Ancestral Homes

Ancestral Homes information

Shàoxīng , China
Something wrong?
Submit a correction

The studio of controversial Ming painter, poet and dramatist Xu Wei (1521–93) is off Renmin Xilu in a small alley. Born in Shàoxīng, Xu's artistic talents brought him early fame and later he served as a personal assistant to the governor of the southeastern provinces. When the governor was killed for treason, Xu spiralled into madness. Over a period of years, he attempted suicide nine times, once by trying to split his skull with an axe. Later, in a fit of rage he beat his wife to death and was sent to prison. Skilful manoeuvring on the part of his friends got him free. In his later years Xu remained in Shàoxīng, living in this study where he spent the remainder of his life painting and writing plays.

The studio, surrounded by a tranquil bamboo garden, is a well-maintained example of 16th-century architecture, with its ivy-covered, whitewashed walls and black-tiled roof. Inside are displays of the artist's paintbrushes, painting and calligraphy.

Qiu Jin's Former Residence is where pioneering female revolutionary Qiu Jin was born. Qiu Jin studied in Japan, and was active in women's rights and the revolutionary movement against the Qing government. She was beheaded in 1907 by Qing authorities at the age of 29. A memorial statue of Qiu Jin stands near Fushan Hengjie.