Chen Yifei: Beauty With Fan (1996)

Chen Yifei, (Chinese, 1946 – 2005), Beauty with fan, oil on canvas, signed Chen Yifei in Chinese and in Pinyin (lower right), Executed in 1996, 200 by 150 cm., 78 ¾ by 59 in, Image Source: Sotheby’s

“Props in portrait works often play an important role in perfecting the composition of the work and shaping the subject’s personality. Chen Yifei arranged a round fan for the seated lady in Beauty with Fan, which carries an important symbolic meaning: In traditional Chinese culture, the gesture of holding a fan is closely related to the idea of women’s self-cultivation….The round fan is not only a personal adornment for ladies, but also a carrier of artistic creation; Beauty with Fan perfectly embodies the artist’s incorporation of the creativity in traditional Chinese painting into the medium of Western oil painting. Since the Song Dynasty, fan painting has become a form of traditional Chinese painting that depicts landscape and figures within the square inches of the fan surface. A closer look at the round fan in the hands of the lady in Beauty with Fan, shows that the flowers and birds on the fan are seemingly three-dimensional, which still carries the essence of Suzhou embroidery….The oriental charm of his creations fully reflects the art and culture of old Shanghai and neighboring regions. Suzhou embroidery is full of symbolisms, for example, flowers and birds as a metaphor for the gentle and charming characteristics of women.”


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Chen Yifei at Sotheby’s

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14 Comments Add yours

  1. Ashley says:

    Not only truth and beauty this morning but great charm 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts this morning, Ashley. 😎🌺🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In the Sotheby’s description, the phrase “square inches” seems a jarring way of referring to a round fan. I’d have edited it to something like “landscape and figures within the confines of the fan’s surface.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful detail! I love the soft colors!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree – I am always fascinated by how artists depict fabric and pattern…and those soft colors! 🙂🌺


  4. Exquisite! A master at work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Rosaliene. 😎🌺

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful painting. ❤️😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy you enjoy this, too, Christopher. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 😎🌺

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Even though the garment is highly decorative, as if the fan, one doesn’t outdo the other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True! Thanks for adding to the conversation, Vivienne. 🙂🌺


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