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Lingnan School Of Art

The Lingnan school reflects a style of painting founded in the 19th century in Guangdong province. In the late Qing dynasty, the opening of Guangzhou as a trading port and other external developments led to a turning point for change in the practice of art in the Lingnan area.

The Lingnan school is listed along with Beijing-Tianjin painting school and Shanghai school as the three pillars of modern Chinese painting.


Early styles of Lingnan School can be traced back to the work of the famous flower painters, Ju Lian居廉,  Ju Chao居巢 , Song Guangbao宋光寶 and Mengjinyi 孟覲乙of the 19th century. Their painting style  was highly influenced by the early Qing painter Yun Shouping ( 惲壽平, 1633–1690), but in terms of subject matter and methods of expression, they branched out on their own.

The Lingnan School was founded by the brothers -Gao Jianfu高剑父 (1879-1951), Gao Qifeng高竒峯(1889-1933) and friend Chen Shuren陳樹人(19884-1948), also known as "The three greats of Lingnan(嶺南三傑). All three had studied under Ju Lian at his studio.

All three had also traveled to Japan and studied art there, influenced by the realism and bright colors prevalent in Japanese painting at the time.

The Lingnan style of painting promoted the development of a New National Painting (xin guohua) influenced by Nihonga (Japanese -style painting) and by the early Chinese Qing painter,Yun Shouping (1633–1690), with elements of Western and Japanese realism.


The second-generation followers of the Lingnan School include artists such as Zhao Shao’ang (趙少昂, 1905–1998), Li Xiongcai (黎雄才, 1910–2001), and Guan Shanyue (關山月, 1912–2000). Together, they represent the rich variety of artistic expression found in the Lingnan School. 

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