Memorial outstanding patriotic painters Shen Yiqian

Shen Yiqian, also named Cheng E, born in 1908, Jiading County, Shanghai, studied in western painting department of Shanghai Fine Arts Training School. Shen Yiqian, was a distinguished patriotic painter, one of the founders for traditional Chinese painting, the leader of painting for the west of China in 20th century, the pioneer in creating realistic traditional Chinese painting, equally famous with Xu Beihong for drawing horses, considered as ¡°double outstanding horse-painting figures¡± in 1930s.

After the Mukden Incident, the young patriots came out boldly, launching campaigns to save the motherland in trouble, Shen Yiqian drew up the first Anti-Japanese poster in Shanghai. When the Sino-Japanese War broke out, as head of the disaster sketch group, he went to Mongolia to propagate the war. Working as leader of the sketch group in the battlefield, he vigorously joined the battle and guerrilla warfare in the enemy¡¯s rear, under heavy gunfire, drew pictures for the soldiers and generals, issued to the newspapers at home and abroad. He successively painted the portrait for Chairman Mao, Zhou Enlai, Deng Yingchao,Zhu De and He Long, etc, acknowledged by their signatures, rated as the first person in painting leaders¡¯ portrait, recognized as ¡°the most outstanding person for sketch¡± at that time and the ¡°islet¡± resistance literary writer in Shanghai. Mao Dun regarded these portraits as ¡°historical materials of resistance¡±. With his painting box behind on his back, Shen Yiqian was not a leisurely sketch artist but an art worker for publicizing the war of resistance, running across the country, trapping into the war zone, gathering data of current situation in the enemy¡¯s rear to present to the soldiers in the front-line; showing the bloody struggling historical data shot instantly from the front-line to the common people in the enemy¡¯s rear. He connected the resistance spirit between the front and the rear with his painting brushes. Therefore, the plenty of his sketch painting over the years should be substantially considered as the resistance historical data of the seven years.

Invited to work as a contributing sketch journalist of Ta Kung Pao in 1936, his travelling wash painting was published in this newspaper continuously, popular with the readers. Chaisui Mongolia Sketching Exhibition was held in the first half year of 1937, this large-scale personal exhibition had been put on display in Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou, making a stirring, which had to be deferred due to the excessive number of audience. The displayed works were acclaimed by the dramatist, Tian Han, Yang Hanli and painter, Liu Haisu, Pan Yuliang; while the socialites such as Yu Youren, Feng Yuxiang, Shao Lizi, Shen Enfu, and Hu Juewen wrote inscriptions and poems for it.

Widely known as an outstanding patriotic painter in 1930s, Shen Yiqian vanished in 1944 and no one knew where he was till now. The preparatory committee for ¡°Shen Yiqian Muesum¡± had been set up in memory of this anti-Japanese patriotic painter for his remarkable contribution to assisting Chinese soldiers to fight against the invading army.

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