Painting made by Zhang Daqian's mother

1899 - (Jihai Year) born at Neijiang County, Sichuan Province, on May 19th, 1899 (first day of the fourth month, year twenty-five according to Emperor Guangxu, the Qing dynasty).


1908 - (Wushen Year) started to learn drawing after his mother: outline drawing of flowers and animals without color or shade.



1911 - (Xinhai Year) family conditions improved with the opening of “ Yi Wei Li” (profits from righteousness), a grocery store; entered the American-Chinese primary school at Neijiang run by Christians.


1914 - (Jiayin Year) entered Qiujing Middle School, Chongqing; house searched and property confiscated for Zhang Shanzi, his second elder brother, having participated in anti-Yuan Shikai campaign; Shanzi fled to Japan. 1916 - (Bingchen Year) kidnapped by gangsters at Youtingpu, Sichuan, and forced to be an advisor there until about 100 days later when he managed to escape. 1917 - (Dingsi Year) went to Japan; learnt commercial weaving and textile dyeing, and painting in Kyoto.


Zhang Daqian studying Shi Tao

1919 - (Jiwei Year) returned to Shanghai from Japan to teach at a Christian school; began to study under Zeng Xi (Tseng Hsi) and changed his Given name into “Yuan;” became, in the same year, a Buddhist believer at Songjiang with the Buddhist monastic name of “Daqian,” but three months later resumed his secular life; returned to Neijiang and got married to Zeng Zhengrong before studying calligraphy under Li Ruiqing (Li Jui-ching) in Shanghai, and also starting to study Shi Tao (Shih Tao) and copy Zhu Da (Ba Da Shan Ren).


1920 - (Gengshen Year) returned to Sichuan from Shanghai after Li Ruiqing’s death. 1921 - (Xinyou Year) presented inscriptions as a gift to Zisheng Temple, Neijiang, and started to sell his paintings and calligraphy. 1922 - (Renxu Year) got married to Huang Ningsu. 1923 - (Kuihai Year) moved to Songjiang; and sold copies of Shi Tao’s paintings in Shanghai.


1924 - (Jiazi Year) Father died, and his poetry, paintings and calligraphy distinguished in the group of “Qiu Ying Society” in Shanghai.


1925 - (Yichou Year) the first one-man painting show held at Ningbo Guild House, Shanghai. 1926 - (Bingyin Year) first time to admit pupils; extravagantly gambled at “Shi Zhong Society,” Shanghai, but disappeared from the gambling hall soon after. 1927 - (Dingmao Year) traveled to Mount Huang the first time.


1928 - (Wuchen Year) shared “Da Feng House” with Shanzi, and organized “Mount Huang Society” to promote Mount Huang travel.

Self-portrait of Zhang Daqian.

ollection of Zhang Daqian -  Zhang Dafeng's painting, Ming Dynasty.


1929 - (Jisi Year) his two works of art entered for the First National Art Exhibition, acted as a council member for national exhibitions.


The catalogue of Zhang Daqian's seal.

1930 - (Gengwu Year) second time to Mount Huang; held an art show in Shanghai; death of Zeng Xi. 


1931 - (Xingwei Year) accompanied the coffin of Zeng Xi to Hengyang, Hunan province; climbed Mount Heng; went to Japan as a representative for the “Chinese Art Show of the Tang, Song, Yuan, and Ming Dynasties”


1932 - (Renshen Year) moved to Wangshi Garden, Suzhou, with Shanzi; traveled to Pyongan Mountains, Korea. 


1933 - (Kuiyou Year) art works shown at “Modern Chinese Paintings” in Paris, France; The Lotus collected by a museum in Paris, and the Scenery of Southern China collected by Moscow Museum; held art shows in Shanghai and Nanjing.


1934 - (Jiaxu Year) the one-man painting show in Peking (today’s Beijing); traveled to Mount Hua, also to Japan and Korea; invited as professor of Chinese paintings at the Department of Fine Arts, the Central University, Nanjing; the one-man painting show held in Nanjing; traveled to Mount Tai in August and held an art show in Ji’nan. 


