Xu Beihong (Chinese徐悲鸿, W.-G. Hsu Pei -hung; born July 19, 1895 in Yixing, Jiangsu Province, Imperial China, † September 26, 1953 in Beijing, People's Republic of China) was the first Chinese painter, the western style elements used in his works.
He received his first lessons in painting from his father Xu Dazhang, a self-taught painter trained professional. As a child, Xu Beihong painted on the model of Jieziyuan Collection and worshiped the painter Ren Bonian. After a period of study in Japan, he studied from 1919 at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Paris European painting and traveled after Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy.
1928 returned Xu returned to China and worked as a professor at Nanjing University. Later he headed the Art Institute of Peking University, to which he eventually called Qi Baishi. After the founding of the People's Republic of China Xu was appointed as the first Director of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. In addition, he was chairman of the Chinese Artists' Association.
Xu Beihong took over in the Chinese art numerous elements and techniques of Western painting. The European modernity as manifested for example in the works of Picasso or Matisse, he was nevertheless over distances and looked at it as an expression of Western decadence.
Xu was particularly well known as a painter of galloping horses, many of which were interpreted as an allegory on the resurgence of the Chinese nation humiliated. The most fertile creative period in Xu's life was the 30 years in which a number of important oil paintings and traditional paintings such as "Tian Heng five hundred rebels ", " Jiu Fanggao " and created " Spring Rain on the Lijiang River ".
His painting "Slave and Lion" was sold at auction in November 2006 at Christie 's Hong Kong for 5.3 million euros, at the time put this sum in comparison to the works of other Chinese artists a true record price Represents the painting tells the story of a during the time of the Roman Empire surviving slaves and a lion. The slave frees the paw of the lion of a mandrel. At a subsequent meeting, the lion and the very same slave face in a Roman amphitheater in a really bloody fight. The Emperor is pleased with the sentimental encounter such a way that he dismisses the slave then from captivity. With 7 million euros achieved his painting "Put your whip down " at a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong in the spring of 2007, the previous world record for a Chinese painting. The picture from the year 1939 during Xu's stay in Singapore at the summit of his artistic creativity displayed an anti- Japanese performance of a traveling theater. It shows the lady Shang front of a group of spectators, and reflects the spirit of the Chinese people against the background of the anti-Japanese war ( 1937-1945 ). Deeply moved by the patriotic motives of the play, Xu gave this feeling with careful brushstrokes expression and created a sensitive portrait of the female actress in the foreground and in the background a crowd alive and realistic images. After the painting was gone for over half a century out of the picture, it has now been issued by Sothebys for the first time since 1954 in public again.