Seven Chinese Classical Paintings
Giuseppe Eskenazi has always had a personal interest in this rarified aspect of Chinese art and acquired the group of exquisite paintings over a period of 25 years. They range in date from the 12th to 15th centuries, and all but one, which is on paper, are painted on silk. Of the seven works, five are album leaves, one is a fan painting, and one is a scroll, and six bear seals of the artists or collectors. The Chinese particularly prized painting and calligraphy for its intellectual, documentary and poetic content and, unlike Western art, these works would not have been on permanent display but examined and admired in private or shown only for short periods. Such delicate works of art are rare survivals and seldom appear on the market. One of the paintings is a charming album leaf dating from the Yuan or early Ming period, 14th or 15th century, depicting a melon plant and grasses. It has obviously been much admired over the years as it is stamped with ten collectors’ seals including two of the Qianlong emperor as well as two 20th century seals of Zhang Xueliang, a charismatic Manchurian warlord and one-time ally of Chiang Kai-shek.