Asian Art
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Artist: Fu Baoshi, Chinese, 1904–1965

Waterfall

20th century

Album leaf; ink on paper, framed

without mounting: 13 3/4 × 18 1/2 in. (34.9 × 47 cm)
framed: 20 9/16 × 25 1/8 × 1 5/16 in. (52.3 × 63.8 × 3.4 cm)
The Clyde and Helen Wu Collection of Chinese Painting, Gift of Dr. Roger Wu
2000.127.6

Fu Baoshi, who studied in Japan between 1933 and 1935, was an artist-scholar engaged in developing a new style of painting that blended traditional brushwork with Western-style realism. Fu was also drawn to the work of the famed Qing-period painter Shitao (1642–1707); at age eighteen, he chose the pen name Baoshi, which can be translated as “embracing Shitao.” The use of white space to create the powerful cascading waterfall in the center of this painting shows Fu’s deep knowledge of Shitao’s style, as do the forceful, abstract brushstrokes, often rendered with very dark, wet ink. The two tiny figures standing in the foreground watching the swirling waters reinforce the sense of the indomitable majesty of the natural world.

Geography: 
China
Culture: 
Chinese
Period: 
Contemporary
Classification: 
Paintings
Provenance: 

Helen T. Wu (1929–2015) and Dr. Clyde Wu (1933–2015), Grosse Pointe, Mich., by 2000; by descent to their son Dr. Roger Wu, San Francisco, Calif., by 2000; given to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2000

Bibliography: 

Jason C. Kuo, ed., Heirs to a Great Tradition: Modern Chinese Paintings from the Tsien-Hsiang-Chai Collection (College Park, Md.: University of Maryland, 1993), 48, no. 30.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.