A painting from Chen Shaomei's 24 paintings on silk. (Photo provided to China Daily)
Chen Shaomei (1909-54) gained fame in the art circle at age 20.
Although his career was short-lived, his versatility — and especially his paintings that recreate the sophisticated, refined atmosphere of Chinese ink traditions — won acclaim among generations of artists and collectors.
He completed an album of 24 paintings on silk in 1938. Each portrays a story from the popular Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) Confucian book, "The Twenty-four Filial Deeds".
Chen's clean-cut brushwork gives the paintings a poetic touch. He vividly detailed the human subject's facial expressions and outfits to reveal their social statuses, characters and mentalities.
And he paired them with such natural environments as village houses, agricultural fields and forests, making his paintings accessible to general audiences.
The album, "A Collection of Twenty-four Filial Exemplars", will be auctioned in Beijing on Dec. 7.