Qi Baishi “Eagle Standing on Pine Tree with
Four-Character Couplet in Seal Script”
Size: painting 266×100cm, couplet 264.5×65.8cm×2
Ink on pater
Auctions: China Guardian’s 2011 Spring Auction
Auction Price: RMB425,500,000
Auction Date: 2011-05-22
Qi Baishi (1864-1957) is the most influential artist in China's contemporary and modern art history.
The work of Qi, entitled "Eagle Standing on Pine Tree with Four-character Couplet in Seal Script," consists of a painting and a pair of calligraphy scrolls. It is said to be Qi's largest work. The work was finished in 1946 when the painter was 86 years old, for the man who then led China, Chiang Kai-shek. It was intended as a gift for his 60th birthday.
The 100 x 266 cm ink wash depicts a falcon on a pine branch, which stands for “hero”; evergreen means longevity. And it is flanked on either side by Qi’s masterful calligraphy, "A Long Life, a Peaceful World".
“Lotus and Mandarin Ducks”
Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), created in 1947
Ink and color on paper, hanging scroll
Auction Company: Sotheby’s 2011 Hong Kong Spring Auction
Auction Price: HKD191,060,000
Auction Date: 2011-5-31
Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) was one of the mist prodigious and celebrated Chinese artists of the twentieth century. Renowned in China as a “modern Impressionist and Expressionist painter”, he immersed himself in the art of the West, forming a particularly close tie with Pablo Picasso, whom he met in 1953, and to whom he gifted a set of his own brushes, in the hope that these would enable Picasso to paint as finely as he. He excelled at all types of paintings, and is especially famous for his landscape, as well as lotus paintings.
In the work, gilt lotus flowers of a red base sway in the midst of a mass of green leaves; the grain of the petals and the veins of the leaves are defined with long hard lines. Zhang describes lotus and mandarin ducks to present a wish of happy couple.
The Landscapes of Min River
Shitao(1630-1724)，created in 1686
Size：20 × 630cm
Ink on paper, scroll
Auction：Nanjing Jingdian’s Autumn Auction
Shitao is known as one of “the Four Monk Painters of the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)”. Shi advocated expressing individual feelings rather than sticking to the rules of the forerunners. He disregarded the rigid techniques and styles that defined what was beautiful, which won him the reputation as one of the most famous individualist painters of the early Qing Dynasty. Shitao's paintings are characterized by fluid brushwork and by moist, graded ink-tones. Besides the beautiful and vivid paintings, Shi’s fantastic poetry and calligraphy always accompanied his landscapes, showing the diverse talent of this master artist.
Many of Shi’s paintings were based on his own observations in real life. This painting describes the beautiful landscapes along Min River, when Shi has a trip on Min River.
Ba People Fetching Water
Xu Beihong(1895-1953)，created in 1938
Size：300 X 62cm
Ink and color on paper, hanging scroll
Auction：Beijing Hanhai’s Autumn Auctions – Qing Yun Tang Modern Painting
The painting of Ba People Fetching Water was created in 1938 by Xu Beihong, which pictured a real people’s life in Chongqin city during Anti-Japanese period, renewed as the spirit of the age. The painting has been hailed as one of Xu's finest works, which perfectly reflects the time and the people during the Anti-Japanese War.
Entire screen is very strange, height 300 cm, width 62 cm, quite fine. But its hanging up, consistent with the over 300 meters cliff of Jialing River, making the scene even more steep and thrilling. The Ba people should climb the over 300 meters stairs carrying water up and down. The painter draw decomposition for bail, give way, climb the forward 3 paragraphs, and carefully draw multiple drafts, portrayal of the different actions of the men, 7 figures. The main screen and the performance ability of Xu to rich Western painting Chinese paintings, highlight the human health strong, show work of heavy, and make screen techniques. There was great influence in the community at that time, when works was showed in the 1938 exhibition, which was known as “500 years of the rare”.
HUAFENG PEOPLE’S WISHES TO EMPEROR YAO
Ren Bonian (1840-1896), created in 1881
Ink and color on silk, mounted
Auction Company: Xiling Yinshe 2011 Spring Auction in Hangzhou
Auction Price: RMB 167,000,000
Auction Date: 2011-7-16
Ren Yi (任頤, 1840-1896), better known by his courtesy name as Ren Bonian (任伯年), was a painter of the Qing Dynasty. He was the most famous of a group of artists known as the Four Rens, who dominated late-19th-century painting in Shanghai (see SHANGHAI SCHOOL). Ren was noted for his bold brushstrokes and use of color.
The work was finished in 1881 for Fang Gao Ren, who was a very rich businessman in Shanghai. It was intended as a gift for his 70th birthday. It is said to be Ren's largest work. The painting describes is a folktale that the Chinese ancient emperor Yao goes on an inspection tour to the mountains and jungles of Hua Feng area, Hua Feng people gives three wishes to Yao, but Yao declines three times. “Wishes” namely refers to fortunately, long-lived, the multi-children, the implication is propitious, also conforms to the subject, which offers birthday congratulations.
Wu Guanzhong，"Ten Thousand Kilometers of the Yangtze River"
Wu Guanzhong (1919-2010), created between 1793 and 1794
Size: 509 X 22.5cm, oil painting on paper
Auction Company: A&F Auction’s 2011 Beijing Autumn Auction
Auction Price: RMB149,500,000
Auction Date: 2011-11-19
Wu Guanzhong is widely recognized as the father of contemporary Chinese painting. The work is considered to be one of the artist's best works.
In 1973, returning from the countryside, Wu Guanzhong participated in the creation of Ten Thousand Kilometers of Yangtze River, large fresco in Beijing Hotel. Wu and other artists of the project traveled along the river, lived on the bank, painted the grand landscape, and captured the spirit of the mountain and the river. During his months’ of sketching experience, he created the work, Ten Thousand Kilometers of the Yangtze River.
The painting is purely an oil painting without traces of charcoal pencil. Its description of landscape and coloring are delicate and elegant, naturally infused with lyrical charm and leisure. This is clearly the comprehensive final draft as mentioned in Wu Guanzhong’s epigraphy.
The subject, artistic language, style and image in the work have maturely and richly set as important subject and basic method in Wu’s later painting creation. Therefore, the work is a fundamental painting of Wu Guanzhong’s painting style as well as the soul of his paintings.