ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE AMERICAN COLLECTION (LOT 1406)
ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Spring Snow on Magnificent Hills

Details
ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)
Spring Snow on Magnificent Hills
Scroll, mounted and framed, ink and colour on paper
Inscribed and signed, with three seals of the artist
Dated sixth month, fifty-eighth year (of the Republic, 1969)
PROVENANCE :
Lot 148, 3 November 1997, Fine Modern and Contemporary Chinese Paintings, Christie’s Hong Kong.
68 x 138 cm. (26 ¾ x 54 3/8 in.)
Further details
In 1954, Zhang Daqian settled in Mogi das Cruzes near Sao Paolo in Brazil after travelling the world from India to Argentina. There, he built an extravagant, lush traditional Chinese garden which he named the Garden of Eight Virtues. The 1950s and the 1960s were the time when Zhang Daqian started to experiment with splashed-ink as a technique: the exposure to new cultures and geographies inspired him greatly. At the same time, he was suffering from an eye illness that diminished his ability to paint in the meticulous, precise manner that he was well-versed in.

It was in the Garden of Eight Virtues that the artist painted Spring Snow on Magnificent Hills. With adept accumulation of ink layer by layer across the composition, the artist constructs an atmospherically ethereal world depicting the beautiful scenery. Executed in 1969, Spring Snow on Magnificent Hills is a spectacular landscape heralding the arrival of spring. Above the swathes of luminous ink forming the shapes of the mountains and peaks, the artist splashes vibrant green and blue pigments depicting the verdant vegetation before adding snowy white powder atop to perfect the snow-capped mountains. Here, pigments coalesce into a dance, the ink and colour dissolving into an otherworldly haze, pierced through only by the bright red flowers on branches growing from the mountain cold. The landscape here is deftly complemented by expressively painted rock formations, trees, waterfall and lone cottages built on a cliff – a landscape for the lone scholar on the winding path to wander in.

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