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A rare work by the great Lin Fengmian to be offered at Koller Zurich sale of Asian art
Lin Fengmian, China, 1950s. Scene from a Beijing opera. 56x43 cm. Estimate: CHF 200 000 / 300 000.

ZURICH.- Koller will hold its auction of Asian Art on 29 and 30 October. Alongside exquisite Buddhist bronze figures, the leading Swiss auction house is pleased to present several paintings by the famous Chinese painter Lin Fengmian. These include two rare examples from Lin’s oeuvre dating from before the Cultural Revolution.

Lin Fengmian, who was born in 1900 in Guandong and died in Hong Kong in 1991, was one of the most important Chinese painters. Already within his lifetime Lin Fengmian had entered the annals of Chinese art as “The Great Art Teacher”. He spent seven years in Paris, where he learned the tech- niques and styles of Western art at the École Nationale Supérieure. Influenced by Matisse and Modi- gliani, he developed his own style and exhibited at the Paris Autumn Salon in 1924. Back in China he founded the Hangzhou State Art Academy. With the start of the Cultural Revolution in 1966 Lin Fengmian was obliged to destroy over 1 000 of his works. He was interned in 1967 and 1974 for four years each time. At the age of 68 he gained his freedom and returned to his activities as an artist in Hong Kong, where numerous exhibitions were dedicated to his work. When he died in 1991 various events were held in his honour in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. At the same time, Taiwan hon- oured him for his artistic and literary work.

The 56x43 cm oil on canvas depicting a scene from a Beijing opera dates from the period before the Cultural Revolution. The work had already entered a Swiss private collection by 1960. This is there- fore one of the extremely rare works by Lin from before 1966 that was not sacrificed in the revolution- ary campaign of destruction. Koller will present this painting estimated at CHF 200 000 / 300 000.

Rare Buddhist figures from European private collections
Of the highlights, alongside two further works by Lin Fengmian and a Swiss collection of 18th century Chinese cloisonnés, are a number of Buddhist figures from European private collections. From Tibet there is a four-armed goddess from the monastery of Densatil, made in the 15th century and estimated at CHF 250 000 / 350 000, as well as a very fine and sensual gilt bronze figure of Vajrayogini at CHF 180 000 / 250 000.

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