Chi Pai-Shih

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ch’i Pai-Shih


(also Ch’i Huang). Born 1860 in Hunan Province; died Sept. 16, 1957, in Peking. Chinese painter. Chairman of the Union of Chinese Artists (1953).

The son of a peasant, Ch’i traveled about China from 1902 to 1909. Initially he painted portraits of the traditional medieval type, but his talent found its fullest realization in landscape painting and, especially, in the “birds and flowers” genre. A consummate master of kuohua (“national painting”), Ch’i endowed medieval artistic principles with new content, having progressed from the copying of classical models to the observation of real life.

Ch’i depicted everyday scenes drawn from nature and objects commonly associated with peasant life, such as baskets, pitchforks, lamps, vegetables, crabs, and frogs; he imbued his images with a lofty poetic meaning. In most of his mature works, such as Squirrel (1930’s, india ink and watercolor on paper, Imperial Palace, Peking) and Chickens Under a Palm (1948, Museum of the Art of the Eastern Peoples, Moscow), he not only used india ink but replaced outlines with colors of bright and pure tones, a technique that emphasized the texture of the object. In such allegorical and satirical works as Mister Knockdown Doll (1901), Ch’i ridiculed feudal officials. In 1954 he created A Hymn to Peace (Imperial Palace, Peking). He was also a calligrapher and poet.

Ch’i was awarded the International Peace Prize in 1956.


Nikolaeva, N. Tsi Bai-shi. Moscow, 1958.
Tsi Bai-shi: Sb. statei. Moscow, 1959. (Translated from Chinese.)
Miklos, P. Tsi Bai-shi Budapest, 1963. (Translated from Hungarian.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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