Yan Pei-Ming pays tribute to Gustave Courbet with the creation of a monumental work composed of three paintings entitled A Burial in Shanghai. The central canvas, painted to the exact scale of the A Burial at Ornans (1849-1850),shifts the geographically localised and personal frame of Courbet’s work and replaces it with another meaning. Rather than in Ornans, the scene takes place in Shanghai, where the artist’s mother, depicted here, was buried.
The work also consists of two other monumental canvases that connect the artist’s personal story and the monumentality of political power through a portrait of his deceased mother, an ordinary woman, as a propaganda image; and the spiritual, through an idealised Buddhist landscape, inhabited by animals, which redefines the landscape portrayed by Gustave Courbet.
Through this monumental triptych, Yan Pei-Ming accomplishes a true feat of pictorial technique, while revisiting one of the masterpieces of the Musée d’Orsay collections.
With the support of the American Friends of the Musée d’Orsay (AFMO)