Author: Ai Zhongxin
The age of creation: 1954
Material quality ：oil on canvas
Ai Zhongxin was born in Shanghai in 1915. He learned oil painting when he was young. He stayed as a teacher after he graduated from the Arts Department of Central University in 1940. In 1943, he became an assistant research fellow in Central Academy of Fine Arts. He taught at the State-run Beiping Arts Academy in 1946. He became a professor of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1950 and took the posts of associate dean and director of the Painting Department. He is a professor at that university at present.
As Xu Beihong's student, he helped Xu a lot on his work. He first proposed the plan to divide studios according to different styles. He hosted the teaching work of the first studio. In the spring of 1954, he went to experience life in Railroad Construction Group of Wuqiaolinglan. The Qilian Mountain looks extremely magnificent after the snow in May, and the construction workers were working very hard to build the Langzhou-Xinjiang railroad at that time. All these scenes touched the painter greatly; therefore, he created this landscape oil painting. The picture was created in broad screen, bright color, and delicate style. It portrays the beautiful natural scenery. By creating the workers in the construction field and the bulldozer, it shows the great changes of the land. The painter contrasted the blue sky, snow-capped mountain, grassland, which are in cold color with warm colored construction field, and tents outside it, thus reveals the contradiction between people and nature, and indicated that human power would win out, which is a dominant idea at that time. The Red Army Cross the Snow-capped Mountain is another important work of him in the 1950s. Cross the Yellow River at Night is his representative work in the 1960s. In all these years, the painter devoted himself to the research of oil painting history, besides teaching and creation. He published many papers, among which About the Merits of Oil Paintings made great influence.