Qi Baishi (1863-1957) Dove on Magnolia
Lot 613
Qi Baishi (1863-1957) Pigeon on Magnolia
Sold for HK$ 1,560,000 (US$ 201,274) inc. premium
Auction Details
Qi Baishi (1863-1957) Pigeon on Magnolia Qi Baishi (1863-1957) Pigeon on Magnolia Qi Baishi (1863-1957) Pigeon on Magnolia Qi Baishi (1863-1957) Pigeon on Magnolia Qi Baishi (1863-1957) Pigeon on Magnolia Qi Baishi (1863-1957) Dove on Magnolia Qi Baishi (1863-1957) Dove on Magnolia Qi Baishi (1863-1957) Dove on Magnolia Qi Baishi (1863-1957) Dove on Magnolia Qi Baishi (1863-1957) Dove on Magnolia
Lot Details
Qi Baishi (1863-1957)
Pigeon on Magnolia
Ink and colour on paper, hanging scroll
Signed Baishi, with three seals of the artist
Dated wuzi year (1948)
138.5cm x 39cm (54½in x 15¼in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Col. Thomas E. Williams (1915-1992), purchased directly from the artist in Beijing in 1948
    By descent to his children in the USA

    Exhibited: Long-term loan to the Denver Art Museum, Colorado, from 1971 to 2009 (with the return receipt issued by the Denver Art Museum)

    Col. Thomas E. Williams (September 26, 1915 to February 6, 1992) was a retired US Marine Corps colonel who served two tours of duty in China during World War II. As Assistant Chief of Staff of Intelligence for the 6th US Marine Division stationed at Qingdao, Shandong province (1945-6), he documented the defeat of the Japanese navy. Later he worked as Assistant US Naval Attaché for the American Consulate in Beijing (1948-9). Col. Williams was an academic scholar before and after his military service. His research was instrumental in preparing for the establishment of a national central intelligence organization.

    In his memoirs written in the late 1970s, Col. Williams recalled visiting Qi Baishi in his Beijing atelier three times in 1948, when he was stationed in Beijing during his second tour of duty. On the first visit, he commissioned from Qi bird-and-flower paintings, as well as those of fish, prawns and crabs. He also took a photo of the artist on this occasion, later recalling that "the artist looked the archetype of a venerable Chinese gentleman, even to his wispy beard." On his second and third visits, Col. Williams purchased additional paintings from the artist.

    The two Qi Baishi paintings owned by Col. Williams and his wife Rachael included in this sale were on long-term loan to the Denver Art Museum, Colorado, USA from 1971 to 2009. In 1986, Col. and Mrs. Williams gifted the paintings to their two children, who kept them on loan to the Denver Art Museum until 2009. Col. Williams passed away in 1992.

    齊白石 木蘭斑鳩 設色紙本 立軸 一九四八年作

    款識:戊子(1948)夏八十八歲老人白石作於京華。
    鈐印:白石、吾年八十八、寄萍堂

    來源﹕
    湯瑪斯•威廉姆上校 (1915-1992),於1948年在北京直接得自畫家本人
    後由威廉姆上校住在美國的子女繼承

    展覽:1971年至2009年間長期借藏於美國科羅拉多州丹佛市美術博物館(附有丹佛市美術博物館借藏歸還收據)


    湯瑪斯•威廉姆上校 (Colonel Thomas E. Williams, 1915-1992) 為美國海軍陸戰隊退役軍人。在二次大戰末期間,他曾經兩次到中國服役。1945至1946年間,他擔任駐中國山東省青島市之美國海軍陸戰隊第六師情報署課長,在任期間,他記錄了日本海軍受降過程。1948年到1949年間,則擔任駐北京美國領事館海軍武官隨員。威廉姆上校於服役前後均從事學術研究,美國中央情報局之成立,即採用了不少威廉姆上校所作之情報研究為基礎。

    威廉姆上校在1948年於北京服役期間,曾三次拜訪齊白石。他在第一次會晤畫家時,向齊氏求索花鳥、魚、蝦、蟹等畫軸,並為他拍下照片。在威廉姆上校於1970年代所作之回憶錄中提到,「齊白石之相貌,甚至於他稀疏的鬍子,活脫脫就是一個備受尊敬的典型中國君子。」威廉姆上校於其後第二與第三次到訪齊白石時,又買下了更多齊氏畫作。回憶錄上還談到,在其最後一次拜訪齊白石時,正逢時局不穩,威廉姆上校特地向齊白石表示願意幫助他撤離到安全區域,齊白石對此表達感謝但婉言拒絕,並說自己已上了歲數,行動不便,而且絕對不會離開自己的十個子女以及眾多親戚。患難中見真情,威廉姆上校和白石老人之間的深切情誼,由此可見一斑。

    在這次拍賣推出之威廉姆上校與夫人所藏兩幅齊白石畫軸,在1971年到2009年間,曾寄藏於美國科羅拉多州丹佛市美術博物館。威廉姆上校與夫人在1986年將藏畫贈於他們的兩位子女。威廉姆上校於1992年辭世。


