Lee Manfong (Indonesian, 1913-1988) Horse and Groom
Lot 371
Lee Manfong (Indonesian, 1913-1988) Horse and Groom
Sold for HK$ 596,000 (US$ 76,825) inc. premium

Lot Details
Lee Manfong (Indonesian, 1913-1988)
Horse and Groom
Oil on board, framed
Signed Manfong, with two seals of the artist
119.5cm x 23.5cm (47in x 9¼in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance: an Australian private collector, acquired in Jakarta, Indonesia, in 1967

    李曼峰 山崗馴馬 油彩木板 木框

    款識:曼峰。
    鈐印:曼峰、番禺李氏

    來源:澳洲私人收藏家於1967年購自於印尼雅加達

    Lee Man Fong is one of the most important Avant-Grade artist of Southeast Asia. Born in Guangzhou, China, he moved to Singapore at an early age. Subsequently, he resided in Indonesia for over 35 years and was nationalised in 1961.

    During Japanese occupation in the Second World War, he was arrested for sheltering underground agents, from the Republic of China. He resumed painting soon after his release. In 1947, he was commissioned by the Dutch Governor of Indonesia to paint a portrait of his wife. The Governor and his wife were deeply impressed by Lee's work so they made an exception to allow Lee, who was not a native Dutch Indonesian, to study in Holland. Lee completed his studies in 1952 and returned to Indonesia where he staged an exhibition. Afterward, the founding President of Republic of Indonesia, Sukarno, appointed Lee as the designated painter of the Presidential Office. He was also appointed as the Editor in Chief of the Paintings From The Collection of Dr. Sukarno, President of the Republic of Indonesia. In his twilight years, he returned to Singapore and remained there until his demise. He made invaluable contribution to the 'Nanyang Painting Style' in his lifetime.

    Lee's oil paintings style is unique. Many of Lee's oil painting was done on smooth wooden boards with sleek brushstrokes which was light and smooth. He often depicted the life and culture of Bali, Indonesia. He painted a great number of characters and animals with great vivacity. Xu Beihong was highly commemorative of his potential and described Lee in a preface of a book as 'Young, ambitious and most talented'.

    This lot showcased Lee's critically acclaimed 'Oriental Oil Painting Style'. The artist placed the focus on the silhouette of the poised horse and the expression of the young groom wearing a hat, looking backward. The painting merged the oriental and occidental aesthetics and the ambient of life in Southeast Asia. The brushstroke was steady and sensitive. Lee often paints on the similar theme, for example the work 'Up the Slop' painted in Bogor, Indonesia in 1943, 'Taming of the Wild' painted in Amsterdam, Holland in 1947 and 'On the Hillock' painted in Bukit Timah, Singapore in 1967.

    李曼峰出生於中國廣州,幼年移居新加坡,隨後在印尼居住35年,1961年入籍當地公民,是東南亞最重要的先驅畫家之一。

    日侵期間,他因掩護重慶地下工作人員而被捕,出獄後重拾畫筆。1947年受到當時荷蘭駐印尼總督之邀為其夫人畫肖像,總督夫婦激賞之餘,破例贈與公費給非荷印土生土長的李曼峰赴荷蘭深造。1952年學成返回印尼,並舉辦畫展。後來得到印尼開國元首蘇卡諾總統的賞識,成為總統府專屬畫家,同時擔任大型圖錄《蘇卡諾總統藏繪畫雕刻集》的主編。晚年回到新加坡定居直到去世,一生對「南洋畫風」有諸多貢獻。

    李曼峰的油彩作品有許多是畫在光滑木板上,線條流暢,輕盈敦厚兼備,風格獨特。他常表現印尼峇里島的風土民情,筆下的人物、鳥獸、和游魚種類繁多,形象生動。徐悲鴻對他的才華給予贊賞,並寫序推崇他「英年大志,才氣縱橫」。(參見《李曼峰畫集》,藝術圖書公司,台北,1984年,頁7。)

    此件〈山崗馴馬〉 拍品,展現李曼峰獲得普遍好評之「東方油畫風格」。 畫家將焦點放在蓄勢待發的馬匹背影和頭頂斗笠馬僮的回眸神情,畫面融合東西方美學和東南亞生活氣息,筆觸穩健細緻,充滿生趣。李曼峰曾多次描繪類似題材,如1943年於印尼茂物創作的〈上山坡〉、1947年於荷蘭阿姆斯特丹繪製的〈馴馬圖〉及1967年於新加坡武吉知馬完成的〈山崗上〉等 。(依序參見《李曼峰畫集》,藝術圖書公司,台北,1984年,頁85、88及121。)
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