The enigmatic Chinese monk-painter Xugu (1823-1896), with his daring brush techniques and implicit expression of spiritual insight, stands out among notable innovators in the late Qing period. Despite the political upheaval and cultural decay of his day, he tapped the creative spring of Chan (Zen) Buddhism to develop a highly personal and modern visual language within the calligraphic idiom of traditional scholars' art. His portraits and landscapes, along with his depictions of flowers, fruits, and animals, convey quiet elegance, sensitivity, ethereality - and at times humor - even as they surprise with their unconventionality and tendency toward abstraction. This monograph, illustrated in full color, examines seventeen paintings and one rare work of calligraphy by this extraordinary artist in the context of his life and stylistic development. The inclusion of a portrait by two of his close associates provides perspective on the enduring impact of Xugu's vital breakthroughs on the burgeoning art center of nineteenth-century Shanghai and beyond.
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Number of pages: 108
Weight: 621 g
Dimensions: 292 x 210 x 10 mm
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