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Fengmian Lin (1900-1997)

Aliases: Lin Fengmian; Feng-mien Lin; Lin Fengmian; Lin Fengmin

Professions: Painter

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  • LIN FENGMIAN 1900-1991

  • LIN FENGMIAN 1900-1991

  • LIN FENGMIAN 1900-1991

  • LIN FENGMIAN (1900-1991)

Fengmian Lin Biography

(b Mei xian, Guangdong Province, 1900; d 1991). Chinese art educator and painter. His grandfather was a carver of tombstones, as was his father, who also learnt to paint. He began carving and painting as a child, often copying from the Jiezi yuan huazhuan (‘ Mustard-seed Garden painting manual ’; 1679 and 1701). He sold his first painting at the age of nine. In 1918 he moved to Shanghai, where he saw an advertisement for a work-study programme in France. That winter he began work in France as a signboard painter, after which he spent some months studying French at Fontainebleau and elsewhere. One school had a collection of plaster casts, which he began to draw in his spare time. In the spring of 1920 he entered the Dijon National Academy of Fine Arts and began to draw figures in charcoal. Within six months he had been recommended by the head of the school, a relief sculptor, to the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He also studied drawing and oil painting at the Cormon art studio in Paris and learnt much from the collections of the Louvre and the Musée Guimet. In 1922 his oil painting Autumn was exhibited at the Salon d’Automne. He spent 1923 in Berlin, where his limited funds would extend further and where he was introduced to northern European movements in painting. In 1924 he contributed over 40 oil paintings and Chinese-media paintings (executed using water-based ink and natural pigments on paper or silk) to an exhibition of ancient and modern Chinese art in Strasbourg, organized by the Chinese government; these revealed his interest in combining Eastern and Western concepts in his painting. Two large oil paintings were accepted for the 1924 Salon d’Automne. The following year Lin exhibited in the Chinese section of the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs.

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