Textual and archaeological sources tell us that painting was practiced in China from prehistoric times and various media were employed.
The New Culture Movement was a major revolution in the history of Chinese art. Chinese artists started slowly began to understand and adopt Western techniques. Oil painting was introduced to China thanks to this very movement.
People's Republic of China, encouraged artists to employ socialist realism in its early years. Socialist realism was imported without any modification, and painters commissioned subjects and were expected to mass-produce paintings. However things were considerably relaxed by 1953, and after the Hundred Flowers Campaign of 1956-57, traditional Chinese painting was somewhat revived. Peasant art also began to gain prominence and was encouraged. Idyllic depiction of rural China made for pretty pictures.
China Oil Paintings in the modern world
China today has become a hub of commercially produced Oil paintings.
The biggest market for oil paintings from China turns out to be the United States of America. Many leading hotels and restaurants of the world also lap up these paintings. Many of the paintings depict scenes that Chinese artists have never seen. European landscapes, like the Mediterranean or Venice or Paris, are meticulously depicted in these painting
These paintings are mass-produced in factories. There are designers who paint original paintings and a host of painters who copy these originals.
The advantage of mass operations such as these is that they allow specialization. Factories have some painters specializing in trees, others in skies, others in flowers and so forth, an approach that not only improves "quality" but also increases output and reduces costs.
An innovative albeit disillusioning approach towards art indeed.
However, Modern China has Art schools teaching western technique of art and painters of these countries are using their skills to make painting a mass art.
China Oil Paintings truly stands for the Chinese matter of fact approach towards everything.