"Landscape by Lu Guang," by Hongren, hanging scroll, 34 by 13 7/8 inches
By Carter B. Horsley
The March 22, 2012
auction of Fine Chinese Classical Paintings has a very good selection
of hanging scrolls, scrolls and fans highlighted by works by Qi Baishi,
Hongren, Wen Jia, Shi Tao, Chen Hongshou, and one that is attributed to
Ni Zan and one that is attributed to Zhao Mengfu.
644 is a good hanging scroll by Hongren (1610-1663) entitled "Landscape
after Lu Guang" (circa 1300-after 1371). It measures 34 by 13
7/8 inches. It has been in the Ching-Yuan Chai Collection of
James Cahill and widely exhibited and published. The catalogue observes
that "Hongren's chief stylistic sources at the two great Yuan dynasty
masters, Ni Zan and Huang Gongwang, adding that "Hongren's dry, angular
brushwork, as well as the stark, unadorned simplicity of his tree and
rock forms, are certainly reminiscent of the detaced purity evoked by
Nic Zan's landscapes. The neat compositional
logic, based on the artful juxtaposition and overlapping of
angular and rounded forms is derived from the landscapes of Huang
Gongwang." The lot has an estimate of $1,000,000 to
sold for $1,874,500 includng the buyer's premium as do all results
mentioned in this article.
"Temples on Mountains of the Immortals,' by Wen Jia, ink and color on
paper, hanging scroll, 40 1/8 by 11 1/8 inches
643 is a good hanging scroll by Wen Jia (1501-1583) entitled "Temples
on Mountains of the Immortals." It measures 40 1/8 by 11 1/8
inches. It is from the Ching Yuan Chai Collection of James
Cahill. The catalogue notes that the composition is one of the
artist's finest works and is bisected along a diagonal with
the top half depicting a Daoist temple situated high atop treacherous
mountain peaks,and the lower half focusing on a stalactite grotto -
seen as a gateway to paradise in Daoist lore - from which a cascading
stream flows. In the foregound of the painting, in front of
the grotto, the scholars and their attendants are engaging in
conversation. Wen Jia was the seccond son of Wen Zhengming
(1470-1559). The lot has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. It sold for $1,314,500.
Lot 748, "The
Forest Grotto at Juchu, after Wang Meng,"by Song Xu, ink and color on
paper, hanging scroll, 105 3/4 by 21 7/8 inches
748 is an impressive hanging scroll by Song Xu (1525-1617) entitled
"The Forest Grotto at Juchu, after Wang Meng." It measures
105 3/4 by 21 7/8 inches. It is based loosely on a painting
of the same title by Wang Meng (1308-1385) in the collection of the
National Palace Museum in Taipei. It has an estimate of
$70,000 to $90,000. It
sold for $242,500.
"Autumn Landscape with Figure," by Zhang Feng, hanging
scroll, 35 1/4 by 16 5/8 inches
646 is a hanging scroll by Zhang Feng (active circa 1628-1668) that is
entitled "Autumn Landscape with Figure." It measures
35 1/8 by 16 5/8 inches. It was in the Chin Yuan
Chai Collection of James Cahill. It has an estimate of
$150,000 to $200,000. It
sold for $542,500.
"Eagle Perching on the Pine," by Qi Bashi, 53 3/8 by 25 1/4 inches,
700 is a dramatic hanging scroll by Qi Bashi (1864-1957) of an "Eagle
Perching on the Pine." It measures 53 3/8 by 25 1/4 inches.
It has an estimate of $1,200,000 to $1,500,000. It sold for $1,986,500.
"Landscape in the Blue and Green Manner," by Ni Can, ink and color on
paper, hanging school, 72 1/2 by 38 1/2 inches
656 is a nice hanging scroll by Ni Can (1765-1841) entitled
"Landscape in the Blue and Green Manner." An ink and color on
paper it measures 72 1/2 by 38 1/2 inches,. It has an
estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. It failed to sell.
