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Lot 313
PU RU (1896-1963)
Elegant Conversation in a Waterside Pavilion
19 September 2023, 09:30 EDT
New York

US$50,000 - US$70,000

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PU RU (1896-1963)

Elegant Conversation in a Waterside Pavilion
Hanging scroll, ink on paper, inscribed by the artist and signed Xinyu, with three artist's seals reading shuimu qinghua, jiu wangsun and Pu Ru.
36 1/2 x 14 3/4in (92.9 x 37.5cm)


溥儒(1896-1963) 水閣清話 水墨紙本 立軸


The Toushi Zhai Collection
Sungari International Auction, Beijing, 3 December 2005, lot 998

Yi, Suhao et al. eds. Toushi Zhai Cang Hua Ji (A Collection of Paintings from Toushi Zhai). Beijing: Changcheng Publishing House, 2005, no. 98, pp. 195-196



The present lot stands as an epitome of Pu Ru's prodigious mastery of brushwork and his unwavering foundation in calligraphic technique. The monochrome landscape showcases an array of meticulously arranged brush strokes, with the sharp "nail-head" strokes for rendering mountains and rocks, juxtaposed with the flowing cursive-script strokes utilized to depict the undulating waves of the stream. Regarding the relationship between brush and ink (bi mo), Pu Ru held a preference for the lucid presentation of brushwork (yong bi) over the dominance of ink washes (yong mo).1

Pu Ru embarked on his journey of self-taught Chinese painting subsequent to his seclusion in 1912 in the Jietai Temple at Mount Ma'an (also known as West Mountain) to the west of Beijing, a move coinciding with the aftermath of the 1911 Revolution. He once revealed that his fervor for painting was ignited by his engagement with pianwen, a type of highly stylized prose featuring textual parallelism. Viewing a work by Pu Ru is akin to reading pianwen; it requires you to slow down to apprehend the resplendent nuances created by various brushwork techniques.

The Toushi Zhai Collection showcases artworks crafted by prominent artists from both the Shanghai School and the Beijing-Tianjin School, spanning the late 19th to early 20th century. In 2005, Sungari Beijing hosted an auction featuring 140 selective pieces from this collection. Among the top lots were paintings by Lu Yifei (1908-1997), Xu Cao (1899-1961) and Chen Zhifo (1896-1962).

1Pu Ru, "Pu Hsin-Yu's Notes on Painting and Calligraphy" in Chang in the South and Pu in the North: Selected Paintings and Calligraphic Works of Pu Hsin-Yu from Taibei Museum of History, Hubei Provincial Museum ed. (Wuhan: Hubei People's Publishing House, 2009), pp. 128-131.


辛亥革命後,溥儒隨母隱居北京西郊馬鞍山,期間自學繪畫。曾言"余性喜文藻,於治經之外,而多喜作駢驪之文。駢驪近畫,故又喜畫"。1 觀此幅溥儒山水,亦有於字裡行間尋幽探微之趣。


1 溥儒《溥心畬"論書畫"——寒玉堂論書畫真書獲麟解》,收錄於湖北省博物館編《南張北溥——臺北歷史博物館藏溥心畬書畫精品》(武漢:湖北人民出版社,2009),頁128-131

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