An image of Figure in a boat under a wintry tree

REN Bonian

(China 1840 – 1896)

Figure in a boat under a wintry tree

Other titles:
Figure standing in a boat
Location
Not on display
Further information

‘Orphaned in his early teens, Ren Bonian (also know as Ren Yi) was apprenticed to a fan shop in Shanghai. Here he learnt to paint and to copy the work of the then well-known and established artist Ren Xiong, and subsequently became his pupil. Ren Bonian’s figure paintings are distinguished by dramatic and accented brushstrokes. His inherent eloquence with brush and ink is well illustrated in the variable and expressive strokes of the tree, swift dashes of ink that define the wintry branches and the moody strokes that define the foreground rocks. He gained his fame as a portrait and figure painter but is equally known for his bird and flower subjects. This example is fully characteristic of his style: eloquent, sparse, delicate, with the brushstrokes echoing against timeless space of the background. This inscription, written by Ren Bonian in his studio in Shanghai in the third month of the ‘guizi’ year [1893] of Guangxu reign.’’

‘The Asian Collections: Art Gallery of New South Wales’. pg.166.
© 2003 Trustees, Art Gallery of New South Wales

Place of origin
Shanghai, China
Period
China: Qing dynasty 1644–1911, Guangxu 1875–1908
Year
1893
Media
Painting
Medium
hanging scroll; ink and light colour on paper
Dimensions
114.3 x 48.2 cm image; 197.0 x 61.5 x 69.0 cm scroll
Signature & date
Signed and dated u.l. to c.l., in Chinese, inscribed in black ink "…in the March of the year of Guizi (1893)…Ren T Bonian.". Signed c.l., in Chinese, stamped in red ink "Ren Yi [artist's seal, square relief]". Signed c.l., in Chinese, stamped in red ink "Bo Nian [artist's seal]".
Credit
Purchased 1988
Accession number
395.1988