qin's paintings as "Scholar's art".


2.Mr. Qin Xuanfu applied his realistic belief and theory of "embracing life and holding Nature tightly" into his own practice, while successfully integrating western painting skills with Chinese culture and traditions. He made great achievements in this direction and had great impact on arts and on society.

3.Mr. Qin Xuanfu's art has his own unique style. In1945, Mr. Lin Fengmian, the master of art pointed out in one of his articles that, "Xuanfu is gifted with combined skills in light and color. In his paintings, there are lovely colors of impressionist

giants, but also great lines of neoclassicism. Such attempts have made his paintings very vivid and lively." Mr. Lu Sibai also commented that "in Xuanfu's works, he is capable of understanding the essence of the similar styles in West Europe, especially Dutch, Spanish, and French impressionists' styles. He is good at incorporating their styles seamlessly into his own paintings."
 

 

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