Xu Beihong

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A portrait of Xu Beihong
Xu's paintings

Xu Beihong (Chinese: 徐悲鸿) is a Chinese painter whose unique skills garnered him fame worldwide.

Born Xu Shoukang in 1895, Xu was the son of a poor painter in a village of Yixing, Jiangsu Province. He left his hometown at age 13 with his father when the village was engulfed by a flood, and they made a living by painting portraits and writing Spring Festival couplets. Four years later, when his father fell severely ill, Xu began teaching painting at three schools to support his family of eight.

Without a formal education or academic accreditation, Xu did not earn the respect he deserved from those around him. It was around this time that Xu changed his given name, Shoukang, which means longevity and health, to Beihong, meaning grand ambition instigated in grieving life. After years of hard work, Xu became a luminary in painting.

Xu was best known for his horse paintings, which were done in splash-ink or brushwork. It was for his skills in creating lifelike depictions of the horse that he first earned international acclaim.

Xu's painting

Xu died of a stroke on September 26, 1953.

A brief Biography of and Paintings by Xu Beihong

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