28 May 2010
FU BAOSHI (1904-1965)
Scholar and Musicians
Scroll, mounted and framed, ink and colour on paper
98.2 x 44.5 cm. (38 5/8 x 17½ in.)
Inscribed and signed, bearing three seals of the artist
Dated renwu year (1942)
One collector's seal of Zhao Shudong (c. 1900-0995)
Fu Baoshi primarily drew characters from the perspective of an art historian. He focused primarily on the Eastern Jin dynasty (316-420) and the Six Dynasties period, which he studied with utmost dedication. Scholar and Musicians, Scholars and Pine, Mirthful Three at Tiger Creek all have roots in historical stories of the Eastern Jin and Six Dynasties. These paintings illustrate historical figures such as Xie An and Tao Yuanming.
Scholar and Musician depicts Xie An (famed politician and military strategist, 320-385AD) enjoying a private performance of strings and flute. East Mountain is located in Shangyu, Zhejiang, and it is fabled that Xie An of the Eastern Jin dynasty spent some time in retreat at this hermitage. Here, he was often accompanied by Wang Xizhi (famed poet and calligrapher), with whom he played the zither and chess, and recited and composed poetry. He acquired the nickname "Xie of East Mountain". At the age of 40, Xie emerged from his secluded mountain life to enter politics and served in such prestigious posts as First Minister of War and Minister of Personnel Appointments. During the reign of Emperor Xiao Wu (362-396), he attained the pinnacle position of Prime Minister. Xie An loved literature throughout his entire life and was particularly proficient in philosophical and rhetorical dialogue based on Naturalist ideologies. He attracted a significant following of literati, reflecting the anti-social, fatalistic, negatively introspective trend of thought prominent in contemporary academic circles. After long, in-depth studies, Fu Baoshi implemented clean, simple lines and minimalistic elegance in colour to embody and demonstrate the essence of these historical figures.
Previously in the collection of Zhao Shudong, owner of Ting Song Studio.
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