Pan Tianshou (1897-1971), born in Ninghai, Zhejiang Province, has original surname of Tianshou, another name of Dayi, and alias of Ashou, Leipo Toufeng Shouzhe. He is an outstanding artist of China in the 20th century.
Pan Tianshou is proficient in sketching flowers, birds, mountains and rivers, makes paintings on figures occasionally while making calligraphy in the mean time, especially finger ink. His painting is characteristic of majesty and oddity, vigorous and grand, and impressing sense of force and strong modern awareness. Upon his comprehensive inheritance and unique innovation, he and Wu Changshuo, Qi Baishi and Huang Binhong are named “Four Major Artists” of Chinese painting in the 20th century. Amongst the great cultural and social changes in this century, he discovered problems inside the Chinese painting system and explicitly proposed solutions safeguarding national traditions from the perspective of academic research in its real sense and greatly enriching and developing such traditions with outstanding arts practices, while drawing lessons from ancient for the purpose of today, that has imposed far-reaching influence on contemporary painting field.
One after another, Pan Tianshou acted as a professor and president of National School of Fine Arts, a professor and headmaster of Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts, a member of National People’s Congress, Vice-president of China Artists Association, Vice-president of Zhejiang Artists Association and so on with large number of books and articles in his life. He has a profound study and comment on fine arts innovation, fine arts education, painting history and comment, poem calligraphy and seal cutting, and has established a complete, the most far-reaching education system for Chinese painting, He was called as the teacher for traditional Chinese painting in modern times.