From 1983 to 2000, Marilyn and Roy Papp collected 180 paintings from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Forty works were donated to the Phoenix Art Museum in gifts from 2005 to 2009. About twenty more remain in Phoenix, on loan to the Museum. Over one hundred and twenty works included in the present sale span the breadth of the collection, which has been exhibited in 24 museum exhibitions and presented in ten scholarly publications. 

About the collectors

L. Roy Papp (1927-2011) was born in Trenton, New Jersey. He held an AB in economics from Brown University, an MBA in finance and banking from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Arizona State University. He served as a board member of the American Graduate School of International Management (now the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University).

Marilyn Amidon Papp (1931-2016) was born in Hartford, Wisconsin. She attended Carleton College in Minnesota, and later transferred to Douglass College at Rutgers University where she majored in art history. In addition to her BA degree from Douglass College, she held an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Arizona State University.

Marilyn and Roy married in 1951 and in 1955 they moved to Chicago. Roy joined the firm of Stein, Roe and Farnham. He spent 21 years with the firm and became a senior partner. In 1975, he was appointed by President Ford and confirmed by the Senate as US Director and Ambassador to the Asian Development Bank in Manila, The Philippines, where he served for two years. During their two years in Manila, the couple developed an interest in the art of Asia. Over sixty years of marriage, they shared enthusiasm for travel and charitable work. They counted at least 58 countries that they had visited.

When they returned to the US in 1977, they established a new home in Phoenix, and Roy founded an investment counselling firm. When the couple arrived, the Phoenix Art Museum was a young institution poised for growth. They were among those who gave the Museum that impetus. By 1983 they had begun, at Marilyn’s suggestion, to collect Chinese paintings, and by 1985, they had joined with others to found the Asian Arts Council of the Phoenix Art Museum. Marilyn would go on to lead the Docent Program as President, and Roy would serve both as Trustee and President of the Board of Trustees of Phoenix Art Museum.

Roy and Marilyn Papp

Scholarship on the collection

From the start of their collecting, Marilyn and Roy Papp chose to involve scholars at Arizona State University and at Phoenix Art Museum. Thus, since at least 1983, art historians at both institutions have conducted research relating to paintings in the collection. The scholarship of ASU Professor Emeritus Ju-hsi Chou, also Emeritus Curator of Chinese Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the present author, then Curator of Asian Art at Phoenix Art Museum, was essential to building the collection and to publishing three catalogues: Heritage of the Brush (1989), Scent of Ink (1994), and Journeys on Paper and Silk (1998). Each of these in turn documented the recently collected works in the Papp collection. About 30 works were purchased after 1998 and thus were not published in that series. A French edition of Scent of Ink was edited by Antoine Gournay and published by the Musée Cernuschi, Paris, in 1999. Throughout their collecting, Roy and Marilyn Papp appreciated advice and comment from Howard and Mary Ann Rogers.

Since 2000, under the curatorship of Dr. Janet Baker, Marilyn and Roy Papp donated forty paintings from their collection to Phoenix Art Museum. Some of these works were featured in a special exhibition, Hidden Meanings of Love and Death in Chinese Painting: Selections from the Marilyn and Roy Papp Collection, curated by Chun-yi Lee, now professor at National Taiwan Normal University. These gifts have greatly enhanced the Museum’s existing collection of Chinese painting donated by Jeannette Shambaugh Elliott and others.

