28 May 2010
ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)
Blue and Green Landscape
Scroll, mounted and framed, ink and colour on gold-flecked paper
131 x 63.7 cm. (51 1/2 x 25 1/8 in.)
Entitled, inscribed and signed, with four seals of the artist
This Blue and Green Landscape was painted in the 40's, at a time when Zhang Daqian was a master of the depiction of nature. Apart from studying old masters and their traditions, Zhang enjoyed traveling and often traveled far and wide for inspiration. Xie Jiaxiao recalls in The Life of Zhang Daqian, "one must both read a lot and travel far, to expose oneself to new matters and investigate new ideas. Travel and study must go hand in hand, so that when one knows the geography and the study of mountains and the ravines, one can naturally depict them with authenticity. The same applies to flowers, figures and animals. Travel is not only the source for sketching, but also allows us to see the infinite objects in nature. I intend to travel all my life and make sure I travel someplace once a year." Zhang's experiences, along with his natural talent, enabled Zhang to embody the spirit of old masters while creating a whole new individual style.
Mount Huang, also know as Yellow Mountain, is one of the most famous mountains in China and one that Zhang found most fascinating and in a constant state of flux. Influenced by his master Li Ruiqing's philosophy of 'happiest is he who enjoys the clouds on Mount Huang and gazes at the sun on Mount Tai', Zhang enjoyed traveling around Mount Huang and painted many works with it as his subject during his early years. His seal 'Great is the man who visits Mount Huang twice' was carved by his friend Fang Jiekan after their second visit. In fact Zhang had traveled to Mount Huang three times, in 1927, 1931 and 1936, often sketching and taking photos for later reference. Blue and Green Landscape seems to be a memento of Zhang's journey with his friend.
THE LU FANG GE COLLECTION OF CHINESE PAINTINGS
The owner of the Lu Fang Ge Collection first began his business in Beijing in the 80's, where he met by chance Qi Gong, Huang Wei, Dong Shoupin and Fan Zeng, who became his mentors and ignited his passion towards Chinese painting and calligraphy. Over thirty years of collecting the Lu Fang Ge Collection became a repository for precious and rare paintings-the fifty-two paintings presented here are a combination of both classical and modern paintings that encompass a broad period of Chinese art and culture. Many of these works were purchased through auction many years ago with enviable provenance and will add strength to any collection.
In the modern paintings section Xu Beihong's The Three Stallions is an amalgamation of Western and Eastern painting techniques, using mainly Chinese brushwork to paint the physique of the horse, while using watercolour methods to depict the grass and the background. It is also particularly rare as it comes from the collection of Huang Junbi and was exhibited in Taiwan multiple times, as well as being published in Japan. Furthermore Qi Baishi's Bamboo, Spring Fun, as well as Zhang Daqian's early work Blue and Green Landscape are also rare masterpieces from the collection.
The Lu Fang Ge Collection contains many paintings from prominent artists in the Ming dynasty, such as Shen Zhou's Cooling in a Bamboo Grove, Wen Zhenming's Poetry in Cursive Script (catalogued in the Shiqu Baoji), Wen Dian's Studying in a Village by a River, Lu Zhi's NarcissusM and landscapes albums by Lan Ying. In particular, Dong Qichang's Five Sacred Mountains, previously in the collection of Luo Zhenyu, was exhibited at the Tokyo National Museum in 1928. The Lu Fang Ge Collection also contains a strong collection of paintings from the Qing dynasty, such as Palace under Moonlight, Fu Shan's calligraphy and Leng Mei's The Young Hercules, with up to fifty-three commendations of the piece by members of the palace and generals.
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