Qi Bai-shi, also known as Qi Huang or Qi Weiqing , was born in 1863
in Xiangtan County, Hunan Province. He was a woodcarver in his early
youth, and taught himself painting, poetry, calligraphy and zhuan
seal carving in his spare time.
Three samples of his seal carvings.
the seven years beginning from 1902, he left home five times to
wander around many famous mountains, lakes and rivers throughout
the country and painted numerous landscapes. In 1910, when he finally
came home, he created "Jieshan View" and 51 other landscape
1918 he resided in Beijing and lived by his painting and calligraphy.
Most of the subjects he painted were flowers, birds, insects and
fish. In 1928 he began to sign his name on the paintings as ( Bai-shi
means literally "White Stone," which implies "Snow
Mountains"). He said, at one time, "I learned finger-painting
in my youth; landscape painting after 30; and specialized in flowers,
insects and birds after 40." After that , he resolved to paint
"all the insects and birds in the whole world." During
his lifetime he had painted countless number of flowers and birds.
He changed his painting styles several times before settling down
finally to create his own unique style.
1952 he was appointed Honorary Professor of the Central Academy
of Fine Arts, Beijing. In 1953 the Ministry of Culture of the People's
Republic of China conferred on him the honorable title of "People's
Artist." He was elected President of the Chinese Artists' Association
at the Second National Congress of Writers and Artists. In 1954
he was a deputy of the First National People's Congress. In 1955
he was awarded the World Peace Prize by the World Peace Council.
Bai-shi died in Beijing on September 16, 1957 at the venerable age
Bai-shi is also known as Ch'i Pai-shih in the western literature.