What is Qi Baishi’s “aging reform”?
At the age of 54, Qi Baishi came to Beijing for the second time to make a living by carving characters and selling paintings to avoid the rebellion in his hometown.He painted a fan for two silver dollars, half the price of ordinary painters, but still few people came to him to paint.Although there are often people looking for his seal, but the income is very small, it is difficult to make a living.He wrote in the poem: “Before the work of writing brush, painting is now worthless”;”Cold yi such as snow, swallow is not valuable.”In the face of these difficulties, Qi Baishi did not bow down. He wrote in his poem, “It is really me to laugh at this man.”The eagle worm is easy to know, a hundred years of public opinion has its own period”.There are two main reasons why Qi Baishi’s paintings are seldom received. One is that qi baishi was obsessed with the Eight Mountain people (Figure 1) when he was in his fifties. Although he was good in writing and calligraphy, he was cold and elegant, but not rich and noble.Second, freehand brushwork painters at that time, such as Wu Changshuo, Wang Yiting, Chen Banding, Yao Hua, Chen Shicheng, etc., were rich and rich in painting, gorgeous in color, and taste of stone and stone, and indulgent in their brushwork.This is probably the background for Qi Baishi to carry out reforms in his old age.Since Qi Baishi met Chen Shizeng at the age of 54, the two became close friends.Chen Shizeng in Qi Baishi’s “borrow mountain map” in the title: “painting my painting since the ancient, why lower the head to seek the same group.In the poem, Qi Baishi was advised to break out of the fences of the ancients and change his painting style.Taking Chen’s advice, Qi Baishi once said, “A friend of his advised him to reform, but if he believed him, he abandoned him.”This is the objective reason why Qi Baishi carried out the “aging reform”.When Qi Baishi was 55 years old, he once wrote: “Yesterday, YU saw the Yellow gall Gourd Painting album in the Huang Jing People’s office, only to realize that yu’s paintings are too similar in shape and have no detached interest, so HE decided to make a big change from today.Don’t listen to anyone who wants to scold you.Others want to be honored, I don’t like it.”He wrote in his painting for Fang Shuzhang, “I have been painting for several decades without claiming my own interest.Since then decided to change, do not want people to know, that is to starve to death Jinghua, you and so on do not pity, but I may ask myself when the heart is quick.”Qi Baishi himself also believed that the subjective reason for qi Baishi to change his painting style was his “reform of old age”.Therefore, Qi Baishi “wiped out all the foetuses and it was difficult to make changes after ten years”, and started the “decadal reform” that lasted for about ten years.FIG. 2 Qi Baishi’s Birds of Pseudo-Eight Big Bamboo and Stone (45 years old) When it comes to Qi Baishi’s “change of life” around the age of 60, it should be mentioned that he had changed before the age of 60, and still changed after that. With each change, there was a leap and a sublimation.Qi Baishi once said, “People like to change, not only the world officials work, so do I.After the age of 20, I like to paint people, and after 30, I like to paint beauty. After 30, I like to paint landscape, and after 40, I like to paint flowers, birds, grass and insects.Or in a year like painting plum, where four does not leave plum.Or like to paint peony in a year, where four does not leave peony.I like to paint red and hosta flowers this year. I can’t leave four of them here.So easy to change, I am glad to be a good people.”Qi Baishi’s early paintings were capricious, and so were his later ones.When he drew a picture at the age of eighty-eight, he wrote, “I am one more year old this year, eighty-eight. Has his brush become slightly old?”It is because of change that qi Baishi’s late paintings of crabs and shrimps are more mature.FIG. 3 Fostered numerous eminent people like wu changshuo the ammonite figure figure four qi baishi “chrysanthemum quail” (eighty-three) figure 5 fostered numerous eminent people like wu changshuo six qi baishi “iron net coral” figure “MeiYing poetry” (sixty-seven) of qi baishi “CuiNian reform” the meaning of the change is greater than the early and late, he swept away early eight mountain man (figure 2), over, Xu Qingteng and others, its nature,At the same time, it laid the foundation for the late painting, which was an important turning point.Although Qi Baishi absorbed the painting characteristics of Wu Changshuo in his reform, he was not a copy of Wu Changshuo (Figure 3, 4, 5 and 6).Although Qi Baishi is not as “fang” as Wu Changshuo, he is better than Wu Changshuo in both refined and popular taste, and becomes another accomplished painter after Zhao Zhiqian and Wu Changshuo.Some commentators say that if Qi baishi had lived only to 60, history would not have recorded his glittering name, and I agree.Qi Baishi’s painting art would not have existed if he had not lived, painted and changed his life.Qi Baishi’s painting style is quite different before and after his “old age reform”, which provides a reliable basis for us to identify the age of Qi Baishi’s works.Source: Qi Baishi painting and Calligraphy Appraisal