22 November 1900|
Mei County, Guangdong, Qing China
|Died||12 August 1991
|Spouse(s)||Elisa von Roda (m.1924)
Alice Vattant (m.1925)
Lin Fengmian (Chinese: 林風眠; November 22, 1900 – August 12, 1991), originally Lin Fengming (林凤鸣), was a Chinese painter and is considered a pioneer of modern Chinese painting for blending Chinese and Western styles. He was also an important innovator in the area of Chinese art education.
Born in Mei County, Guangdong, like many of his peers, Lin participated in the Diligent Work-Frugal Study Movement. Similar to his compatriot Xu Beihong, Lin spent the early years of his career in Europe, moving to France in 1920 to study painting. In 1923, he moved to Berlin, Germany. In 1925 he returned to China, where he became the principal of the Beiping State Vocational Art School (北平藝術專門學校). In 1928, with encouragement from Cai Yuanpei, he helped found the National Academy of Art (now called the China Academy of Art), becoming its first principal.
Lin's works and life were met with great tragedy. While many of his early works were destroyed by Japanese soldiers during the Sino-Japanese War, many of his later works were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. After being heavily criticized and denounced by the Gang of Four, Lin personally destroyed his own works by soaking and then flushing his works down the toilet; however, he still ended up being imprisoned for over four years.
In 1977, he was allowed to leave China, on the assumption he would reunite with his family in Brazil. He instead headed for Hong Kong, where he remained until his death in 1991. After his release, Lin slowly began to recreate many of his previously destroyed works.