Fu Baoshi (1904-1965)  Mount Shao
Lot 889
Fu Baoshi (1904-1965)
Mount Shao
HK$ 1,500,000 - 2,500,000
US$ 190,000 - 320,000

Lot Details
MODERN CHINESE PAINTINGS FROM A DISTINGUISHED BRITISH PRIVATE COLLECTION
MODERN CHINESE PAINTINGS FROM A DISTINGUISHED BRITISH PRIVATE COLLECTION
重要英國私人珍藏二十世紀中國書畫
LOTS 887-891

(introduction continued from previous lot)

Discussing the paintings which he has consigned for this auction, Sir David relates:
'I have always admired the work of Fu Baoshi, after I became familiar with the artist in the 1960s in Hong Kong. As far as his painting of 'The Scholar' is concerned, I recollect I was on a trip to the Canton Trade Fair (as it was then known) to which I was a regular visitor on behalf of Jardines in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It would have been bought from a state-owned antique shop, in which Westerners were permitted to buy art and antiques in foreign currency.

Shortly after returning from our honeymoon in June 1968, and having moved into a new house, we were burgled one night. In the early 1960s I had started collecting Chinese porcelain, jade and paintings, and about sixty pieces were stolen including a painting by Fu Baoshi. In the next couple of days, the burglary was reported in the Press several times. The thief was caught by the Police and jailed but, by then, all the stolen goods had been disposed of and were never recovered. About a week later, Mr Y.C. Huang (Huang Yu Chia, sadly now deceased) a Senior Advisor to Jardines (and my former boss in the Jardines China Trading Division) was contacted by China Resources Ltd in Hong Kong, with whom Jardines did regular and substantial business. They said they had heard of the burglary and, if I was interested in a replacement Fu Baoshi, 'they had one available'. Y.C.and I went along, and this magnificent painting of Chairman Mao's birthplace was produced. Although the cost was somewhat above my 'pay grade' at the time, I bought it and it has been a centrepiece of our paintings ever since.

I bought the smaller 'Shaoshan' view because at that time I mostly preferred Fu's landscapes to his figural paintings, and I really loved my major 'Mountain' view. The smaller version was interesting, I thought, for its different perspective and colour tones, presumably because Fu was painting it in the wooded foothills at a different time of day, so I bought it when it was offered to me in Hong Kong as a diminutive but striking pendant to the big one.

Huang Zhou was not a well-known artist when I was visiting China in the late 1960s or early 1970s, but I liked his subject matter and it only cost a very small sum at the time for such an amusing subject. I cannot remember exactly which gallery I bought it at, but it could have been either in Hong Kong at Tsi Ku Chai, or in China.

I have always admired the work of Wu Guanzhong. My wife Carolyn believes that we must have bought our 'Lake Pavilion' scene in Hong Kong in the early 80s, probably from one of the imaginative contemporary art galleries.'

These paintings are therefore all being offered at auction for the first time. They were purchased purely for pleasure by a private collector, drawn to an intriguing and unfamiliar category of art. In this way, they illustrate the pleasant and much more relaxed circumstances in which fine collections were formed in Hong Kong during the third quarter of the twentieth-century; a period when Hong Kong's cultural life thrived greatly, under the stimulus of accelerating economic prosperity throughout the region.


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Fu Baoshi (1904-1965)
Mount Shao
Ink and colour on paper, hanging scroll
Titled and signed Baoshi, with two seals of the artist
Dated 1965 and again with seal
32 x 43.5cm (12¾ x 17⅛in).

Footnotes

  • 傅抱石 韶山 設色紙本 立軸 一九六五年作

    款識:
    韶山。
    一九六五年春,抱石南京并記。

    鈐印:抱石、乙巳

    註:本幅篆書款「韶山」,並署「一九六五年春抱石南京並記」。一九六五年是傅抱石人生的最後一年,該年九月下旬,他應上海市委邀請赴滬商討上海國際機場大畫事宜,二十八日返南京家中,翌日便溘然長逝。本幅也成為抱石韶山題材的絕唱之一了。

    傅抱石自一九五九年六月湖南寫生歸來,韶山及毛澤東「到韶山」詩意的創作便成為其重要主題之一。從「聳翠」到「春曉」,傅抱石以不同的角度再現這一革命聖地。本幅仍以韶峰為描繪對象,韶峰又名「仙女山」,據《湘潭縣志》載「恆氏三女從長沙來,擇次築庵,靜心修煉,乃白日昇仙」,這樣的傳說,既增韶峰之神秘色彩,又為其平添了些許溫柔的詩意,恰如抱石筆下的韶峰,投射着不凡的靈性。

    本幅林木蔥鬱繁茂,青翠欲滴,設色由山腳漸次蔓延至山頂,層層渲染,逐漸加重;山中霧氣蒸騰,迂迴繚繞;主峰居右,後有遠山以淡墨輕掃,增壯闊悠遠之境。當觀者視線聚焦峰頂,還會驚喜地發現一間小小的神女廟,顯是畫家點睛之筆。

    傅抱石晚年頻寫韶山,反覆地錘鍊,不僅是畫家本人對韶山題材的鍾愛,也印證了這一主題廣受歡迎的程度。參照抱石同年八月所出同題作品,構圖、佈局皆與此作類近,只是季節不同,植被與光線略異,而此幅精巧可人、蒼翠空濛的韶山美景,更可見畫家經營之勝了。
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