The dedication of this painting refers to Mr. Tanso Ito. Mr. Ito worked for the Yokohama Specie Bank in Beijing and Dalian in the 1920's - 30's. He chanced upon meeting Qi Baishi and became good friends and a collector of his work. This was a particularly special friendship, given the political and social climate between China and Japan at the time. He introduced many of his good friends to Qi, including Mr. Sotokichi Katsuizumi (1889-1985), whose collection of paintings we sold in our Hong Kong saleroom last season. Lot 2267 of this current sale sees a letter describing Mr. Ito and Qi's exchanges on the drawing of a cow, corresponding to our present lot.