Zhou Leyuan, circa 1890-1892 The rectangular body rising to a cylindrical neck, the interior painted with a continuous nostalgic mountainous landscape with two travellers conversing whilst strolling on one side, the reverse with a pavilion. 6.7cm high.
Exhibited: Chinese Snuff Bottles, jointly presented by Hong Kong Chinese Snuff Bottle Collectors Study Group and the Urban Council, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 15 October to 26 November 1977
Illustrated: Chinese Snuff Bottles, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1977, p.112, pl.272
The inscription can be translated as "imitating the spirit of Shigu's style". Shigu, the artist's name of Wang Hui(1632-1717), was one of the great Four Masters of the early Qing dynasty, who was also under the Orthodox School. By learning brushstrokes and inkstrokes from the Four Masters of Yuan dynasty and the stylistic landscapes of Song dynasty paintings, Shi aimed at pursuing the artistic spirit of the Tang dynasty painting. His compositions were mostly sophisticated, closely resembles the style of Wang Meng (1308-1385), with typical small and short brushstrokes known as 'ox hair' brushstrokes, as well as long free-hand brushstrokes for the texture of the mountain.
Though the current lot is not dated, it is believed to be painted in Zhou's later period. The increasing complex composition, green landscape and the pine trees in the foreground are all typical of Zhou's later style. For a comparison of Zhou's landscape styles, see Moss, Graham and Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles: The Mary and George Bloch Collection, Vol.4, Inside-Painted, Hong Kong, 2000, pp.153-156, no.490.
此鼻煙壺雖沒有紀年，但從緊密的構圖，深綠色山水，及以大棵松樹為前景這幾個特徵來看，相信是其晚期(1890-1892)風格。更多有關周樂元早晚期山水風格之比例，可參考詳細研究可參見請參見莫士撝, Victor Graham 及曾嘉寶著，《A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles: The Mary and George Bloch Collection》，第4冊，第一部份，頁153-156，編號490。
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