1255

Details & Cataloguing

Fine Chinese Paintings

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Hong Kong

Zhang Daqian (Chang Dai-chien, 1899-1983)
PORTRAIT OF GUANYIN FROM DUNHUANG FRESCO
signed ZHANG DAQIAN YUAN, dated 1943, inscribed, with a dedication, and two seals of the artist
ink and colour on silk, framed
189 by 86 cm. 74 3/8 by 33 7/8 in.
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Catalogue Note

In 1941, Zhang Daqian travelled to Dunhuang to study Buddhist mural paintings at the famed Mogao Caves, where they stayed for approximately two years. Portrait of Guanyin from Dunhuang Fresco was created in the early summer of 1943 as a gift to Gu Zhenglun, the Chairman of Gansu provincial government of the time, and his wife.

The painting is a fresco copy of the Bodhisattva in Mogao Cave number 277. A gentle kindness is conveyed through the Bodhisattva’s solemn disposition while the torso is thickly impastoed with mineral-based pigments in a manner that is reminiscent of the ornate splendor of the Tang Dynasty. Besides those kept in the National Palace Museum of Taipei and the Sichuan Museum, the present painting is one of the few examples of Zhang’s fresco painting remaining in private hands.

Fine Chinese Paintings

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Hong Kong