auction contains numerous examples of superb calligraphy. Lot
686, calligraphy of Emperors of the Southern Song, 12th to 13th
Century, consists of three fan leaves and one album leaf now mounted as
a handscroll. It has an estimate of $750,000 to
$1,000,000. It sold for
"Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove, after Chen Hongshou," by Bao Dong, 8
3/4 by 81 3/8 inches, left, and Lot 652, "Seven Sages of the Bamboo
Grove," by Chen Hongshou, 7 3/4 by 76 1/2 inches, right
Of 163 offered lots, 119,
or 71 percent, sold for $35,162,938, dramatically over the
pre-sale high estimate of $13.7 million. The sale brought the
overall total for this week's Asian Art sales at Sotheby' to
$61,802,816, well over the pre-sale high estimate of $41.3
auction is offering separately "Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove" by
Chen Hongshou (1598-1652), Lot 652, shown at the right in the
photograph above, and a slightly larger copy of it by Bao
Dong, Lot 653, shown at the left in the photograph above. The
Hongshou has been reproduced in two important books by James Cahill and
was property at one time of the estate of Walter Hochstadter. It bears
a 1867 colophon by Bao Dong that states that "Laolian relied
totally on the methods of the Tang dynasty painters, which in turn had
their origins in the portrait paintings of the Han period. By
following these lofty standards he attained a firm fountation that most
people throughout history could only dream of. His figures
are lofty and archaic, as if they are wearing the hat and clothes of
the Jin period and their liveliness stems from something beyond
brushwork. When rendering trees, rocks, and background
elements, his lines are fine like gossamer [firm] like seal-script
[natural] like the marks made by water leaking down a wall, truly
marvelous! Moreover the landscape elements in this long
handscoll flow together as if drawn together from a
single breath. It is as if his soul
and brush have been fused together in a furnace."
The lot has an estimate of $500,000 to $700,000. It sold for $1,650,500.
Lot 754, "The
Quiet Studio," attributed to Ni Zan, ink on paper, handscroll, 11 by 47
Bao Dong, who signed Lot 652, Bao Ziliang, was active in the middle of
the 19th Century. His copy of Lot 652 has an estimate of
$100,000 to $150,000. It
sold for $122,500.
754 is a work attributed to Ni Zan (1301-1374) entitled "The Quiet
Studio." A handscroll, it measures 11 by 47 1/2 inches.
It has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. It sold for $506,500.
large work is Lot 755, "Essay o Aspiration (Lezhi Lun)," which is
attributed to Zhao Mengfu (1254-1322). The ink and color on
paper handscroll measures 10 1/2 by 63 3/8 inches for the painting and
10 1/2 by 39 inches for the calligraphy. It bears the
artist's seal and and 38 Emperor's seals. The catalogue notes
that the "superb quality of the painting especially the masterful use
of color...have led some scholars to propose that this painting may be
a copy produced by Ming dynasty master Chu Ying. It has an
estimate of $300,000 to $500,000. It
sold for $2,658,500.
Lot 647, "Seeking Inspiration,"
by Shi Tao, ink on paper, hanging scroll, 7 3/8 by 5 5/8 inches
Museum of Art bought Zheng Min's "Eight Views of Huangshan,"
Lot 752, for $2,322,500, dramatically over it pre-sale high estimate of
$250,000. Zheng Min was born in 1920.
Lot 647 is a small hanging
scroll by Shi Tao (1642-1718) entitled "Seeking Inspiration.
An ink on paper, it measures 7 3/8 by 5 5/8 inches.
It has two seals of the artist and a collector's seal of
Zhang Daqian and it was included in Zhang Daqian's 1978 book, "The
Chronography of Shih-Tao." It has an estimate of $40,000 to
$60,000. It sold
"Landscape after Zhao Boju (1120-1182)" by Shen Hengi, ink and color on
paper, 9 by 12 7/8 inches
632 is a very nice ink and color on paper by Shen Hengi (1409-1477)
that is a "Landscape after Zhao Boju (1120-1182). It measures
9 by 12 7/8 inches and has three seals of the artist, colophons of Du
Qiong and three seals of Zhang Daqan. It has an estimate of
$50,000 to $70,000. It
failed to sell.
"Chatting by the Spring Along the Willow Bank," by Qiu Zhu, Wen
Zhengming, folding fan, 7 7/8 by 22 5/8 inches
683 is a folding fan by Qiu Zhu (active early 16th Century) and Wen
Zhengming (1470-1559), that is entitled "Chatting by the Spring Along
the Willow Bank. It measures 7 7/8 by 22 5/8 inches.
Ir has an estimate of $55,000 to $75,000. It failed to sell.
"Flowers and Butterflies" by Jiang Tingzi, ink and color on gold paper,
fan leaf, framed, 7 5/8 by 21 5/8 inches
Lot 690 is a lovely
fan leaf by Jiang Tingzi (1669-1732). "Entitled "Flowers and
Butterflies," it meausres 7 5/8 by 21 5/8 inches. It is ink
and and color on gold paper. It has a modest
estimate of $7,500 to $10,000.
It sold for $10,625.
"Pine Tree and Figure," by Qiu Zhu, ink and color on gold paper, fan
leaf, framed, 5 3/4 by 18 1/2 inches
715 is a very nice fan leaf by Qiu Zhu (early 16th Century) of "Pine
Tree and Figure." The ink and color on gold paper measures 5
3/4 by 18 1/2 inches. It has an estimate of $15,000 to
sold for $37,500.