As of now, seven MA and PhD thesis projects have been based on research related to paintings in the Papp collection. Beyond this, an on-going research project on the collection has involved several recent PhDs and graduate students. Some of the ASU students involved have been Jane Wai-yee Leong (PhD University of Durham, 2009), Chun-yi Lee as mentioned above, Jacqueline J. Chao (now curator at the Crow Collection, Dallas), Chen (Cynthia) Liu (now professor at Peking University), Ming Hua  (now at Bonham’s, New York), Meghan Cai (now professor at Grand Valley State University, MI), Mary C. Lyverse (now teaching at ASU), and current PhD students at ASU: Yang Wu, Xuewen Liu, Le (Lee) Lu, Julian S. Wu, Zuoting Wen, Momoko Soma Welch, and Carolyn Greene. PhD students Yanfei Yin at Ohio State University and Yijing Wang at University of Pittsburgh are also participating, as is Janet Chiaan Chen, who recently received her doctorate from the University of Kansas. Bill Howard of the Phoenix Art Museum is contributing his research and organizational skills to the project. Dr. Ralph Gabbard of ASU Libraries is also lending his expertise.

In 2012, Marilyn Papp established the Marilyn A. Papp Graduate Scholarship for students of Chinese art and culture. More than thirty grants have been made so far to PhD students at twelve different universities. Also endowed by her through the Phoenix Art Museum is the Marilyn A. Papp Chinese Painting Program, an annual seminar for scholarly presentations and close viewing of paintings organized by Janet Baker and the present author. In the ten years that the program has run, presenters have included Alfreda Murck, Richard Vinograd, Anita Chung, An-yi Pan, Robert Mowry, Chun-yi Lee, Arnold Chang, Howard Rogers, and myself, as well as two scholars from Beijing, Huang Huasan and Gao Yi. 

About the collection

A gem of the collection is the Ming dynasty handscroll Viewing the Mid-Autumn Moon at Bamboo Villa by Shen Zhou (Lot 530). In a classic work that combines painting, calligraphy and poetry, the artist presents an exquisite scene, poignant with meanings relating to the passage of time. Shen Zhou’s distinctive style was fondly recalled by later artists, for example, Xi Gang (Lot 597) and Zhu Henian (Lot 579), and he is considered the founder of the Wu School of artists centered in Suzhou.  Landscape by Hou Maogong (Lot 511), with its tall, slender format and reserved brushwork, shows how the Wu style evolved. Brewing Tea by Li Shida (Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, accession number 2007.206) reveals another aspect of the Wu School. The many descendants of Wu School artist Wen Zhengming are represented in two works, a handscroll by Wen Nan (Lot 514) and a fan by Wen Chu (Lot 537). Lohans Crossing the Sea by You Qiu (Lot 557) represents a group of professional painters in Suzhou whose skill in the detailed depiction of figures lent itself well to religious and historical subjects.

A different approach to painting figures and landscape is found in works associated with the Ming dynasty Zhe school, named for Zhejiang province. A fine example is a two panel screen of paintings broadly brushed by Wang Zheng (Figure 1, Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2009.50). These bold compositions in which gestural brushstrokes are combined with fine details may have been painted for a court patron, and later were transported to Japan. Two scrolls by Chen Zihe, a boldly painted Daoist immortal and a painting of two eagles, remain in Phoenix,1 as does a landscape by an anonymous artist of the Zhe school. A landscape by Zhao Changguo (Lot 510) also reflects the style of the Zhe school. Hanshan Crossing the Sea by Zhu Changlai (Lot 534) is remarkable for its bold composition as well as for its princely authorship. Zhu was made Prince of Yunxi in 1581.2

Figure 1. Wang Zheng (Active 15th Century), Two Immortals, ink and color on silk, two-panel screen, each panel 155.5 by 85.7 cm.,
Phoenix Art Museum, Photo: Ken Howie

An album which pairs landscapes on gold paper with facing pages of calligraphy on silk represents the great late Ming scholar-painter and art historian Dong Qichang (Lot 527). The gold paper resists the ink, and so the brushwork and occasional applications of color are clear with each movement of the brush traceable. The calligraphy pages, where the silk absorbs a bit, provide a balancing impression of depth. The collection holds works by several of Dong’s many followers, including two artists who are known to have ghost-painted for Dong, Zhao Zuo (Lot 526) and Shen Shichong (Lot 529).3 The handscroll by Zhao Zuo bears an inscription by Dong Qichang describing it as a joint work conceived as the two travelled together to Lake Dongting. Works by Shen Hao (Lot 513) and Song Xu (Lot 519) are also in the collection. A hanging scroll by Fang Shishu (Lot 569) is a tribute to Dong Qichang and in turn to Zhao Mengfu’s masterpiece, The Autumn Colors on the Qiao and Hua Mountains.4