The Catalogue of "Zhang Daqian's Anthology" by Xu Beihong.

1935 - (Yihai Year) work of art shown at a British gallery; traveled to Mount Huang the third time; resigned as the professor at the Central University; art show held at Peking and Hankou; in autumn, traveled to Mount Huang and Longmen (the Dragon Gate) on Yellow River the second time; The Art Work of Zhang Shanzi and Zhang Daqian (two volumes) published in Shanghai; got married to Yang Wuanjun. 


1936 - (Bingzi Year) Mother’s death; held “Recent Works By Zhang Daqian” in Nanjing; art shows also held in shanghai and Tianjin; moved to the Summer Palace, Peking, and held paintings-on-fans show in Peking; Zhang Daqian’s Anthology published for the first time; invited as adviser to “ Research Section” under Ancient Relics Exhibition Institute, Peking.

One page of the catalogue of Zhang Daqian's Anthology.

Zhang Daqian travelling with friends.


1937 - (Dingchou Year) held “The Joint Show of Paintings, Calligraphy, and Inscriptions on Bronzes and Stones” with Fang Jiekan in Peking; Japanese aggressors entered Peking, China, and there Zhang felt trapped.


1938 - (Wuying Year) left Peking in May; an art show at Yong’an (in sound) Restaurant, French leased territory, Tianjin; arrived in Hong Kong via Shanghai by sea; an art show in Hong Kong; in August, traveled to Guilin with Xu Beihong and others; came to Chongqing and created patriotic works of art with Shanzi to call on anti-Japanese action, and held “The Art Show on the Move;” besides, held “The Art Show for Contributions to Anti-Japanese Activities;” arrived in Chengdu via Neijiang; Shanzi went to West Europe and North America, presented “ Works of Art by Zhang Shanzi and Zhang Daqian” for contributions to anti-Japanese activities.


1939 - (Jimao Year) lived in Qingcheng Mountain and traveled to Jiange, Sichuan; held art shows in Chengdu and Chongqing respectively; twice went to Jiajiang for the trial production of “Da Feng paper.”


1940 - (Gengchen Year) visited Dunhuang (Tunhuang) the first time; learnt that Shanzi died on the way back from abroad, went from Guangyuan to Chongqing for mourning.


Zhang Daqian copying the Frescoes at Dun Huang.

1941 - (Xingsi Year) in spring, went to Dunhuang the second time; held “The Art Show of Dunhuang Outline Drawing” in Chengdu; arrived in Lanzhou in winter.


1942 - (Renwu Year) in spring, went to Qinghai to invite Tibetan Lamas; went to Dunhuang the third time, and copied Frescoes there; as a member of the preparatory committee for the “The National Dunhuang Art Institute.”


1943 - (Kuiwei Year) in summer, returned to Sichuan from Dunhuang; had stayed there and copied Frescoes for two years and seven months, with the total of over 200 copies, which were first shown in Lanzhou; lived in Qingcheng Mountain; his drastically-changed painting style resulted from the Frescoes of Dunhuang. 


1944 - (Jiashen Year) “The Art Show of Copies of Dunhuang Frescoes” in Chengdu in January, and, in March and May, the same show in Chongqing; admitted as research member of Chinese Fine Art Institute; An Special Anthology of Zhang Daqian’s Copies of Dunhuang Frescoes, and Outline Drawings Copied from Dunhuang Frescoes published; traveled to Mount Emei. 


1945 - (Yiyou Year) completion of the four-screen Giant Lotus and the eight-screen Scenes in the West Garden, which were exhibited in Chengdu; many paintings of beautiful ancient women created with much changed painting style; returned to his hometown after the victory of the Anti-Japanese War. 


1946 - (Bingxu Year) collected ancient calligraphy and paintings in Peking; art show in Shanghai; art work exhibited in a Paris museum, and also shown in “ Modern Painting Show” held at Musee national d’Art Moderne by UNESCO; the Chinese section of the Show invited to be exhibited in London, Geneva, and Prague. 


