Who was the Chinese painter Sanyu?

A major figure in Chinese modern art, Sanyu reconciled the traditions of Chinese calligraphy with influences from Western avant-garde painting. Living in Paris, Sanyu learned to draw nudes from live models, which was very daring for a Chinese painter at the time. He became known as “the Chinese Matisse”. Sanyu was born in Nanchong in the Chinese province of Sichuan in 1895. He was born into a prosperous family that owned one of the largest silk-weaving factories in the region. Sanyu first met the famous dealer and collector Henri-Pierre Roché in 1929. Roché appreciated Sanyu’s paintings and started to promote him among European collectors. He was himself a major collector of Sanyu’s work, and within two years had gathered and acquired 111 paintings and 600 drawings by the artist. The Chinese painter Sanyu then started to paint with oils, revealing a whole new kind of artistic potential. This became his favourite medium.

If you would like to find out more about the Chinese painter Sanyu and his works, please visit the artist’s dedicated page.

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