Qi Baishi (1864-1957), The Magpie

Whether depicted singly or in groups, magpies have beneficial significance in Chinese art. The magpie, xique 喜鵲 is indeed the bird of "happiness", xi 喜. It is therefore an extremely popular motif that was treated by Qi Baishi many times throughout his long career.

The bird, perched on a branch, is located in the upper part of the painting, it leans towards the viewer in a particularly expressive attitude, typical of the creations of Qi Baishi's old age.

The originality of the composition, the energy of the brush and the audacity in the use of colors characterize the works of this period on a formal level. Moreover, the direct simplicity of this painting, its rustic character, punctuated with humor are emblematic of the pictorial universe of Qi Baishi.


Qi Baishi (1864-1957)
The magpie
Ink and colors on paper
H.131,3cm x W.33,5cm
CM 2002-2
Gift of the Society of Friends of the Cernuschi Museum, 2002

Photo credit :

© Paris Museums / Cernuschi Museum


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