1947 - (Dinghai Year) color printing of Anthology of Zhang Daqian’s Copies of Dunhuang Frescoes published; returned to Chengdu from Shanghai, and went to Xikang province for paintings from life; “The Show of Paintings from Life in Xikang” held in Chengdu; went to Shanghai, and published lithographic printing album of Travels in Xikang, and published series of poems of the same title; married to Xu Wenbo. 


1948 - (Wuzi Year) traveled to West Hills, Peking with Xu Beihong and Xie Zhiliu; invited to be honorary professor of the Fine Arts College of Peking; went to Taiwan for paintings from life with Lang Jingshan. 


1949 - (Jichou Year) early this year, arrived from Taiwan in Hong Kong and held an art show; painted a Lotus for Chairman Mao Zedong; returned to Sichuan from Macao; near the end of the year, left Chengdu for India via Taiwan under the invitation of the University of Darjeelin to give lectures. 


1950 - (Gengyin Year) the one-man painting show at New Delhi; went to and stayed in Ajanta Grottoes in Maharashtra State, India for three months to make copies of frescoes, and studied the difference between them and those in Dunhuang before going to Darjeeling to live till the end of the year, when leaving for Hong Kong. 


Catalogue of Zhang Daqian's Anthology, published in Hong Kong

1951 - (Xingmao Year) early this year, once again went to Darjeeling, and returned to Hong Kong in the summer to hold a one-man painting show; sold to the country three precious ancient paintings including Gu Hongzhong’s The Banquet in Han Xizai’s House. 


1952 - (Renchen Year) moved to South America, and stayed in Argentina; the one-man show held in Buenos Aires. 


1953 - (Kuisi Year) purchased land in Sao Paulo, Brazil and planned Ba De (Eight Virtues) Garden; moved into the Garden in March; an art exhibition in Taipei; presented 12 pieces of work of art to the City Hall of Paris.


1954 - (Jiawu Year) traveled in the United States while holding art exhibitions.


1955 - (Yiwei Year) completion of Ba De Garden; Famous Da Feng House Paintings (four volumes) published in Japan; in December, “Exhibition of Zhang Daqian’s Paintings and Calligraphy” held and sponsored jointly by Japanese National Museum, Tokyo Museum, and Yomiuri Shimbun.

Catalogue "The Famous paintings of the Da Feng House (four volumes)".

Zhang Daqian's Exhibition of Reproductions of the Dunhuang Fresco Mural Paintings held in Japan.


1956 - (Bingshen Year) in April, “Works of Art from Dunhuang” held in Tokyo; traveled to Europe the first time, and went to Rome; held in Paris the art show in the Louvre and “Dunhuang Paintings” in the Oriental Museum; in July, met Pablo Picasso and exchanged paintings with each other.

Zhang Daqian and Pablo Picasso in Nice, France.

Pablo Piccaso presenting his painting to Zhang Daqian.


1957 - (Dingyou Year) his diabetes caused eye disease, and resulted in gradual decline in eyesight. 


Self-portrait of Zhang Daqian at sixty years of age.

1958 - (Wuxu Year) an art show in Sao Paulo; elected as “The Best Contemporary Painter in the World” by the International Fine Arts Association in New York and gold medal granted. 


1959 - (Jihai Year) the permanent Chinese painting show established in the Paris Museum with 12 paintings exhibited at the closing ceremony; went to Taiwan before visiting the United States, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, West Germany, and Spain; received the “Gold Medal for Fine Arts” by Mei Yiqi in Taipei; began to paint in the splashed-ink-and-color technique, which marked his tremendous change in painting style. 


1960 - (Gengzi Year) the show of recent paintings in Paris; 30 paintings exhibited in Brussels, Athens, and Madrid; Zhang Daqian’s Paintings published in Hong Kong. 


