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Spring Dawn in Sanhsia

Oil painting, 45.5 x 53 cm, 1977

Sanhsia Bridge was a favorite subject of Li Mei-shu (1902-1983), a renowned Taiwanese artist. This celebrated “Spring Dawn in Sanhsia” was painted by Li in 1977.  Although it is a painting of the bridge, its real focus is on the early morning sunlight and the thin layer of fog. The day’s first light from the rising sun, partially hidden behind the morning fog, casts a soft yellow hue on the water and sky. There are also purple clouds, which only dawn can produce, meandering among the clouds and mists. Contrasting the sparkling reflection of the sun on the water is the near-black building and the dark river bank on the left. On the calm and quiet bank, three women are hard at work washing clothes.

Regardless of the fashion of the time, Li Mei-shu was loyal to a realism that showed the simplicity and splendidness of life in Taiwan. Through Li’s perspective of beauty and goodness, his homeland’s loveliness can thus stay in one’s heart forever.

To learn more about Li Mei-shu, please go to Li Mei-shu, the “Great Wall” of Taiwanese Art Movement

Text and image are provided by The Li Mei-shu Memorial Gallery