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Li River Painting

About the famous Li River Painting

Li River painting has enjoyed a great reputation across China since the 1930s. Li River featuring the karst landscape is always the good material of the classical Chinese painting.

In the late Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1912), the Li River painting was popular among local painters. The karst hills, local fishermen, fishing boats and the Li River come to life in the painting. They present enough vitality and another form of beauty in the painting.

The amazing karst landscape along the Li River is always attracting artists to create one-of-a-kind Li River painting from different angles through different methods. Let’s see four main artists in modern China whose Li River paintings have played significant parts in the Li River painting.

The Li River Cruise is the #1 Activity in Guilin!

Famous Li River Artists

Li Keran
From the 1950s to the 1970s, Li Keran created around 20 Li River paintings. The most well-known is called the “Amazing Views along the Li River in the Early Morning” (Qing Li Sheng Jing – 清漓胜境图) created in 1977. In the painting, local houses, kart hills in the Yangshuo Countryside, sail boats and the Li River make for a pleasing picture.

Xu Beihong
In 1935, Xu Beihong lived in one of the houses at the bank of the Li River due to the war. The house was sent to him by Li Zongren. The landscape paintings created by Xu are very few. The most famous is “Spring Rain on the Li River” (Lijiang Chunyu – 漓江春雨图). In 1937, he explored the Li River and was shocked at the landscape along the river. Then, the works was born.

Wu Guanzhong
The Li River is the subject Wu Guanzhong focused on for some time. The scenery in the Li River paintings he created is elegant and graceful. The realistic method is interspersed with freehand brushwork. The paintings reflect a strong oriental sentiment and Chinese aesthetic meaning. The most well-known is “New Bamboo Forest along the Li River” (Lijiang Xinhuang – 漓江新篁) which was sold for the hammer price of 74.175 million yuan (10.767 million US dollars), starting with the reserve price of 22 million yuan (3.193 million US dollars) at 2018 Spring Beijing Poly Auction at Four Seasons Hotel Beijing on the night of June 20, 2018.

Bai Xueshi
Bai Xueshi was a famous contemporary landscape painter. The landscape painting based on the landscape in Guilin and along the Li River are the most representative of his painting style. He was good at painting the landscape along the river as well. He had explored the Li River with his feet for more than 10 times since 1972 and created tens of Li River paintings with different weather conditions.