Cover Images Record the Past of New China
Cover Images Record the Past of New China

Launched in July 1950, China Pictorial has covered, with captivating photographs and informative articles, the rapid development and tremendous changes that have taken place in new China over the past sixty years.

China Pictorial has always featured color photographs since its launching. Over the past six decades, 770 issues have been published, each with a fascinating and impressive cover image. Highlighting snapshots of typical personages and significant moments, these cover images bear full witness to all the major events that have occurred in every historical period of new China.

Cover images of China Pictorial feature portrait photographs of outstanding figures in political, economic, cultural and scientific and technological fields, including not only Party and state leaders of new China but also ordinary Chinese that have contributed to the country’s development. Their faces are combined to project a vivid image of Chinese people striding forward for national revival.

These well-selected cover images from 22 issues of China Pictorial will bring you back to the past years of new China and offer you an opportunity to understand Chinese people and learn about changes of new China.

20100801 Initial issue, July 1950 China Pictorial’s initial issue, published in July 1950, featured a painting depicting Chairman Mao Zedong at the founding ceremony for the People’s Republic of China. A message to congratulate on the magazine’s launching was published on the fly page. As a national pictorial, the 48-page magazine was printed in grand format and full color, which was rare in that era.

20100802 11th issue, 1956 China Pictorial’s 11th issue in 1956 featured Qi Baishi, a master artist in Chinese ink painting. In that year, Qi won the International Peace Award 1955 by the World Peace Council, which brought him the greatest reputation in his lifetime.

20100803 11th issue, 1959 China Pictorial’s 11th issue in 1959 featured Rong Guotuan, a 21-year-old Chinese athlete who won the gold medal for men’s single at the 25th World Table Tennis Championship in 1959. It was the first world champion that Chinese athletes had ever won in world sport games, celebrated as a landmark in China’s sport history.

20100804 10th issue, 1961 China Pictorial’s 10th issue featured Mei Lanfang, a master singer of Peking Opera with perfection in both artistic and moral pursuits. In August 8, 1961, Mei Lanfang passed away. This cover photograph portrayed Mei performing the role of Imperial Concubine Yang Yuhuan in a Peking Opera classic “Imperial Concubine Gets Drunken”. Born of a family of opera singers, Mei developed a singing system of his own which is known as “Mei’s School” and is admired as one of the Four Great Dan (female role) Singers of Peking Opera, together with Cheng Yanqiu, Shang Xiaoyun and Xun Huisheng. Mei is generally recognized as a landmark figure in the history of Peking Opera and a world famous master artist in theatric performance.

20100805 5th issue, 1963 Zhu Kezhen, known as a founder of meteorology and geography of modern China, graduated from Harvard University and established the first meteorological observatory managed by Chinese in 1928. He then worked as the principal of Zhejiang University for 13 years and prepared for the founding of China Academy of Sciences in 1949.

20100806 1st issue, 1964 Yang Likun, a beautiful young lady from Yi ethnic group, was generally admired as Vivien Leigh of China. In 1964, she starred in “Ashima”, a feature film about an ancient love story of Sani ethnic group in Yunnan Province. It was the first wide-screen, stereo color film featuring the musical subject in the film history of China.

20100807 1st issue, 1977 On January 8, 1976, Premier Zhou Enlai passed away. In order to remember this beloved leader of Chinese people, China Pictorial published a special issue in commemoration of the 1st anniversary of his death. Zhou Enlai was a great revolutionary, politician, strategist and diplomat of modern China. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, he had served as the country’s premier until his death.

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