1961 - (Xingchou Year) the show of recent paintings in Geneva; the special exhibition of lotus paintings in Paris, and some of them collected by Modern Museum of New York; an art show in Sao Paulo; Anthology of Zhang Daqian’s Paintings published by the “ Oriental Society,” Hong Kong; several treatises including On Paintings coming out.


A leaflet from an exhibition in  Hong Kong

1962 - (Renyin Year) visited Yokohama, Japan in spring; an invitation exhibition held in Hong Kong for the occasion of the inauguration ceremony for Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong.


 1963 - (Kuimao Year) a one-man painting show in the Victoria Memorial Hall, Singapore; art shows held in Kuala Lumpur, New York, and Hong Kong; in the United States, six huge paintings of lotus on large screens sold for US$140,000, setting the highest record of Chinese painting sale.


1964 - (Jiachen Year) an art show in Bangkok, Thailand and Cologne, West Germany; Mayor of Cologne, after the exhibition there, accompanied Zhang cruising on the Rhine, and the German Commercial Bank and an airline company bought all his exhibits to have a tour show in West Germany; presented paintings to some officials in Chongqing, Sichuan.


1965 - (Yisi Year) an art show in London.


1966 - (Bingwu Year) art shows in Hong Kong and Sao Paulo.


1967 - (Dingwei Year) art shows in Stanford University Museum of the United States; the show of recent works in “ National Museum of History,” Taipei; presented 62 copies of Dunhuang Frescoes to “National Palace Museum,” Taiwan; Anthology of Zhang Daqian’s Paintings (the new edition) published by the “ Oriental Society,” Hong Kong.


1968 - (Wushen Year) honorary Ph.D. in philosophy granted by “the Chinese Fine Arts College,” Taiwan; completion of the huge “Thousands of Miles on the Yangtze;” the special exhibition in “National Museum of History,” Taipei, museums in New York and Chicago; lectures at the Princeton University on Chinese fine arts; according to public opinion poll, The World Newspaper in Bangkok ranked Zhang the “best contemporary Chinese painter;” purchased some land in Carmel, California, to build his future house. 


1969 - (Jiyou Year) “Special Dunhuang Frescoes” in “The National Palace Museum,” Taiwan; exhibition tour in museums and galleries of Los Angeles, New York, and Boston. 


1970 - (Gengxu Year) an art show in San Francisco, and built a house (Huan Bi Yan) to dwell in California. 


The Cover of the catalogue of the exhibition held in Hong Kong

1971 - (Xinhai Year) the show of recent paintings held in the Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong; frequently traveled between Ba De Garden, Brazil and Carmel, the United States. 


1972 - (Renzi Year) death of Zhang Weixiu, his fourth elder brother; moved from Ba De Garden, Sao Paulo to Carmel home in California; the one-man painting show in Andrew Gallery, Los Angeles, earned the title of honorary citizen of Los Angeles; “Zhang Daqian’s Paintings in 40-Year Retrospection (1922-1970)” in De Young Museum of San Francisco; wrote his Autobiography. 


1973 - (Kuichou Year) exhibition of retrospection in “ National Museum of History,” Taipei, and the Museum set up a special hall for “The World (Daqian’s World);” “The Art Exhibition by Zhang Daqian and Xinyi (the twelfth nephew)” in New York. 


1974 - (Jiayin Year) “Paintings by Zhang Daqian” in Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong, which published another Anthology of Zhang Daqian’s Paintings; “Paintings by Zhang Daqian” jointly held by “National Museum of History,” Taiwan and “Japanese-Chinese Cultural Association,” Japan at Central Gallery, Tokyo; honorary Ph.D. in humanities granted by the Pacific University, California, the United States. 


1975 - (Yimao Year) death of Zhang Licheng, his third elder brother; “Early Works of Zhang Daqian” and “Paintings by Zhang Daqian” held at“ National Museum of History,” Taiwan; in September, “Famous Chinese and Western Paintings” also in the Museum, with over 80 works of art in the previous 30 years by Zhang Daqian on display; “Modern Paintings of Republic of China” with Zhang’s more than 60 paintings jointly held by the “National Museum of History,” Taiwan and “Korean-Chinese Fine Arts Union,” South Korea at the °ßNational Modern Gallery,” Seoul. 


