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Catalogue Number   Price   Approximate size Button
So. China Botanical Gardens, painting by Jain bai Xu 666. South China Botanical Gardens: original oil painting on canvas by Jian Bai Xu, 1984

Jian Bai Xu and her husband Xue Sheng Tan moved to Guangzhou, in the early 1950's after she had studied in the U.S. for a few years.  By the 1980's she was teaching at Guangzhou Fine Arts College, and her husband was the dean. 

This a a picture from the famous botanical gardens, in Guangzhou, which is still a popular and beautiful place on the edge of the city, just before coming to the Long Dong section in the east of the city.  It is a lovely painting of a fall scene with the beautiful color that we expect from an impressionist palate.
 
      54.5x39cm  
               
The Fisher Woman, painting by Jian Bai Xu 169. The Old Fisherwoman: original oil painting on canvas by Jian Bai Xu (1955)

This painting is a Jian Bai Xu signature painting.  It is in the genre of the honest realism of many of the impressionists, particularly Van Gogh.  Indeed, it has the look of a Van Gogh.  A simple fisher woman sits inside an old shed by the docks, in a small port city of China.  Her face tells of her life.  And because Jian Bai Xu learned that it is not beauty but truth that makes a painting more precious, she has conveyed the feelings of the life of the fisherwoman in this portrait.  Catching and selling fish is not a particularly glamorous life.  The sun and surf, too, take their toll on one looks.  Yet she seems, not ashamed, but slightly proud, perhaps, resigned to her life but not apologetic.  Although her face displays the hardships of her life, and she is plainly dressed, her silver and jade bracelets belie a life of poverty and suggest that she has achieved some modicum of wealth from all of her hard work.

This wonderful piece was done in the 1950's after Xu had spent time, in the West, exploring the techniques of Western artists and the colors of  their palettes.  For us, it is a true masterpiece, lifting Jian Bai Xu to the height of great impressionist artist.



 
      55x40cm  
               
Peaks at Pingshi, painting by Jian Bai Xu 159. Peaks at Pingshi (China): original oil painting on canvas by Jian Bai Xu (1985)

There are many dramatic mountain scenes, in China, and this one at Pingshi, in Guangdong Province, in the south of China, has been captured in oil on canvas by one of the truly great artists of China, Jian Bai Xu.  Ms. Xu was taught, in her art education, that emotion should always enter art, and this painting evokes a number of emotions.  The narrow path leading up to the small pavilion on the narrow promontory makes your stomach flutter.  The dark colors of the sky heightens the forbidding feeling. Yet, the wide plateau on the left gives you a sense of safety and calm.  It is simply another wonderful painting by Jian Bai Xu whose paintings always fill us with a sense of awe, in one way or another.  
      55x40cm  
               
Far off View of Macau, painting by Jian Bai Xu 157. Macau from Afar: original oil painting on canvas by Jian Bai Xu (1985)

Even over twenty years ago, Macau (in the Portuguese; in English, Macao; in Chinese Aumen) was a sprawling modern city with tall buildings, much like its larger sister city, Hong Kong, to the east.  This view is from west of Macau, as seen from Heng Qing Dao, a smaller, isolated island in the south of Zhuhai, Macau's mainland China sister city, just across the border (in fact we have visited the place, in our travels).  Ships are in the safe harbor, away from the eastern seaside of Macau, a flock of birds fills the sky over the south of the city, and you can see the site of the old Portuguese fort and the famous old church, which are the most famous landmarks of Macau, on the wooded hilltop in the north.  As always, Ms. Xu has demonstrated thoughtful composition of this piece, with the old and the new, and nature juxtaposed with a modern cityscape.  It is a wonderful work, in composition, artistic technique and color; it is actually comprised of two panels.
 
      75x55cm  
               
PuTuo Mountain, painting by Jian Bai Xu 109. PuTuo mountain in Xiamen: original oil painting by Jian Bai Xu (1986)

This is an interesting piece.  It has a look more like something by Chagall rather than the impressionism that Xu is usually known for.  It is from her later year, in China, towards the end of the 1980's when she and her husband, Xue Sheng Tan, moved to America.

We liked the composition, precisely, for its unusual style, like a picture within a picture, and it has a surrealist quality about it.
 
      58x40cm  
               
Pears, still life painting by Jian Bai Xu 616. Still life with Pears: original oil painting by Jian Bai Xu (1992)

No, those are not Asian pears because by the early 1990's Jian Bai Xu and her husband, Xue Sheng Tan, had moved to America's west coast, and her topics became American.  This is a nicely done still life of American pears with the square bowl askew and off center to allow the eye to be taken around the painting.  The yellows and greens of the pears and bowl are set off beautifully by the soft blues and reds of the table and background.
      45x35cm  
We have other works by Jian Bai Xu, in our gallery, which are not displayed in our on-line gallery.  If you are interested in seeing more of her works, please contact us by phone or by email, and will will forward more of her works to you by email. Office: 086 20 83600764; clm@leonacraig.com
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