1917 - 1995
Further Biographical Context for Cao Xinzhi
Born in 1917, Cao Xinzhi's creative work was primarily influenced by the 1930s. The period of the 1930s is epitomised by the conflict between a number of political ideologies, including Marxist Socialism, Capitalist Democracy, and the Totalitarianism of both Communism and Fascism. In the Soviet Union, Stalin’s government required urgent funds to implement the rapid industrialisation demanded by the first Five Year Plan. It initiated a secret proposal to sell off treasures from the State Hermitage Museum in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), including a primary list of two hundred and fifty rare paintings by the Old Masters, many which found their way to the collection of Andrew Mellon via the New York based art dealing company, Knoedler.