XU BEIHONG (1895-1953)
LOT 1189FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTIONFORMERLY THE PROPERTY OF HUANG MENGGUIXu Beihong’s works often reveal profound messages: at times, they can be seen offering encouragement and solace to his compatriots at a time of national crisis, or as gifts to a dear friend, celebrating virtue as a token of friendship. In Horses Drinking, against a vast, open background, three horse are depicted standing by a river. Two lean forward to drink, exuding an air of calmness, while the third is seen standing upright with an intense, alert regard. The painting was previously in the collection of Huang Menggui, who, along with his brother Huang Manshi, was a close friend and major patron of Xu Beihong when the artist held his exhibitions in Singapore. In 1934, as a government official in Fujian Province, Huang Menggui was arrested for his involvement in the civil unrest. Xu Beihong often visited him, and after Huang’s release, the artist created this image of Horses Drinking inscribed with a dedication to Huang Menggui to celebrate his newfound freedom. Although celebratory in mood, the painting also stands as an allegory reminding his friend to remain vigilant in difficult times.
XU BEIHONG (1895-1953)

Horses Drinking

XU BEIHONG (1895-1953)
Horses Drinking
Scroll, mounted and framed, ink and colour on paper
72.8 x 112 cm. (28 5/8 x 44 1/8 in.)
Entitled, inscribed and signed, with two seals of the artist
Dated jiaxu year (1934)
Dedicated to Huang Menggui (1885-1965)
One collector’s seal
The Low Gallery.
Lot 1123, 28 May 2007, Fine Chinese Modern Paintings, Christie’s Hong Kong.
Singapore Art Museum, Xu Beihong in Nanyang, 5 April – 13 July 2008.
Xu Beihong in Nanyang, exhibition catalogue, Singapore Art Museum, 2008, pp.182-183, pl.5.
Huang Meiyi, The Friendship between Xu Beihong and the Huang Family, Dacheng Magazine S.119, Hong Kong, September 1983, p.7.
Huang Shufen (ed.), Articles Selected in Memory of Mr Huang Manshi, Nanyang Xuehui, Singapore, 1976, p.79.

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