Biography of Chen Shu-Ren
With the Gao
brothers one of the "Three Masters of the Lingnan School", Chen Shuren
(1884?948), original name Shao, literary name De'an Laoren or Ershan
Shanqiao, was also a native of Panyu in Guangdong province who learned
painting under Ju Lian (1828-1904) in his early years and later pursued
his studies in Japan . The banana tree has always been a perfect subject
for expressing the subtlety of ink and brushwork, but this hanging scroll
by Chen differs from more traditional paintings thanks to its spontaneous
use of charming colours and the application of a Western perspective.
Although working with a simplified form, Chen is still able to capture the
essence of the tree, as he contrasts a small bird resting on a branch with
the large banana tree and its central setting in the composition. Chen's
simple and spontaneous personal style makes him the most lyrical literati
artist of the "Three Masters of the Lingnan School".
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