Ren Yi (1840-1895) Bird on a Magnolia Branch, 1892

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Lot 27
Ren Yi (1840-1895)
Bird on a Magnolia Branch, 1892

Sold for US$ 15,300 inc. premium
Ren Yi (1840-1895)
Bird on a Magnolia Branch, 1892
Hanging scroll, ink and color on paper inscribed by the artist with a date of Guangxu renchen, and signed Shanyin Ren Yi, with two artist's seals Shanyin Ren Yi and Yi yin with a collector's seal Qian Jingtang jianding Ren Bonian zhenji zhi yin.
51 5/8 x 22 3/8in (131 x 57cm)

Footnotes

  • 任頤 玉堂富貴 水墨紙本 立軸 一八九二年作

    Provenance/來源:
    Collection of Qian Jingtang (1907-1983)
    錢鏡塘舊藏

    Published/出版:
    Toda, Teisuke and Hiromitsu Ogawa comp. Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue of Chinese Paintings, Third Series, Volume 1: American and Canadian Collections, University of Tokyo Press, 2013, A50-163, p. 216
    戶田禎佑、小川裕充,《中國繪畫總合圖錄》三編,第一卷,東京大學出版會,東京,2013年,A50-163,頁216

    Ren Yi, who used the courtesy name Bonian, was a native of Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province. His father Hesheng excelled at portrait painting, and as a child Ren Yi learned painting from him, emphasizing a realistic style. In 1868 (the 7th year of the Tongzhi period), he moved to Shanghai residing at the Yu Garden of Chenghuangmiao (City God's Temple), studying with the brothers Ren Xiong and Ren Xun. In Shanghai he befriended other artists such as Wu Changshuo, Xugu, Pu Hua, Wang Qiuyan, Jiang Shihe and Wu Youru, and they often socialized together.

    This painting was made in Ren Yi's later years, when he was increasingly influenced by the freehand brushwork of bird and flower paintings by Chen Chun, Bada Shanren, and Hua Yan, adopting a more concise and natural style. Though with a simple composition and seemingly casual brushstrokes, the painting still shows the artist's great techniques. Ink in different shades is applied to branches in the front and back, cleverly expanding the depth of the scene. The bird standing on the branch is vividly painted with a soulful eye, creating another focal point opposite the flowering branch on the other side of the painting.

    The collector's seal at the bottom left corner belongs to Qian Jingtang (1907-1983), one of the greatest collectors of calligraphy and painting in the Jiangnan region, and Ren Yi was one of his most highly regarded painters. The collector's seal as seen on this painting was made specifically for Ren Yi's works in his collection. Many paintings by Ren Yi now in the collections of the Palace Museum and the National Art Museum of China were previously in Qian's collection.

    His authentication seal also appears on another Ren Bonian painting in the Fabian collection, Portrait of Gao Yong's wife, illustrated in Little, Stephen, and J. May Lee Barrett New Songs on Ancient Tunes: 19th-20th Century Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy from the Richard Fabian Collection, Honolulu: Honolulu Academy of Arts, 2007, pp. 274-275.

    任頤(1840-1895),字伯年,浙江紹興人。父鶴聲,擅肖像,任伯年幼從父習畫,尤重寫實。繼師任熊、任薰。同治七年(1868)移居上海,住在城隍廟的豫園。他廣結友人,與吳昌碩、虛谷、蒲華、王秋言、蔣石鶴、吳友如等,往來密切。

    此玉蘭圖作於任頤晚年,此時他受陳淳、八大山人、華嵒等的寫意花鳥影響,畫風更趨簡約自然。該圖佈局簡逸,筆墨隨性,卻仍處處見畫家心思功力,如以濃淡不同墨色勾勒前後枝條以表現畫面景深。立於枝條上的小鳥動態十足,眼眸靈動,形成與畫面另一側的花枝相對的畫面上另一焦點。

    本幅左下角有錢鏡塘(1907-1983)藏印一方。錢氏素有書畫"江南第一藏"之稱,任頤即為他最推崇的畫家之一。該藏印即為錢特製"錢鏡塘鑑定任伯年真跡之印"以鈐於其所藏任頤書畫之上。現故宮博物院及中國美術館所藏任頤作品,亦多有為錢氏舊藏。

    費立哲神父所藏另一任頤作品《高邕夫人肖像》,亦鈐有錢鏡塘鑑定任伯年真跡之印,參見Little, Stephen, and J. May Lee Barrett所著,New Songs on Ancient Tunes: 19th-20th Century Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy from the Richard Fabian Collection, 2007年, 頁274-275。
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