QI BAISHI (1863-1957)
QI BAISHI (1863-1957)

Sailing

Details
QI BAISHI (1863-1957)
Sailing
Inscribed and signed, with one seal of the artist
Scroll, mounted and framed, ink on silk
18 x 131.2 cm. (7 1/8 x 51 5/8 in.)
20th Century
Provenance
Lot 1509, 2 December 2008, Fine Chinese Modern Paintings, Christie's Hong Kong.
Post lot text
Qi Baishi's landscape paintings focus on his down-to-earth style and attitude toward life, not on symbolism. They employ simplicity and spaciousness rather than being multi-layered and are characterized by sincerity and power rather than by modesty.
Sailing depicts a small corner of a river village with a few houses along the riverbank and several sails on the river - a very picturesque scene. The image communicates a sense of openness and greatness, suggesting dynamism within stillness. Qi used the center of the brush to create fine lines with varied force to illustrate the waves in order to capture the misty and shiny surface of the water. The horizontal composition emphasizes the depth of the scene and therefore creates a greater sense of space.
As the inscription suggests, this painting was made on old silk, which did not absorb the ink well. Therefore, it is important to stress the contrast in space to dramatize the subject. The composition of the painting is spacious and allows fluid movement, which further reflects Qi's remarkable skills in composition.

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