Wang Zhen (Wang Yiting)

Wang Zhen (Wang Yiting)

Wang Zhen (zh-cw|c=王震|w=Wang Chen) was a celebrated modern Chinese artist of the Shanghai School. His dates are sometimes given as 1877-1930, but are corrected as (1867-1938) in the "Encyclopedia of Chinese Artists" (Zhongguo meishu jia renming cidian) on p. 131. Wang Zhen was also variously known as "Bailong shanren" and as a devote Buddhist under other names. He was originally from Wuxing in Zhejiang Province, although spent most of his life in in the city of Shanghai where he was a successful businessman-banker. Wang Zhen was a master calligrapher as well as a painter of flowers, birds, personages and Buddhist subjects. He was closely associated with and considered the disciple of the painter Wu Changshuo. It is sometimes said that many of his teacher's paintings were from Wang Zhen himself. Wang Zhen's paintings enjoy a considerable popularity in Japan where he had made many trips in his business and artistic career. He is known there as O Itei from his variant Chinese name of Wang Yiting (Wang I-t'ing). This Japan connection he shared with his mentor Wu Changshuo. Photos can be seen of the pair with the Japanese artist Tessai. Other Japan influences existed as well. The Japan affiliations of Wang Zhen have led to his undeserved lack of esteem among his countrymen. However Wang Zhen was an artist of the first rank and his lack of Chinese prestige will certainly in the future be rectified.


*Lang, Shaojun, [ "Wang Zhen"] . "Encyclopedia of China" (Arts Edition), 1st ed.

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