Pan Yuliang /   Zhang Yuliang

China 1895 - 1977


Pan Yuliang
Zhang Yuliang
March 14, 2015

Pan Yuliang was a Chinese painter, renowned for her self-portraits and female nudes, often of herself lacking available models or of bathing women in the Shanghai bath houses.

Pan Yuliang was born in 1895 as Zhang Yuliang in East China’s Jiangsu Province. Pan was orphaned at age 8 and sold to a brothel in Wuhu at age 14, where she met her future husband who married her as his second wife. Encouraged by her husband, Pan studied art in Shanghai and went to France and Rome for higher art education. After achieving great success and recognition in Europe as an artist, she came back to China to teach art at China’s famous art schools. Due to the socio- political situation in China that did not support the idea of a woman, who had been a former prostitute, teaching life drawing, Pan had to leave for France where she lived till the end of her life, constantly missing her homeland.

Pan chose the female nude as the subject of most of her paintings to depict the vitality, healthy beauty and maternity of women. She was a master of Expressionism and Realism, and skillful at combining traditional Chinese art style with Western art to create a unique style. Inspired by Chinese Calligraphy, Pan used bold and curved lines to define her figures. During that time nude figure paintings were viewed as vulgar and cheap, and consequently Pan was criticized by the Chinese for painting and exhibiting her nudes in the conservative Chinese society. Her self-portraits are meant to be viewed as the artist’s expression of her inner feelings, depicting her sorrow, her desire for a family and her loneliness.

Pan left Shanghai for France in 1937, and settled in Paris. She worked and lived in Paris for the next 40 years. Chinese expatriate artists in France elected her the chairman of the Chinese Art Association. Her works were exhibited internationally, especially in the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and Greece.

Pan died in 1977 and was buried in the Montparnasse Cemetery of Paris.

YearName of the exhibitionMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2014Group Show Pioneers of Modern Chinese Painting in ParisDe Sarthe Gallery, Hong KongGroup
2014Breeze from ParisEslite Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan Group
2008A Special Exhibition of Pan Yu-liang s Work Focused on Feminine AppealSuzhou Museum, Suzhou, ChinaSolo
1973Societe du Salon VioletFranceGroup
1967Special Group Exhibition of Contemporary ArtistsNew York, USGroup
1967Societe du Salon VioletFranceGroup
1963Pan YuliangNew York, USSolo
1963Pan YuliangSan Francisco, USSolo
1959Salon d AutomneFranceGroup
1957Pan YuliangGalerie d Orsay, FranceSolo
1957The 4th National Art Exhibition of the Republic of ChinaTaipei, TaiwanGroup
1956Pan YuliangGreeceSolo
1954Pan YuliangLondon, UKSolo
1953Pan YuliangGalerie d Orsay, FranceSolo
1947Pan YuliangUKSolo
1947Salon des IndependantsFranceGroup
1947Salon d AutomneFranceGroup
1946Salon d AutomneFranceGroup
1945Chinese PaintingsEcole nationale superieure des Beaux-arts de Paris, Paris, FranceGroup
1945Salon des IndependantsFranceGroup
1945Salon d AutomneFranceGroup
1944Salon des IndependantsFranceGroup
1944Salon d AutomneFranceGroup
1940Salon des IndependantsFranceGroup
1939Salon des IndependantsFranceGroup
19295 solo exhibitionsNanjing, China Solo
1929The First National Art ExhibitionShanghai, ChinaGroup
1928Pan YuliangShanghai, China Solo
1927International Art ExhibitionItaly Group
1926Roman International Art ExhibitionRome, Italy Group
1925Exhibition of Bureau of EducationNanjing, ChinaGroup