Ren Bonian: Drawings & Paintings (Annotated)
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He was born in Shaoxing City of Zhejiang province, but after his father's death in 1855 he lived and worked as a painter in Shanghai. This environment has placed him in a more urban and open-minded world that has been exposed to Western thinking.
In Shanghai, he contacted artists from Shanghai School, who merged popular and traditional styles into a unified whole.
Ren Yi was spotted and highlighted with his daring grease and use of color. He was considered the most remarkable artist of the so-called "The Four Rens" - the other three "Rens" were two of his uncles and one of his cousins, who are all famous artists.
Ren Yi has become very popular with his drawings. Tradition says that when he was about ten years old, one of his father's friends came to visit him when his father was away from home. When his father returned and asked his young son who the visitor was, Ren Yi did not know the name, but he managed to paint a portrait from which his father immediately found out who he was.
The success of Ren Yi in flower and bird painting probably even surpassed that of painting figures.
At the beginning of his career, Sun's dynasty artists influenced him a lot, but later he developed a more liberal and original style influenced by the works of the great Chinese masters of the brush Chen Chun, Xu Wei, and Zhu Da.