28 May 2010
QI BAISHI (1863-1957)
Hanging scroll, ink on paper
102 x 33.3 cm (40 1/8 x 13 1/8 in.)
Inscribed and signed, with two seals of the artist
One collector's seal
Fish have always been painted in Chinese culture as a wish for luck and auspiciousness. In addition, Qi gave the title to the painting Changnian Dagui, meaning, "wealth and good fortune for years to come." Together, this painting extended to the receiver good fortune and luck.
Apart from the auspiciousness of the composition, the painting itself is a fine example of Qi's skill in wielding the brush, bringing to life a group of fish and illustrating their characteristics to express a happy, relaxed environment. Painted in his 80's, Qi's years of careful study of different varieties of fish, their forms and their characteristics, facilitated his expression of them on paper, and allowed him to freely paint a picture of fish as if they were alive on the paper.
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Modern Chinese Painting and Calligraphy from the Collection of the Kau Chi Society of Chinese Art, The Kau Chi Society of Chinese Art and the Art Gallery, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1987, p. 46, pl. 17.
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