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A work by Fu Baoshi, which was collected by Lao She.
The descendants of writer Lao She have donated 16 pieces by the renowned artist Qi Baishi, their family friend. Eight paintings went to the National Museum of Modern Literature, and another eight will be auctioned for charity at the China Guardian Spring auction in mid-May.
Frog Croaks In the Mountain Spring, one of Qi's best-known pieces, is among the museum's new treasures. The 129cm-by-34-cm painting was commissioned by Lao in 1951, when Qi was 91 years old.
"The idea of the tadpoles and the stream came from my father and was executed by Qi," explained Shu Yi, Lao's son and the museum's former president.
The paintings were chosen from the family's collection for their connections between the writer and the artist.
"As my parents had hoped, they want to share their treasured works with the public," Shu said at the press conference. "They have always taught us not to be selfish."
The paintings to be auctioned off from May 10 to May 14 include landscape and flower-bird paintings Qi created over a 30-year span.
Eagle Standing on Pine Tree with Four-character Couplet in Seal Script, among his most famous works, fetched 425.5 million yuan ($65 million) at a 2011 China Guardian auction, a record for contemporary Chinese paintings with calligraphy.
Shu said the money collected will go to research centers, foundations and memorials across the country devoted to Lao and his art, including the Beijing Endowment for Lao She's Art, as well as the maintenance of his former homes in Beijing, Qingdao and Jinan.
The family also has donated eight paintings by Huang Binhong, Wu Changshuo and Fu Baoshi to the charity auction.