Ninety-year-old Master Artist Fu Wenyan (伏文彥) was born in Renqiu, Hebei Province in August 1920, into an intellectual family, with his grandfather and uncles once passed the imperial examination at the provincial level. As members of the literati, calligraphy and painting were everyday hobbies. Fu was taught at home even when he was a mere child, sparing no effort to trace the merits of his family predecessors.
At the beginning of the Anti-Japanese War he was admitted into the Shanghai Xinhua Arts College to study Chinese and Western painting and music. When his talent was first displayed, College President, Wang Yachen was greatly impressed and accepted Fu as his private disciple at Yunyin Chamber studio. Before Wang came to America to lecture he introduced Fu to study under Master Zhang Daqian.
Under Zhang’s tutelage, Fu not only had the opportunity to learn Zhang’s technique and skill, he got the chance to study the famous paintings and calligraphy of the Song, Yuan and later masters. Always imitating and following each work with heart and soul, Fu reproduced numerous works painted by the Four Wangs, Wu Weiye, Yun Nantian, and the four famous monks of the early Qing dynasty. He also studied the works of Wen Zhengming, Shen Zhou and Dong Qichang of the Ming dynasty.
Besides studying the great masterpieces, Fu visited various famous mountains and rivers, learned from Nature and studied its mysteries, like watching the changing formations of cloud and smoke. So he created a style of his own to express new ideas.
Among the disciples of Dafeng Studio, Fu is one of few who can paint in the style of Zhang Daqian. Viewers may find Zhang in Fu’s strokes. Numerous masters, including Master Zhang, Li Beihai, Mi Yuanzhang, Zhao Zi’ang and even the two Wangs, have also influenced Fu’s calligraphy. His calligraphy and painting have been on exhibition both in China and abroad, winning favorable comments and numerous awards. Master Fu is truly a rare scholar of the ancient arts in the modern world.