A Splendid Revolutionary Oil Painting

Originally published in:
China Pictorial 1968 n. 9, p. 13

The revolutionary oil painting Chairman Mao Goes to Anyuan was created under the great care and support of Comrade Chiang Ching. It successfully portrays the brilliant image and the revolutionary practice of our great leader Chairman Mao in his youth. It is a gem of art, an enthusiastic tribute to the proletarian revolutionary line of Chairman Mao. It has been jubilantly acclaimed by the revolutionary masses in the hundreds of millions in China.

In the autumn of 1921, soon after the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, our great teacher Chairman Mao, despite difficulties and hardships, went to Anyuan on foot along the railway. On his arrival he visited the workers in their mat-shed hovels and went down into the pits to spread the sparks of revolution, personally opening up this wellspring of the Chinese workers' revolutionary movement. But for many years China's Khrushchov, arch renegade and despicable scab, took credit for these deeds of merit. He shamelessly boasted that he was the "leader of the Anyuan workers' movement" and mustered a number of monsters and ghosts in cultural circles to "create" various works of literature and art in his honour. The camouflage of "the veteran revolutionary" assumed by China's Khrushchov was burnt to a crisp in the raging flames of the great proletarian cultural revolution. Out of boundless love for Chairman Mao, a number of young Red Guard fighters of Peking universities and colleges, loyally defending Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line, created the oil painting Chairman Mao Goes to Anyuan, spending only something over two months on it. This revolutionary oil painting reverses the reversal of the history of the Anyuan railway workers' and coal-miners' struggles. It is another outstanding example of literature and art serving the workers, peasants and soldiers, and proletarian politics.

This oil painting vividly portrays the lofty, great image of Chairman Mao. His eyes, encompassing the turbulent storms of the era, are gazing ahead over the road of advance for the revolution. His clenched fist shows his determination to smash the old world to smithereens. The worn-out umbrella symbolizes Chairman Mao's working style of shirking no hardships for the revolution and travelling from place to place in all weather.... Against a background of seething unrest and impending storm, the brilliant image of our great leader in his youth appears majestically on the top of Anyuan Mountain.

Another magnificent chapter in the history of China's revolution is about to unfold!

This revolutionary oil painting is an outstanding achievement implementing Chairman Mao's great thought: "Make the past serve the present and foreign things serve China" and "Let a hundred flowers blossom; weed through the old to bring forth the new". The painters broke through old bourgeois conventions and restrictions in oil painting to create a work reflecting what is new in socialism and emphasizing what is distinctively proletarian. In keeping with the demands of the theme as well as the tastes of the masses of workers, peasants and soldiers, they combine the characteristics of oil painting (richness of colour and strength of expression) with the special features of Chinese traditional painting (fine delineation and broad generalization). The painters used symmetry and balance in composition in order to set Chairman Mao's figure in the most prominent place. They abandoned a complicated rendition of the landscape for a broad panorama of the sky with rolling clouds. They also pioneered in the use of colour. All this vividly portrays the heroic spirit of the proletarian revolutionary genius whose arrival in Anyuan would give rise to new storms of revolution.

p. 13

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