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NI YUANLU (1593-1644) and HUANG DAOZHOU (1585-1646)

NI YUANLU (1593-1644) and HUANG DAOZHOU (1585-1646)

Landscape and Cursive Script Calligraphy (cao shu)

Handscroll in two sections:
a. Landscape after Ni Zan (1301-1374) and Huang Gongwang (1269-1354) Ink and color on paper, 6¾ x 58½in. (7.2 x 148.5cm.)
Inscribed and signed: Yuanlu
One seal of the artist: Hong Bao

b. Cursive Script Calligraphy
Ink on silk, 8 x 68in. (20.5 x 173cm.)
Signed: Huang Daozhou of Minhai

Twelve collectors' seals, including one of Wu Rongguang (1773-1843) and eight of Kong Guangtao (circa 1850-1880)

Six colophons: including one of He Shaoji (1799-1873) and one of Kong Guangtao

Lot Essay

Ni Yuanlu and Huang Daozhou were close friends, accomplished painters and calligraphers, high ranking government officials and Ming loyalists who met tragic deaths. As a result of their support of reforms, during their careers, which began when they both attained the jinshi degree in 1622, they alternated between receiving senior appointments and falling out of favor. Both fought along with Ming loyalists to resist the Manchurian invaders. When the Qing finally supplanted the Ming, Ni Yuanlu committed suicide to avoid capture and Huang Daozhou was arrested and later executed.

Both artists frequently depicted pine trees and rocks, so that landscapes by them are rare. They painted with calligraphic brushstrokes that emphasized the movement of the brush, rather than creating depth and volume. The tall attenuated trees visible in the scroll were both a trait common to the two painters and a frequent motif in late Ming painting.

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