Born in a poverty-stricken farmer’s family.  Xu Bei-Hong’s father was a village school teacher, specializing in painting flowers and birds and portraits.  In 1919, he pursued his education in France and in 1923 entered Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-arts de Paris learning oil painting and sketching.  He returned home in 1927 and was appointed director at Shanghai Nanguo Art Academy and dean of Peking University School of the Arts.  In 1929, he migrated to Nanking and taught at National Central University.
In 1933 he began holding exhibitions around the world.  Later on he returned to Nanking and became professor and chair at Central University (Department of Art). 1946 principal of Beiping Art School; 1950 dean of Central Academy of Fine Arts; 1952 during his sickness, donated his lifetime works and collection to his country; 1953 passed away at age 59.
In the aspect of painting, he was an advocate at “being subtle, to expand.”  Towards Chinese painting, “preserving the best, inherit the almost extinct, change the bad, increase the lacking, Western painting can be fused within all this.”  Excelling in oil painting, Chinese painting, and especially sketching.  Character modeling, focusing on realism to convey the image.  He created “Jio Fang Gao,” “Six Dynasties Poetic Figure,” “China, the Wounded Lion, Sat Watching American Tiger Fly,” “Foolish Old Man,” improved historic painting, flowers and birds, landscape, beasts; all concise and lively.  Reputable in painting galloping horses, his techniques combines  Western and Oriental styles.
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