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Yu Sanyu


Aliases: Yu (1900) Chang, Sanyu (1901), SANYU

Painter, Illustrator

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(b Shun-Ching, Sichuan Province, China, 1900; d Paris, 1966) Chinese Painter. Sanyu began his studies in Shanghai and also spent two years in Japan. In 1921, he received a grant from the Chinese Government to travel to Paris where he became a student at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. There he learned to synthesize techniques from his traditional Chinese painting background with the contemporary European aesthetic. Sanyu began to exhibit his work at the Paris salons and garnered a modest popularity in Europe as well as in New York. Paris would remain Sanyu’s home until the end of his life. His subjects consist mostly of female nudes, floral still lives and animals. His use of color evolved over his career from a rather stark black and white aesthetic to exuberant colors in his later works, though his emphasis on bold line and simple composition, drawn from his traditional Chinese training, remained constant.

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