    這幅〈木蘭斑鳩〉為齊白石1948年畫與湯瑪斯•威廉姆上校之作,其有兩點特別之處。

    第一,畫中木蘭花瓣施以花青。齊白石所畫木蘭,儘管為數不少,但多為白描木蘭,鮮有於花瓣施以花青者。根據威廉姆上校的回憶錄所述,他首次拜訪齊白石時,向齊白石表示其夫人十分喜歡花鳥,希望齊白石能夠專門為其畫一幅花鳥圖。面對這位美國友人的懇切請求,齊白石欣然應允,並說道:「畫鳥更耗功夫,所以不得不收取畫蝦蟹所受費用的雙倍價錢。」由此可見,齊白石當時創作這幅〈木蘭斑鳩〉時頗費了一番心思。他特別地在木蘭花瓣上施以淡雅的花青,便是絕好的證明。無獨有偶,中國美術館館藏的一幅齊白石三十年代初期所作〈玉蘭〉(圖一),花瓣亦染有花青,與此畫十分相似(參見《齊白石畫卷》上卷,人民美術出版社,北京,2003年,頁56)。

    此外,齊白石創作此幅〈木蘭斑鳩〉時,其獨特的運筆方式,生動地表現出了木蘭花瓣的厚重質感,又借助濕墨向外暈出,而自然表達出花萼上有細毛的感覺,甚是絕妙。與此畫技法相似的作品,可見於北京畫院收藏之齊白石〈玉蘭小雞圖〉(圖二),無論描繪木蘭花瓣和花萼時所用筆法,還是描繪花蕊所用洋紅和鵝黃色調,都和此畫風格一貫(參見《齊白石繪畫作品圖錄》中卷,劉子瑞主編,天津人民美術出版社,2006年,頁105)。

    第二,畫中斑鳩靈動逼真,頸部環形斑點畫工細膩,特徵明顯(圖三),是齊白石1950年前所畫鳩鴿題材中之精品。斑鳩與鴿子,同屬鳩鴿科。通常所謂的白鴿或者鴿子,正式名稱是原鴿,象徵和平與溫和。而斑鳩則以頸部有黑白交替的環形為特點(圖四),寓意友情和愛。齊白石所畫鳩鴿,以1950年為重要分水嶺。1950年前,主要畫鳩;1950年後,則多以和平鴿為創造題材。

    據齊白石的忘年交胡佩衡與胡橐合著《齊白石畫法與欣賞》所述,「老人畫鴿是解放後為了保衛世界和平而進行的創作,以前沒有畫過。......老人最初創作的和平鴿,是1950年給人民畫報畫的一張。」(1974年香港南通圖書公司出版,頁93。)的確,從目前可見的齊白石畫作來看,絕大多數畫鴿都是齊白石於1950年後為保衛世界和平所創作的各種姿態的祥鴿,其中最著名的莫過於1952年為祝賀亞洲及太平洋區域和平會議召開而在丈二匹紙上所作巨幅〈百花與和平鴿〉。而在1950年前,齊白石甚少畫鴿,主要畫鳩。

    這幅專門為威廉姆上校夫人創作的〈木蘭斑鳩〉便是齊白石畫鳩藝術中不可多得的一件精品。此斑鳩喙部尖長,眼睛炯炯有神,頸部十分細緻的描繪出斑鳩特有的黑白交替之環形,與齊白石1950年後所畫和平鴿的喙部粗短、眼神和藹可親明顯有別,由此足可以窺見齊白石畫作時對待細節的認真態度。與此斑鳩相類的作品,還可見於人民美術出版社2003年出版《齊白石畫集》(上卷)第25頁之中國藝術研究院美術研究所收藏〈哺雛圖〉(圖五),以及天津人民美術出版社2006年出版《齊白石繪畫作品圖錄》(下卷)第230頁之齊白石1949年畫作〈籠鳩圖〉(圖六)。

    Illustrations:
    附圖:

    Col. Thomas E. Williams, with the mayor of Qingdao, China, in 1945
    1945年威廉姆上校與青島市長合照

    On 16 July, 1946, Colonel Williams was presented with the "Award of the Collar Order of the Cloud and Banner with citation by the National Government of the Republic of China"
    1946年3月1日國民政府為威廉姆上校頒綬雲麾勳章證書

    Award of the Collar Order of the Cloud and Banner (obverse)
    威廉姆上校所領綬之雲麾勳章(正面)

    Award of the Collar Order of the Cloud and Banner (reverse)
    威廉姆上校所領綬之雲麾勳章(背面)

    (Plate 1) Qi Baishi 'Magnolia'
    (圖一)齊白石〈玉蘭〉

    (Plate 2) Qi Baishi 'Magnolia and Chicks'
    (圖二)齊白石〈玉蘭小雞圖〉

    (Plate 3) Detail of Lot 613
    (圖三)拍品編號613細部

    (Plate 4) Actual photo of a pigeon
    (圖四)斑鳩真實照片

    (Plate 5) Qi Baishi 'Feeding the Fledglings'
    (圖五)齊白石〈哺雛圖〉

    (Plate 6) Qi Baishi 'Pigeon in a Cage'
    (圖六)齊白石〈籠鳩圖〉
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