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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Title: Pair of pheasants on a prunus branch in moonlight
Date: 20th century
Medium: Fan painting: ink and colors on paper
Dimensions: Image: 9 3/4 x 21 1/4 inches (24.8 x 54 cm)
Credit Line: Acquired through the Membership Acquisition Fund
Object Number: 81.076
Label Text: Liu Kuiling was born in Tianjin at the end of the Qing dynasty and is known as an expert animal painter. Modeling his work on Ming- and Qing-dynasty bird-and-flower painters such as Lü Ji and Shen Quan, Liu also borrowed the watercolor techniques of the Italian painter Giuseppe Castiglione, who worked in the Chinese imperial painting academy under the Chinese name Lang Shining, and the modern Japanese painter Takeuchi Seihō.

Liu’s work exemplifies a unique combination of Chinese traditional gongbi style (fine brushwork painting) with Western-influenced painting perspective and colors. Liu and his followers successfully established a new painting style that especially dominated North China. Moreover, their works reflect a particular period when Chinese intellectuals attempted to adapt Western science and technology into Chinese cultural tradition. ("Debating Art: Chinese Intellectuals at the Crossroads," curated by Yuhua Ding, with assistance by Elizabeth Emrich, and presented at the Johnson Museum February 2-July 8, 2018)

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.