Reflections of the Artist's Character: Chinese Paintings at Gianguan Auctions

  • Mountain Temple by Wang Hui.  Lot 192.  Gianguan Auctions, September 9.

    Mountain Temple by Wang Hui. Lot 192. Gianguan Auctions, September 9.

  • Four Panels of Buddha by Dai Jin.  Lot 100.  Gianguan Auctons, September 9.

    Four Panels of Buddha by Dai Jin. Lot 100. Gianguan Auctons, September 9.

  • The Wandering Mallard by Zhu Da (八大山人).  Lot 107.  Gianguan Auctions.  September 9.

    The Wandering Mallard by Zhu Da (八大山人). Lot 107. Gianguan Auctions. September 9.

When it comes to classic Chinese paintings, there are few things more desirable than a painting that reflects the personality and character of the artist. This point is made poignant in the collection on the podium at Gianguan Auctions this coming Saturday, September 9.

For instance, the day's marquee painting is an allegorical work entitled “The Wandering Mallard” by Zhu Da (Bada Shanren), the Han Dynasty painter of royal descent who spent forty years in refuge as a monk.  The dark painting is exquisite in its full-bleed background of dark brown with the singular duck, tree and rockery rendered in black. It is signed Bada Shanren (八大山人)  and bears one artist seal. Lot 107, it is expected to command upwards of $600,000.

Shi Tao, among the most famous of early Qing painters, was also of royal descent. His is the hand behind the magnficent ink-on-paper entitled  “Mountain Boating," a  subtly shaded work of impressive brush technique. Known by more than two-dozen courtesy names  that tended to reflect his feelings on family history and, later, religion, he is an acknowledged master of washes, perspective and the use of negative space. Lot 135 , has eight collectors’ seals and is inscribed and signed with two artist seals. It is valued at $350,000 and above. 

Wang Hui, whose Qing era works were seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2008 exhibition “Landscapes Clear and Radiant: The Art of Wang Hui (1632-1717),” delivers a bold, academic depiction of a “Mountain Temple” nestled in the rolling peaks of brown, green, subtle red. Lot 192 will fetch upwards of $100,000. 

Mid-level collectors may marvel at Dai Jin’s “Four Panels of Buddha.”  A Ming work, it is executed in Zhe School (Southern Song) style with  frontispiece by Wang Zuxi and colophon by Yu Yue. Lot 100, it is valued at more than $30,000. 

Calligraphy offerings feature Liu Yong’s 1800 work “Script Calligraphy of a Poem.” The ink on gold flecked paper is inscribed and signed Shi An and stamped with two artist seals. A modern interpretation of the practice of calligraphy is Qi Gong’s 1989 “Poem Calligraphy in Running Cursive Script”–a technique that delights the eye with weighted characters.

For the complete collection of Chinese paintings, please download the catalog at www.gianganauctions.com.  Gallery previews are in full swing now through Friday, August 8, 10-7.  Bidding is currently underway on www.invaluable.com and www.epailive.com. The auction will be conducted live on Saturday, September 9, beginning at 10 a.m.  For condition reports, please call Gianguan Auctions, 212- 867-7288 or email info@gianguanauctions.com.

 

 

 

 

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