Buffalo and horse by Xu Beihong; ink and wash on paper


Xu Beihong was a famous artist and art educator of modern China. His artistic accomplishment joined up China and the West and successfully integrated the realistic features of western paintings with the traditional artistic conception of traditional Chinese ink paintings. The Chinese paintings created by him cover a wide range of subjects. He was especially famous for painting horses.

This ink painting of Buffalo and Horse collected by Guilin Museum is inscribed with: paint buffalo and horse at the critical moment of nation. There is a preface: I travelled to the Li River again in the first lunar month of 1982 and viewed Master Beihong's genuine artistic works of horses at Rongshulou, Guilin. Recorded by Huang Yanghui at the age of 71. There are seal impressions: white-character square seal "Yanghui's Calligraphy and Painting"; white-character square seal "Huang Yanghui"; vermilion rectangular seal "Longevity" and vermilion square seal "Xu".

Horses painted by Xu Beihong are not only realistic in bones, muscles and the structure, but also incisive and freehand in the brushwork, which present adequate vigor and vitality. Especially after "September 18th" and "January 28th" Incidents, Xu Beihong's horses began to be embedded with not only the sentiment and passion of caring for the fate of China, but also the persevering national spirit of rising to fight.