Qi Baishi (1864-1957)  Butterfly and Begonia

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Lot 8016
Qi Baishi (1864-1957)
Butterfly and Begonia

Sold for US$ 56,250 inc. premium
Qi Baishi (1864-1957)
Butterfly and Begonia
Hanging scroll, ink and color on paper, inscribed at the age of eighty-eight and signed, with one artist's seal of Baishi.
40 1/2 x 13 1/2in (102.9 x 34.3cm) 

Footnotes

  • 齊白石 蝴蝶海棠 設色紙本 立軸 八十八歲作

    Provenance
    Received as a wedding gift in Nanjing October 9, 1948, thereafter by descent

    Qi Baishi is known for his mastery of many subjects. Collectors particularly respect his work for poignant depictions of insects. Here we see a butterfly hovering over a group of brilliantly pink begonia blossoms. The delicacy of the flowers, with their energetic brushwork and bright colors, is set off by the heavy, dark, drooping leaves, perhaps suggesting that the foliage is wet and the butterfly has alighted after a rain storm. In Chinese culture, the butterfly is a symbol of love, particularly youthful love and conjugal happiness. It is thus fitting that this painting was originally a wedding present given to the parents of the present owners at their marriage. The Chinese word for begonia is a homonym with the word for "hall", a word that can describe large mansions, thus expressing a wish for prosperity.
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