One of the greatest strengths of the Papp collection is the holding of fourteen paintings by Lan Ying and his followers.5 Lan Ying had copied paintings in Dong Qichang’s collection and might have considered himself among Dong’s followers,6 but history has linked him to the great Zhe school of painters, active at Hangzhou and at the Ming court. Before 1644, Lan Ying was active in literati circles. After the Qing conquest, he painted commissioned works. Conversing on Ancient Matters in Snowy Mountains (Lot 550) stands as one of Lan Ying’s best paintings. Remarkably, four of his direct descendants are represented in the Papp collection: Lan Meng (Lot 551), son of Lan Ying; Lan Tao (Lot 552), son of Lan Meng and grandson of Lan Ying; Lan Shen (Lot 555), also son of Lan Meng and grandson of Lan Ying; and Lan Hui (Lot 539), a further descendant of Lan Ying. Lan Meng’s style is close to Lan Ying whereas the youngest descendant drifts away into a more scholarly mode less tied to Ming professional painters and less reminiscent of the Zhe school. Feng Xianshi (Lot 554), Zhang Cai (Lot 553), and Liu Du (Lot 541) are considered followers of Lan Ying.  Another fan by Liu Du, a hanging scroll by Zhang Sheng (Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2007.203), and a hanging scroll by Hong Du (Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2007.202), all representing Lan Ying’s significant following, will stay in Phoenix.

Another line of succession begins with Gong Xian (Lot 524), the Nanjing artist who revived the technique of painting with “Mi dots”. The artist’s inscription on the painting in the Papp collection gives some of his theory of painting. An individualist, Gong Xian considered his own work unique. As a teacher, he attracted followers. Li Ying (Lot 523),7 whose hanging scroll in ink on satin in the Papp collection owes inspiration to Gong Xian, may not have been a direct pupil. Wang Gai (Lot 571) was certainly that, although the handscroll here shows his own individual style. Wang Gai went on to create a widespread and long-lived legacy in his Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting (Jieziyuan huazhuan), first published in 1679 and republished, reedited, expanded, and reprinted many times in China and Japan.8

Many other 17th century artists who lived through the Ming-Qing transition are represented in the Papp collection. Zha Shibiao (Lot 521) is recognized as one of the Anhui masters, but he worked in Nanjing and especially Yangzhou. His work is said to have laid the groundwork for Yangzhou’s flourishing artistic activity in the 18th century. Also working in the Yangzhou region, Gu Fuzhen (Lot 532 and 533) revived the blue-and-green (qinglü) manner, using it to create meticulous and jewel-like renditions of landscape with a flavor of nostalgia. Xu Fang (Lot 528) was a notable Ming loyalist who lived outside of Suzhou. Another Suzhou artist of the 17th century was Zhang Hong, represented by two works in the Papp collection (Lot 517 and Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2007.205). Painted just ten years after the Qing conquest, the brilliantly colored handscroll by Qian Fen (Lot 583) was preserved in Japan, like many other works that might be seen in a context of Ming loyalism. Qian, however, had already retired from public life before the Qing conquest. The wooden storage box for the scroll bears an inscription by Tomioka Tessai, the great Japanese literati painter.

The son of a Ming loyalist, Yun Shouping (figure 2, Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2006.164)9 developed a style based on the mogu “boneless” technique of applying color without outlines. Although he personally avoided serving the Qing court, his style was introduced there by scholar officials and became an orthodox manner for painting flower subjects.

