Exploring Visual Modernity and National Identity in Twentieth-Century China: Fu Baoshi's Self-awareness and Critical Response during the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)

  • Hee Jung Lee

Student thesis: Phd


This thesis examines the artistic achievement of the twentieth-century Chinese painter Fu Baoshi 傅抱石 (1904-1965) through his envisioning of a national identity and visual modernity in his academic work and painting during the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). The focus of this thesis is an analysis of a body of his landscape and figure paintings as well as the art historical writings which he produced in Chongqing during the war. The importance of these works is assessed through an analysis of Fu Baoshi's early life in Nanchang (1904-1932) and his studies in Japan (1932-1935) which projected a formative influence on his artistic and intellectual development in Chongqing. Fu Baoshi's participation in cultural exchanges with Chinese artists and foreign figures in the revitalised artistic community in the war capital Chongqing played a significant role in his artistic evolution and the growth of his reputation in art circles in modern China. His pursuit of a new ideal form of artistic expression through models from the past is epitomised in his figure painting. His Sichuan landscape represents his consummate atmospheric approach which is associated with the wet climate and his structural approach using his innovative brush work known as Baoshi cun 抱石皴.
Date of Award1 Aug 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorLouise Tythacott (Supervisor)


  • Fu Baoshi

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