A LARGE POLYCHROME FRESCO
This lot is offered without reserve.
A LARGE POLYCHROME FRESCO

CHINA, YUAN-MING DYNASTY (1279-1644)

Details
A LARGE POLYCHROME FRESCO
CHINA, YUAN-MING DYNASTY (1279-1644)
Painted with Guanyin at right, holding a water-vase in the right hand and the stem of a lotus blossom in the right, clad in flowing robes and wearing a crown centered by a diminutive image of Amitabha, with two smaller bodhisattvas at left, all three standing on lotus blossoms and backed by nimbuses, with a dragon amidst swirling clouds at the top
39 ¼ x 31 in. (99.6 x 78.7 cm.)
Provenance
By repute, Sidney Cooper Collection.
The Collection of Robert H. Ellsworth, New York, before 1984.
Literature
Cohn, William. Chinese Paintings. Phaidon Press Ltd, London, 1948, fig. 127.
A. Martin, “American Mandarin,” Connoisseur, November 1984, p. 99.
A. Juliano, “Robert H. Ellsworth Treasures the East,” Architectural Digest, October 1985, p. 108.
A. Christy, “Not for Sale: A Few of Robert Ellsworth’s Favourite Possessions,” Orientations, vol. 22, no. 6, June 1991, p. 58.
Exhibited
By repute, on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Special notice

This lot is offered without reserve.
Sale room notice
Please note the provenance for this lot should read:
By repute, Sidney Cooper Collection.
The Collection of Robert H. Ellsworth, New York, before 1984.

The lot was exhibited, by repute, on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The lot was published by William Cohn, in Chinese Paintings, 1948, fig. 127.

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Gemma Sudlow
Gemma Sudlow

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Lot Essay

The style of painting in this fresco recalls that of the mid-eighth century temple painting style. Largely ignored by the court and literati circles, this 'flowing water and scudding clouds' (xingyun liushui) manner, reminiscent of the Tang dynasty painter Wu Daozi, was ideal for painting religious figures. Unlike earlier modes stressing precise contours, the whirling spiritual energy of this brushwork gives the impression of qi, or inner life. This animated style has been popular with builders and decorators of Buddhist temples ever since.

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