Home page

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
XU BEIHONG (1895-1953)
XU BEIHONG (1895-1953)
XU BEIHONG (1895-1953)
1 More
XU BEIHONG (1895-1953)
4 More
LOTS 3175-3176 FROM A SINGAPOREAN COLLECTOR During the Second Sino-Japanese War, many literati, including Xu Beihong, were forced to flee his country and take refuge overseas. The period between 1939 and 1942 saw Xu travel around South-east Asia most frequently, and was also one of the most prolific periods of his career. Xu held fundraising art exhibitions in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Penang in aid of the war effort. In 1941, the artist went to Singapore in February to hold an anti-Japanese society exhibition at the invitation of anti-Japanese societies in Penang. His works created at this time were in a manner of contributing to the war effort and repaying his country. During Xu Beihong's sojourns to Singapore, he often stayed at the house of Zhang Nuqi and Zhuang Youzhao. Zhang was also a noted painter at the time, whom Xu met when they were both studying abroad in Paris, and became good friends. Zhang's brother-in-law Zhuang Youzhao was then studying in Germany, and was both an entrepreneur and amateur artist. Together Zhang and Zhuang created the Pengte Artist Society, on No. 181, Tank Road. Xu often spent his times at the Artist Society, mingling and painting with other artists, as well as gifting each other with their works. Admiring the Stallion was created in this happy atmosphere, and gifted to Zhuang as a sign of their friendship. Xu's inspiration for White Plum Blossoms was during his trips to Ipoh, Malaysia with friends-inspired by the purity and tranquil beauty of the blossoms, he created this present piece as a gift to Zhuang.
XU BEIHONG (1895-1953)

Admiring the Stallion

Details
XU BEIHONG (1895-1953)
Admiring the Stallion
Inscribed and signed, with one seal of the artist
Dated ninth month, twenty-sixth year (of the Republic, 1937)
Dedicated to Yaozhao
paper ink
81.5 x 57 cm. (32 1/8 x 2 1/2 in.)
20th Century
Sale room notice
Please note that the correct date of creation should be 1939, instead of 1937 as stated in the catalogue.

Brought to you by

Yanie Choi
Yanie Choi

Lot Essay

"A horse can only show its true ability when it finds one able to discover its talents."
- Ancient Chinese Proverb, Stories of Hanshi, Scroll 7
When Xu Beihong painted Admiring the Stallion in 1937, it was during one of the most difficult time in Chineses history - the second Sino-Japanese war had just begun. Since the horse is a traditional Chinese symbol of strength and courage, perhaps it is no coincidence that the artist returns to this subject matter time and again to echo his sentiments and support for his people. The horse is infused with nationalistic meaning - it represents a personal desire of the artist for a stronger China and exemplifies China's valiant resistance to foreign invasion and the Chinese soldiers' heroic spirit.
In Admiring the Stallion, a male figure is seen here transfixed upon the horse, a rare sight in Xu's horse paintings which are usually devoid of accompanying figures. Combined with a mixture of Chinese ink wash painting techniques with western-style influences, Xu creates his own unique style. The artist utilises bold and expressive brush work to accentuate the shape of the large muscles to convey the robustness of the horse, resulting in a creature full of vigour and liveliness, in contrast to the quiet respect and intimate gaze of the man towards it.
;

Related Articles

View all
Inside the eclectic collection auction at Christies
‘Time goes by, but beautiful o auction at Christies
A history of Gucci in 10 bags auction at Christies

More from Fine Chinese Modern Paintings

View All
View All