1976 - (Bingchen Year) “Paintings in Honor of Zhang Daqian’s Return” at “National Museum of History,” Taiwan; Taiwan Education Administration awarded Zhang the plaque inscribed with “the great master in fine arts;” Selected Works, Zhang Daqian’s Anthology (the First Volume), and the Scroll on Jiu Ge published in Taiwan; the documentary of the Techniques of Zhang Daqian’s Paintings completed.

Seals carved by Zhang Daqian in a book of Chen Julai.

"Selected Works of Zhang Daqian"and "The Paintings and Calligraphy of Chang Dai-Chien (the first volume)", published in Taiwan.


1977 - (Dingsi Year) made appraisal on genuine or fake ancient Chinese paintings and calligraphy in Taiwan before going back to America; invited to hold the show of recent works in Taichung in June; the five-year-compiled Paintings by Zeng Xi, the Best Hunanese Painter in Chronological Order published in Hong Kong.


1978 - (Xuwu Year) went from the United States to Kao-hsiung for the one-man painting exhibition in March; in August; his family moved from the California to the so-called the “Abode of Maya-Painter” at the suburb of Taipei; art shows in Tainan and Seoul; Paintings by Zhang Daqian published; Zhang Daqian’s Anthology (the Second Volume) published in Taiwan.


1979 - (Jiwei Year) more and more articles on Zhang’s paintings and life in Chinese Mainland; “Paintings by Three Masters in Contemporary China-Zhang Daqian, Pu Xinshe, and Huang Junbi” held by Chinese Cultural Association, Hong Kong; four volumes of Photo Album of Zhang Daqian’s Unattended Ba De Garden in Brazil coming out in Taiwan. 


Self-portrait of Zhang Daqian at the age of eighty two.

1980 - (Gengshen Year) had correspondence and exchanged paintings with his relatives and friends in Chinese Mainland; “Paintings by Three Masters in Contemporary China-Zhang Daqian, Pu Xinshe, and Huang Junbi” with his 25 paintings on show at the National Gallery in the National Museum, Singapore; “Paintings and Calligraphy by Zhang Daqian” held by “National Museum of History,” Taiwan; jointly created “Longevity of the Precious Island”-a long scroll of landscape.


1981 - (Xinyou Year) five volumes of Collections of Zhang Daqian’s Paintings published in Sichuan; a wall calendar entitled Paintings by Zhang Daqian coming out in Tianjin; presented autograph to his home city and home county; the exhibition of recent works in “National Museum of History,” Taiwan; participated in “Paintings and Calligraphy by Famous Chinese Artists” in Hong Kong; invited and took part in the “New Trend of Chinese Painting” held in the Oriental Museum, Paris; in July, started his creation of Lushan Tu (The Panorama of Mount Lu)-a monumental work.


1982 - (Renxu Year) Zhang Daqian-A Master of Chinese Painting, a color documentary, shot jointly by Sichuan and Gansu television stations; “Ink and Color Paintings by Fu Baoshi, Xu Beihong, and Zhang Daqian” in Taipei in January; in April, Jiang Jingguo awarded Zhang the medal; invited and participated in “Modern Chinese Paintings” in Kuala Lumpur; Zhang Daqian’s Anthology (the Third Volume) published in Taiwan; resumed his work on The Panorama of Mount Lu.


1983 - (Kuihai Year) The Panorama of Mount Lu almost completed; in January, participated in “Paintings and Calligraphy by Zhang Daqian” held by “National Museum of History,” Taiwan; Zhang Daqian’s Anthology (the Fourth Volume) published in Taiwan; hospitalized on March 8th; passed away in Rongmin (in sound) General Hospital, Taipei on April 2nd, at the age of 84; funeral held on April 16th, and ashes buried on the hill in front of his residence - “The Abode of Maya-Painter,” Taipei; “Paintings by Zhang Daqian” exhibited in Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu.