Qi Baishi (1863-- 1957), a Xingtanese, is a very famous master of traditional Chinese painting. His original name was Chunzhi, also called Weiqing, later, he changed his name into Huang, also called Pinsheng, Baishi. He is a preeminent painter, calligraphier and seal cutter in Chinese latter-day history of fine arts culture. He has been appointed as a professor in Beijing State-run Art School, a honor professor in Central Academy of Fine Arts, a honor professor in Beijing Fine Arts Academy, Chairman of China Artist Association. Qi Baishi was born in a very poor family, and he had to learn skills at a very young age. He did the jobs as a woodworker, a stonecutter and a painter and experienced more than 80 years’ hardship. He is good at strokes of flowers, birds, and fish and shrimps, handwriting and stonecutting, and he gains a great reputation all over the world.
Qi Baishi’s former house is architecture built at the end of Qing Dynasty, about the time of Emperor Xianfeng. And it covers an area of 200 m2 and consists of six mud wall rooms in two lines, three rooms in each line, and it has been rebuilt by later generations and now it is made up of 4 rooms in only one line. Now it is the Xiangtan’s key cultural relic protection unit.