NEW YORK, NY.-
On 18 September, Christies
will present the sale of Fine Chinese Paintings, which will encompass over 160 works, with traditional paintings and calligraphy ranging from the Ming dynasty to the modern period and representing a wide variety of themes and styles. Highlights include paintings and calligraphy by such classical masters as Shen Zhou, Dong Qichang, and Chen Chun, as well as modern works by such popular figures as Qi Baishi, Zhang Daqian, and Xu Beihong.
Painters of the Wu School in Suzhou during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) created some of the most erudite, yet expressive works in Chinese paintings history. Several important paintings in the sale embody the sophistication and elegance of the Wu School. Important paintings in this selection include Mountains in Autumn, a landscape painting by Shen Zhou (1427-1509) (lot 904, estimate: $230,000-330,000). This painting comes from The Family of C.C. Wang, where it has remained in his family for several decades. C.C. Wang (1907-2003) was an active artist, art teacher, and collector. He learned traditional Chinese painting techniques as a youth in China, but explored new ideas and styles when he arrived in New York.
Maintaining, yet modernizing the tradition, are works by such modern masters as Qi Baishi (1863-1957) and Xu Beihong (1895-1953). Both artists used traditional materials to depict well-known themes for their paintings such as Qi Baishis Chrysanthemum and Bees (lot 1030, estimate: $90,000-120,000) Qi Baishi captures the vibrancy of the chrysanthemum blossoms with his rapid and sure brushstokes, and his finely detailed strokes of the buzzing bees reveal his exceptional skill. Xu Beihongs Zhong Kui (lot 1008, estimate: $180,000-250,000) illustrates a powerful-looking image of Zhong Kui, the demon-queller, in contrast with the stooped and skinny blue demon who is comically reduced to carrying Zhong Kuis snack on his head.
From the Ping Y. Tai Foundation is Lotus Picking, attributed to Qiu Ying (1495-1552) (lot 905, estimate: $300,000-500,000). This handscroll features a scholar at leisure, however, the true theme of this painting is the activity of the women. Ping Y. Tai (1915-1998) was the wife of the legendary connoisseur, collector, and dealer Jun Tsei Tai (1911-1992), fondly known in international art circles as J.T. Tai. These Chinese paintings were acquired by Mr. and Mrs. Tai were kept at home for their personal enjoyment.