A polychrome enameled porcelain plaque Republic period

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Lot 12
A polychrome enameled porcelain plaque
Republic period

US$ 8,000 - 12,000
£ 6,500 - 9,800

Chinese Works of Art

17 Dec 2019, 10:00 PST

Los Angeles

A polychrome enameled porcelain plaque
Republic period
Of tall rectangular shape, depicting an old man in a billowing red cape and straw hat clutching a tall fishing pole, leading a young acolyte holding an oar or a zither, their attention directed behind them as they cross an elaborate rustic bridge in a riverside vista, the freely-painted inscription bearing a renshen nian date (corresponding to 1932) and bearing a red seal reading Nanchang Wang Qi.
31 1/2in (80cm) visible height of porcelain

Footnotes

  • 民國 繪彩過橋釣魚圖瓷板

    Provenance:
    From the Harold E. Stack Collection

    來源:
    Harold E. Stack珍藏

    Though it lacks his usual tao tao mi seal, this plaque otherwise seems to have all the hallmarks typical of the work of the ceramicist Wang Qi (1884-1937). Note the stylized folds of clothing finished in a very freehand style reminiscent of the Qing dynasty painter Huang Shen (1687-1772). Note as well the fastidiously painted faces comprised of idiosyncratic but careful choices, each stroke of which brings their pathos and humor to life. In the present lot, these two disparate elements of the artist's style find a focus-point in the lushly shaded whorls of the figure's red cloak. The viewer's eye is centered on it amid the dusty, washed-out pastel colored background, from it moving to the old man gazing intently on the little boy, and follows from him to the boy as he looks back wistfully at the dreamlike place they seem to be leaving.

    See the masterful pair of vertical plaques by Wang Qi sold in our San Francisco rooms on 17 December 2013 in sale 21033 as lot 8353. In that lot, the Budai plaque especially shares these same hallmarks: a similar subject matter of a put-upon boy assistant, similarly freehand elaborate clothing, similarly evocative faces, a similarly gauzy land mass lining the left vertical edge of the frame, and most importantly an arresting image that similarly teases at a gripping narrative only partially revealed.
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