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Cai Weilian (蔡元培之女-画家蔡威廉)

(2006-09-13 16:23:14)

离西泠印社不过半小时的步行路程,玉泉路上有一幢建于二十世纪三十年代中式花园别墅。别名“马岭山房”是北大校长教育家蔡元培题写的。因为房屋的主人是他的女儿蔡威廉与著名画家林文峥夫妇。

 

About half an hour’s walk from the Xi Ling Seal Engravers’ Society, there stands a Chinese villa on the Jade Spring Road, built in mid 1930s. The name of the Ma Ling Mountain House was the inscription by Cai Yuanpei, a great educator and then president of Beijing University. The owner of the villa was his daughter Cai Weilian and her husband Lin Wenzheng. Both were painters and art educators.

 

有人评价蔡威廉的画很文静,毫无浮嚣气,有功夫。人如其画,在一个国立艺术学校教西洋画十年,除了学生,此外几乎无人知道,不是忠厚老实,办得到办不到?现在说起谁人忠厚老实时,好象不知不觉就有了点“无用”意思在内。,可是对于一个艺术家,说起这点性格,却同“伟大”十分接近。她为丁玲画过一副油画肖象,给丁玲女士留下很好,很可爱,象一个理想艺术家的印象。忠厚老实的艺术家,是一种如何稀有少见的人物!   

 

Critics said that the daughter’s paintings were graceful and free of affectation. This was all like her persona. While she had been teaching western painting at an art school for ten years, people from outside hardly knew her ever exist. Today, when someone is thought of as obviously kind or taciturn, it is often implied that he or she is not much of a doer. But when an artist happens to possess these traits, they have more to do with  individuality. Cai once did an oil portrait for Ding Ling, which helped to etch in our memory the lively image of an idealistic writer.

 

就是这样一个理想的艺术家最后却被贫病击倒了。因为学潮她被学校辞退,每天穿着宽大的印花布袍子在锅台边为生计操心。无书可教因而无钱住院,她死于产后感染,年仅三十多岁就早早离去了。在她家里的墙上贴着她为六个孩子们画的小副精美速写,而她为丁玲作的画却几经波折仍旧为丁玲保存着。

 

Cai was not spared by poverty and bad health. She was first fired by the art school for her sympathy with the students’ rallies. Then every day she had all kinds of worries about making ends meet. Without the teaching job, she couldn’t afford her delivery in hospital. She died young from severe infections. Hanging in her room are the sketches of six children. The portrait she did for Ding Ling is luckily kept by the latter’s family now.

 

她的一位朋友在她一九三九年去世的时候说过这样的话:真正在那里为艺术而致力,用勤苦与自己斗争,改正弱点,发现新天地,如蔡威廉女士那么为人,实在不多,末了却被穷病打倒,终于死去,想起来未免令人痛苦寒心。
 
When Cai died, a friend of hers remarked, “She made an exceptional example with her devotion, enterprise and courage in the face of hardships. She confronted her own weaknesses, surmounted them and broke new ground. She was a rare humanist. It saddened us that it’s the poverty and illness that took her away from us.”
 
 

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