• Chinese 20th Century Art (Day  auction at Christies

    Sale 2725

    Chinese 20th Century Art (Day Sale)

    30 November 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1313


    Price Realised  


    signed in Chinese (lower right)
    crayon, gouache on paper
    34 x 44 cm. (13 3/8 x 17 3/8 in.)
    Painted in 1962

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    Of Chinese artists of the 20th century Li Chaoshi was among the first of those who studied western paintings in Europe. He was, besides, a prominent artist and art educationist of distinct achievement who pioneered gouache painting and set in motion its advocacy. He had absolute mastery over sketches, oils and gouaches, the latter among which were particularly bewitching. While influences of the French impressionist painter Edgar Degas (1834 - 1917) can be traced, Li's brushworks, recognizably infused with his own exquisite sketching technique, are of unique virtuosity. Gouache, also called opaque watercolor paint, was prevalent in Europe during the 18th century. It involves the application of specially made pigments on specific types of papers, and as the pigments are opaque, any attempt to combine colors is constrained on the drawing paper. Such challenging technique is fully implemented in Li Chaoshi's works, which reveal his confidence in his rudiments of realistic depiction, composition and brushworks. Harvest (Lot 1313), a selection of Li Chaoshi hua ji or Li Chaoshi: the drawings (Shanghai People's Fine Arts Publishing House, 1985), is one existing posthumous works of Li among the hundred which have made their rare survival. Carrying with it noticeable characteristics of Chinese traditional paintings, the composition of Harvest shows a dexterous alignment of the sparse and the dense, and accompanied by the use of one point perspective, a western technique of realistic spatial manifestation, it exhibits an enormously wide field, virtually the widest among all of the artist's works on landscape. The brushworks of Li demonstrate a most proper manipulation of complexity and simplicity; his lines are smooth, his colors are harmonious, and the bright and nebulous aura the gouache paint exudes is effectively utilized to elaborate the singular artistic effect of the materials, uncovering, in the most exhaustive manner, the vitality of nature.


    Private Collection, Asia


    Shangdong People Publishing, Li Chaoshi, China, 1962 (illustrated, unpaged).
    Singapore,ArtExpo 97, 1997 (illustrated, plate 24).
    Liaoning Art Publishing, Chinese Oil Paintings (1868-1999) Vol. 1, China, 2000 (illustrated, plate 93).


    Singapore, Singapore Exposition, ArtExpo 97, 1997.
    Hong Kong, China, The University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong, East and West: Early Chinese Artists, 19 October, 2002 - 19 January, 2003.