Author: LIU KAIQU 刘开渠

Size: 46×35×53cm

Signed and dated: Made in 1951


Final Price: RMB 1,500,000

1961 Liu Kaiqu Sculpture Collection / People’s Fine Arts Publishing House
1992 Liu Kaiqu Selected Works of Art / Anhui Fine Arts Publishing House
1993 Master Liu Kaiqu - 70 Years of Artistic Activities / China Peace Publishing House
2004 The Capability of Sculpting Life / Baihua Wenyi Publishing House
2004 The picture album of The Liu Kaiqu’s 100th Birthday
2008 Liu Kaiqu - the Master of Monument Art / P97 / Permanence Gallery
2014 Centenary of Kaiqu, Liu Kaiqu’s 110th Birthday Exhibition / P102-103 / Anhui Fine Arts Publishing House
2016 Liu Kaiqu and 20th Century Chinese Art / P78 / China Art Museum
2017 Liu Kaiqu and 20th Century Chinese Art / P107 / Guangxi People’s Publishing House
2019 Liu Kaiqu and 20th Century Chinese Art / Li Zijian Art Musuem
2019 Looking Back - Celebrating the 70th anniversity of the People’s Republic of China Red Classics Exhibition / P10-11 / Drum Tower Time Museum
signed in Chinese Ed. 1 / 8
1993 Liu Kaiqu’s Posthumous Work Exhibition, National Art Museum of China, Beijing
2004 The Capability of Sculpting Life - Liu Kaiqu’s 100th Birthday, National Art Museum of China/ Beijing
2014 Liu Kaiqu’s 110th Birthday Exhibition, National Museum of China, Beijing
2016 Liu Kaiqu and the 20th Century Chinese Art, Chinese Art Palace, Shanghai
2017 Liu Kaiqu and 20th Century Chinese Art, Guangxi Art Museum, Nanning
2018 Liu Kaiqu and National Art Museum of China,National Art Museum of China, Beijing
2019 Liu Kaiqu and 20th Century Chinese Art, Li Zijian Art Musuem, Changsha
2019 Liu Kaiqu and 20th Century Chinese Art, CAA Art Museum, Hang Zhou
2019 Looking Back - Celebrating the 70th anniversity of the People’s Republic of China Red Classics Exhibition , Drum Tower Time Museum, Beijing

The work is collected by Central Compilation Burean, Ministry of Culture, National Art Museum of China, National Museum of China, and Liu Kaiqu Memonial Hall.

In modern history of Chinese sculpture, Liu Kaiqu is an artist connecting the past and the future. In 1928, he went to the Sculpture Department of Paris Higher Art School in Paris for further study. During this period, he was influenced by European realistic sculpture, and he was especially identified with the sculptural concept and modeling techniques of Michelangelo and Rodin. After returning to China in 1930s, he combined the concise and simple expression methods of traditional Chinese circular engraving and line engraving on the basis of European sculpture modeling tradition and created a rigorous and general realist style. Liu Kaiqu’s sculptures focus on social themes and historical figures, such as the giant sculpture Monument to the Soldiers Killed in the Anti-Japanese War in Songhu on January 28, the Monument to the People’s Heroes, the Home of Peasants and Workers, a group sculpture displaying the life of ordinary people, and the portraits of Cai Yuanpei, Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and Sun Zhongshan. Liu Kaiqu’s works have changed the religious function of traditional Chinese sculptures, making sculpture a public art with independent aesthetic value. It not only carries collective memory and personal feelings, but also functions as a cultural symbol of a special era.
The Portrait of Mao Zedong was completed in 1951, when Liu Kaiqu served as the dean of the Branch Institute of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in East China. The 1950s was the peak of Liu Kaiqu’s art, when he also led the construction of the Monument to the People’s Heroes. The political theme was the most common theme in the socialist art of the 1950s, and the statues of Mao Zedong appeared in large numbers all over the country. Liu Kaiqu didn’t create a romantic heroism image in this Portrait of Mao Zedong, but kept the plain and simple characteristics of his figurative portraits. This portrait is accurate in structure and in accordance with the principle of anatomy. Mao’s Chinese tunic suit is only presented in a few blocks. The profile is delicate and realistic, with rich details. The shadow changes caused by skin undulation make the face full of the three-dimensional sense, and the facial features vivid and lifelike, especially the eyes, which convey a firm and worried mood.
Liu Kaiqu chooses a representative moment in this portrait to express the spirit and temperament of a great man. Although the time was tranquil and uneventful, and not distinct and outstanding, the audience can be reminded of Mao Zedong’s revolutionary spirit and the great era of socialism by the artistic image with full affections. As Liu Kaiqu said, “we can achieve infinite the infinite touching state from a finite theme.” As an intellectual who experienced the Anti-Japanese War and the founding of new China, Liu Kaiqu’s patriotism and heroic complex of “Every man should be responsible for the rise and fall of his country” are the spiritual foundation of his sculpture with historical themes. His sincere appreciation of the new socialist era and the great man of the era is integrated into his works, which makes his works full of emotional thickness and unique features, which will never fade however the time will change.