WANG HUI (1632-1717)
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PROPERTY OF MR. CHEN RENTAO – CHINESE PAINTINGS FROM THE KING KWEI COLLECTION (LOTS 821-824)A Legacy of Wang Hui’s Endless Streams and MountainsWang Hui (1632-1717) painted Endless Streams and Mountains five times during his lifetime. Two have been located: one is preserved in the Tokyo National Museum and the other in the Shanghai Museum. While the existence and whereabouts of the collaboration with Yun Shouping and the version recorded in Fang Junyi’s Ouxiangju by the East Lake remain unknown, Christie’s Hong Kong are very privileged to unveil Endless Streams and Mountains in the King Kwei Collection.The colophons, collectors’ seals and titleslip provide an account of the birth of this handscroll as well as its journey among collectors. According to Lu Yi (1654-1726), Jiang Chenxi commissioned a painting by Wang Hui. It took Wang a year to execute Endless Streams and Mountains, mounted it three years later and finally completed it at the age of 71 with further applications of “dots and washes”. A native of Taichang, Jiangsu province, Lu Yi became a metropolitan graduate in 1688. He served the Qing court at the same time as Jiang Chenxi and became a close friend of Wang Hui. The titleslip of this handscroll was inscribed by Lu Shihua (1714-1779), grandson of Lu Yi. He authored Paintings and Calligraphy Examined in Wuyue and recorded this painting in the sixth volume. One of the collector’s seals belongs to him while three others belong to his son, Lu Yuanwu (17th Century). The son was skilled at painting, calligraphy and literary compositions; and his books include Writings from Huaiyan Studio. Years later Endless Streams and Mountains entered the collection of Zhang Dayong (1770-1838). Zhang was a native of Changshu, Jiangsu province. He passed the provincial examination in 1794 and held several government posts during the Jiaqing reign. He greatly treasured this work, as it is recorded in the tenth volume of his Paintings and Calligraphy of Ziyiyue Zhai, and sixteen of his collectors’ seals can be found on the handscroll. After Zhang’s passing, this work appears to have entered the collection of Weng Tongjue (1814-1877), a fellow native of Changshu. He was the second elder brother of Weng Tonghe (1830-1904) and held several official roles including Viceroy of Hu Guang area. The sight of this painting evoked in Weng Tonghe memories of his deceased brother, and he recorded his thoughts in an additional colophon. Following his colophon are two seals of his nephew, Weng Shouqi (19th-20th Century). A noted calligrapher, landscape painter and connoisseur, he became a provincial graduate in 1891 and held various posts in Guangxi province. Weng Kuisun (1856-?), the eldest grandson of Weng Tongjue, inherited this painting. He was also academically accomplished and passed the provincial examination in 1882. His writing has survived in the book Poetry of Boyuan.Created by Wang Hui more than three hundred years ago, Endless Streams and Mountains was first collected by the Jiang Chenxi family, natives of Changshu; then kept in the hands of the Lu Yi family in Taicang; later it journeyed back to Changshu and entered the private collections of the Zhang Dayong family and the Weng Tongjue family. During the turbulent years of the interregnum in the early 20th century, the renowned Shanghai collector and connoisseur Chen Rentao (1906-1968) acquired this painting and later brought it with him to Hong Kong and it has been kept in his family ever since.
WANG HUI (1632-1717)

Endless Streams and Mountains

WANG HUI (1632-1717)
Endless Streams and Mountains
Handscroll, ink and colour on paper
53.2 x 1220.5 cm. (21 x 480 ½ in.)
With three seals of the artist
Inscribed by Yang Jin (1644-1728), signed with three seals
Colophons by Lu Yi (1654-1726) and Weng Tonghe (1830-1904), with a total of five seals
Twenty-six collector’s seals, including one of Lu Shihua (1714-1779), three of Lu Yuanwu (18th Century), sixteen of Zhang Dayong (1770-1838), one of Weng Tongjue (1814-1877), two of Weng Kuisun (1856-?) and two of Weng Shouqi (19th-20th Century)
Titleslip by Lu Shihua, with three seals
Lu Shihua, Paintings and Calligraphy Examined in Wuyue, Vol. 6, in Complete Compendium of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, Vol. 8, Shanghai Painting and Calligraphy Publishing, October 1994, pp. 1146-1147.
Zhang Dayong, Paintings and Calligraphy of Ziyiyue Zhai, Vol.10, in Complete Compendium of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, Vol.11, Shanghai Painting and Calligraphy Publishing, October 1994, pp. 517-518.

Chen Lusheng, A Study on Ming and Qing Masters: Wang Shigu, Jilin Fine Art Publishing, May 1996, pp. 163, 192 and 193.

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