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ALBUM DE PEINTURES, ENCRE SUR PAPIER
ALBUM DE PEINTURES, ENCRE SUR PAPIER

CHINE, XIANG SHENGMO (1597-1658)

Details
ALBUM DE PEINTURES, ENCRE SUR PAPIER
CHINE, XIANG SHENGMO (1597-1658)
Protégé par un étui de soie jaune et une couverture en bois recouverte de soie, comprenant huit peintures, chacune ornée de fleurs variées et cachets de l'artiste et de collectionneurs ; feuilles détachées
Dimensions d'une feuille: 30,5 x 24 cm. (12 x 9½ in.)
Provenance
Collection of the Late Jean-Pierre Dubosc, Paris
Literature
Osvald Siren, "Annotated Lists of Chinese Painters" in Chinese Painting: Leading Masters and Principles, vol. VII, New York, 1973, p. 189
Exhibited
New York, Wildenstein Gallery, Great Chinese Painters of the Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties, March 11-April 2, 1949, exhibition catalogue no. 36, p. 41 (illustrated)
Post Lot Text
AN ALBUM OF EIGHT PAINTINGS, INK ON PAPER
CHINA, XIANG SHENGMO (1597-1658)

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Mathilde Courteault
Mathilde Courteault

Lot Essay

Thirty-eight collectors' seals, including two of Li Zongwan (1705-1759), eighteen of Zhang Ruo'ai (1713-1746), who was the son and grandson of highly favored imperial officials, five of Emperor Qianlong (reigned 1736-1796), eight of Shao Xian, three of Zaiquan, fifth Prince of Ding (d. 1854) and one of Zhu Wenjun (1884-1938)

Xiang Shengmo, who was a native of Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, was the grandson of one of the greatest collectors of Chinese paintings, Xiang Yuanbian (1525-1590). While Xiang Shengmo does not appear to have taken the civil service exams, he received a traditional education. His art training followed the customary pattern of studying nature and the work of earlier masters. Initially, Xiang Shengmo focused particularly on the Wu School artist, Wen Zhengming (1470-1559) and later on Song and Yuan dynasty artists. His studies benefited from access to the masterpieces in his family collection, as well as the tutelage of artists, such as Dong Qichang (155-1636), whom his grandfather patronized. Like his father, Dexin, and grandfather, Xiang Shengmo specialized in painting the literati themes of bamboo, orchids, rocks and small landscapes. However, he is generally considered to be the most accomplished artist of the three.

Xiang Shengmo and his family were forced to abandon their collection and flee south in 1645 with the fall of the Ming dynasty. In contrast to his early years, Xiang's later life was spent in poverty while he earned a living selling his paintings. However, despite his status as a professional artist, relatively few of his paintings are extant. An eight-leaf album of flowers by the artist in the Shanghai Museum differs in that the plants are painted using the less detailed boneless (xugu) method with colored pigments. However, each composition in both albums is limited to a section of a flowering branch or one or two stems, giving a minimal, subdued effect (Shanghai People's Fine Art Press, Zhongguo Meishu Quanji, vol. 8, no. 156).

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