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    Sale 12551

    Fine Chinese Modern Paintings

    31 May 2016, Convention Hall

  • Lot 1469

    ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

    Lady in Indian Dress

    Price Realised  


    ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)
    Lady in Indian Dress
    Scroll, mounted and framed, ink and colour on paper
    79 x 46 cm. (31 1/8 x 18 1/8 in.)
    Inscribed and signed, with one seal of the artist
    Dated gengyin year (1950)
    Dedicated to Liangnian and Madame Yangfen

    Lot 608, 29 November 2009, Fine Chinese Modern Paintings, Christie’s Hong Kong.
    Previously in the collection of Liu Liangnian.

    Liu Liangnian was born in Fujian in 1905. He attended Ying Wah College in 1920 and later worked at the Shanghai Customs. There, Liu befriended many artists including Wu Hufan, Zhang Shanzi, Zhang Daqian, Ye Gongchuo and the Gao brothers, Jianfu and Qifeng. During the war, he moved to Chengdu where many others also sought refuge. He became acquainted with artists such as Huang Junbi, Zhao Shao’ang, Guan Shanyue, Li Xiongcai and Yu Youren. In 1946, Liu was transferred to the Gongbei Customs in Zhuhai and lived in Macau. In 1952, Liu left with his family to live in North Point, Hong Kong. He ran a trading business and spent his spare time on the arts, arranging dinners, meetings and exhibitions for artists. After he retired, Liu further expanded his collection of paintings, works of art and stamps. He also wrote poetry, some of which was published. His close relationship with the artists saw his son, Liu Jijian as a favoured godson to Huang Junbi.

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    Saleroom Notice

    Please note the below additional PROVENANCE:
    Lot 608, 29 November 2009, Fine Chinese Modern Paintings, Christie’s Hong Kong.

    Post Lot Text

    In 1950, with the assistance of Luo Jialun, Zhang Daqian held an exhibition in New Delhi, India. He was attracted by the scenery of Darjeeling and decided to stay. Works from this period are marked with great exuberance, including the present work completed in the autumn of 1950. Though Zhang Daqian is well known in his painting of female portraits, those in Indian dress are rare, and this current pieces exemplifies Zhang’s punctiliousness about the execution of his figures’ hair and drapery of clothing.
    Zhang’s portraits of women are imbued with a softness of touch, painted in fine but robust lines, with eyes that exude tenderness yet hold a firm gaze. Wrapped in a sari, Zhang’s Lady in Indian Dress is executed with lightness, with a small section of the lady’s midriff visible through the layers of silk, as the figure is balanced on either side with red flowers. Zhang Daqian first learned to paint female figures through copying works by Ming and Qing artists such as Tang Yin, Gai Qi, Fei Danxu, and Ren Yi. His later style owes much to his time in Dunhuang, as he refined his execution of figures, the use of colour and the depiction of clothing, resulting in portraits exuding elegance and grace.
    Despite the elegant and meditative qualities in Zhang’s paintings of the period, his time in India was a lonely one. Having spent a year furiously creating with only his gibbons as companions, he returned to Hong Kong in 1951 to reunite with his family.
    This painting was dedicated to Liu Liangnian, who first met Zhang Daqian in the 1930s. During Zhang Daqian’s trips to Macau from Hong Kong in 1949 to arrange for his family’s transit through Gongbei, he was received by Liu with great hospitality. Their friendship continued over the decades to come. When Zhang returned to Hong Kong in 1951, Liu Liangnian organised a big banquet to welcome him for which Zhang was overjoyed.