Shi Tao (simplified Chinese: 石涛; traditional Chinese: 石濤; pinyin: Shí Tāo; Wade–Giles: Shih T'ao); (1642–1718), born Zhu Ruoji (朱若極) was a Chinese landscape painter and poet during the early Qing Dynasty (1644–1911).
Born in Quanzhou County in Guangxi province, Shi Tao was a member of the Ming royal house. He narrowly avoided catastrophe in 1644 when the Ming Dynasty fell to invading Manchurians and civil rebellion. Having escaped by chance from the fate to which his lineage would have assigned him, Shi Tao assumed the name Yuanji Shi Tao no later than 1651 when he became a Buddhist monk.
He moved from Wuchang, where he began his religious instruction, to Anhui in the 1660s. Throughout the 1680s he lived in Nanjing and Yangzhou, and in 1690 he moved to Beijing to find patronage for his promotion within the monastic system. Frustrated by his failure to find a patron, Shi Tao converted to Daoism in 1693 and returned to Yangzhou where he remained until his death in 1707.
Shi Tao is one of the most famous individualist painters of the early Qing dynasty. The art he created was revolutionary in its transgressions of the rigidly codified techniques and styles that dictated what was considered beautiful. Imitation was valued over innovation, and although Shi Tao was clearly influenced by his predecessors (namely Ni Zan and Li Yong), his art breaks with theirs in several new and fascinating ways. His pre-modern landscape style has a very strong influence on Fu Baoshi, Zhang Daqian, Huang Qiuyuan and many other 20th century Chinese painting masters.
(Click here to see Shi Tao's paintings on Google ).
Personally, Shi Tao's landscape and bamboo are my favorite. I have learned his use of ink and water in a One Stroke "sloppy" style, and his bold bamboo strokes. I always got some inspirations to paint every time browsing through his paintings.
This book contains two volumes which included a complete collection of Shitao's major paintings.
Dimension 8-1/4"(21cm) x 11-1/8"(28.5cm)
Hard cover with hard jacket box.
Published by Beijing Rongbao Zhai Art Press, 2003