• Fine Chinese Modern Paintings auction at Christies

    Sale 2727

    Fine Chinese Modern Paintings

    29 November 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 598

    GAO QIFENG (1889-1933)

    Price Realised  


    GAO QIFENG (1889-1933)
    The Tiger
    Hanging scroll, ink and colour on silk
    50.2 x 87.6 cm. (19 3/4 x 34 1/2 in.)
    Signed, with two seals of the artist
    Three collectors seals including one of Yang Shanshen (1913-2004)
    Further inscribed on the top by Gao Jianfu (1879-1951), with two seals of the artist
    Colophons by Zhao Shao'ang (1905-1998) and Yang Shanshen (1913-2004) with a total of three seals of the artists
    Dated thrity-fifth year (of the Republic, 1946)
    Dedicated to Shanxiao
    "I believe we should not only take in elements of Western painting. If there are good points in Indian paintings, in Egyptian painting, in Persian painting, or in the masterpieces of other countries, ancient or modern, we should absorb and adopt all of them as well, as nourishment for our national paintingK in the twentieth century, with the progress of science and communications developingKI hope this new national painting becomes world painting."
    - pp.11,20 Gao Jianfu, "Wo de xiandai huihua guan", taken from Wen C. Fong, Between Two Cultures, Yale University Press, 2001.

    There is a saying: "when drawing tigers, painting flesh is easy but the bone is where the challenge lies." Gao applied Western modes of thought while adding an Eastern touch, producing an animated, life-like work of art. Later collected by famous Cantonese Opera star Kuang Shanxiao (1909-1976), this painting was to later inscribed by Gao Jianfu: Jiangshan Xiao'au (The Mountains Cry Out in Splendour). A further inscription by Zhao Shao'ang describes the ferocious tiger prowling among reeds, articulating the fierceness of the image in words and enhancing the depth and meaning to the overall composition of this work of art.

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    Paintings by The Three Kao Brothers, Chien-Fum Chi Fung and Chien-Tsang, Hong Kong, 1968, p.43.