I visited the Xu Beihong Museum (徐悲鸿纪念馆) in Beijing and took the photographs in this post in late October 2019. It is likely that few western visitors have visited this Museum since I was there, given that China is likely to remain off limits for foreign travel for some time to come. The Museum is located near Jishuitan subway station in the West Central area of Beijing; it is also close to the ‘West Sea’.
Xu Beihong was and remains a famous Chinese painter of the first half of the 20th century. He was born in 1895 and died in 1953 at the relatively young age of 58. He first studied painting with his father as a child in Jiangsu Province, then went on to study at the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts (now part of the Nanjing University of the Arts). He later studied in Paris at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Beaux Arts and spent 10 years in Europe working as an artist and travelling. He returned to China in 1927 and spent the following decades teaching and painting. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, he became President of the Central Academy of Fine Arts and Chairman of the China Artists Association. He was one of the first Chinese artists to combine Chinese and Western painting styles and is well known for his paintings of animals and birds.
I have seen Xu’s works in a number of Chinese museums, but this memorial Museum in Beijing contains the largest collection by far.
Michael Ingle – email@example.com