WU GUANZHONG (1919-2010)
WU GUANZHONG (1919-2010)

Plum Blossom Garden of Wuxi

WU GUANZHONG (1919-2010)
Plum Blossom Garden of Wuxi
Scroll, mounted and framed, ink and colour on paper
66.8 x 70.5 cm. (26 1⁄4 x 27 3⁄4 in.)
Inscribed, with one seal of the artist
Dated 1979
According to the collector’s record, the painting was purchased from Rongbaozhai in Beijing in 1982.
An Exhibition of Famous Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy, Tsi Ku Chai Art Gallery & Pok Art House, February 1982, pl.25.
Tsi Ku Chai Art Gallery (Hong Kong), Pok Art House (Kowloon), and Chung Hwa Fine Art Gallery (Singapore), An Exhibition of Famous Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy, 1982.
Post lot text
For nearly five decades, Donald Stone was a beloved English professor at the City University of New York and Peking University in Beijing. He began teaching in the late 1960s after receiving his doctorate from Harvard University. When he first arrived in Beijing as a visiting professor in 1982, he became enthralled by the Chinese culture and warmth of its people. His dedication to Peking University left an immeasurable legacy, also, to the university’s Arthur M. Sackler

Museum of Art and Archaeology: he donated European drawings and prints from his personal collection to the museum and organised yearly exhibitions. The present lot belongs to the group of paintings Professor Stone carefully assembled in China since the 1980s, which will be offered in Exquisite Eye: Chinese Paintings Online.
The subject of the work is Meiyuan (plum garden) in Wuxi. In order to encompass a garden full of plum blossoms in his composition, Wu Guanzhong adopted a bold aerial perspective. He had spent his middle school years at Wuxi and had recalled that Meiyuan was his first encounter with a plum garden: “At the time, Meiyuan was bordered by the white walls of neighboring homes and set against the reflective Lake Tai, accentuating the silhouette of the plum trees and the vividness of the plum blossoms. Traditional Chinese paintings often lack background, so the plum blossoms against a white background further highlight their beauty.” With overlapping branches and thousands of blooms in gradations of pink and burgundy, this painting perfectly captures Wu Guanzhong’s sentiment. The artificial rock formation and the pavilion leap from the pictorial space, joining the myriad of boats on Lake Tai to frame the plum trees and break up the monotony. Comparing to this similar composition done in 1976, the current work manifests more attention to details and color contrast, making it likely an ideal realization by Wu after much explorations.

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Carmen Shek Cerne (石嘉雯)
Carmen Shek Cerne (石嘉雯) Vice President, Senior Specialist, Head of Sale

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