Figure 2. Yun Shouping (1633-1690), Leaf D from Flowers, Bamboo, Fruits and Vegetables, ink and color on paper, album of ten leaves, each leaf 25.3 by 33.5 cm., Phoenix Art Museum, Photo: Ken Howie

Another 17th century artist is Wu Li (figure 3, Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2005.136). History remembers Wu as a scholar who shifted his attention from studying Neo-Confucian philosophy and Chan Buddhism to studying Christianity with the Jesuits at Macao. He was ordained a priest in 1688. The style of this fan painting, however, reflects Wu’s study with Wang Shimin and Wang Jian, two of the “Four Wang” who developed the style that came to be called the Orthodox style.

Figure 3. Wu Li (1632-1718), Misty Trees in Autumn Mountains after Guo Xi, ink on paper, fan leaf mounted as a hanging scroll, 17 by 50.8 cm. 
Phoenix Art Museum, Photo: Craig Smith

Perhaps the greatest practitioner of the Orthodox style and the one who introduced it at the Qing court was Wang Yuanqi, represented here by two works (Lot 566 and 568). Wang Yuanqi rose to high rank as an official and became a favorite painter of the Kangxi emperor. One might assert that Wang Yuanqi established the model of the scholar-official-painter at the Manchu court. An album by Wang Zhuan (Lot 522), son of Wang Shimin and uncle of Wang Yuanqi, reflects the transition from Wang Shimin to his grandson Wang Yuanqi.

When the Kangxi emperor sought a painter to design and oversee the execution of a series of scrolls commemorating his inspection tour of the south, Wang Hui was recommended. Over seven years, he produced twelve sumptuous and highly polished narrative scrolls depicting the emperor’s 1689 seventy-day tour. The handscroll (Lot 576) preserves 475 cm (15.5 feet) of scroll six in the series of twelve scrolls documenting the complete tour. A hanging scroll by Wang Hui is preserved in the Phoenix Art Museum along with a pair of hanging scrolls by Wang Hui’s follower Gu Fang (Phoenix Art Museum, gifts of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2005.135 and 2006.125.A-B). A fan painting by another disciple of Wang Hui, Cai Yuan (Lot 564) appears here.

As important as Wang Hui may be, it was Wang Yuanqi who had the greatest lineage of followers among scholar-officials at the Qing court. Fifty years after Wang Yuanqi first established the Orthodox style at Kangxi’s court, Tang Dai (Lot 504, 563, and 565), a Manchu official, was painting landscapes in the Orthodox manner. Tang Dai served as a mentor to Prince Bao who would become the Qianlong emperor. Also working in the Orthodox manner was scholar-official Dong Bangda (Lot 567 and Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2005.124), one of the compilers of the Shiqu Baoji, Qianlong’s 1745 catalog of the imperial collection of painting and calligraphy.

The Orthodox manner was fundamental for two Manchu princes who were painters. These are Yongrong, two of whose paintings are mounted together in one handscroll (figure 4, Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2005.137), and Hongwu represented by two albums (Lot 574 and Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2005.127).

Figure 4. Yongrong (1744-1790), Landscape in the Style of Meihua Daoren; Limpid Dawn in Rivers Hills, ink on paper; ink and color on paper, handscroll, 24.7 by 153.7 cm; 24.4 by 153.2 cm. Phoenix Art Museum, Photo: Ken Howie

Wang Chen (Lot 577 and Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2005.134.A-H) was a great-grandson of Wang Yuanqi and a student of Dong Bangda, and his work, though distinct from theirs, shows his heritage. Also associated with the Orthodox style is the work of two brothers, Qian Weicheng (Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2007.200) and Qian Weiqiao (Lot 573 and Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2005.131). They carried the style through to the end of the 18th century and at the beginning of the 19th it was further explored by Wang Xuehao (Lot 586, 604 and 618) who might be called a third-generation follower of Wang Yuanqi.

The small album by Zou Yigui (Lot 598) comes from the Qianlong court. Probably it was intended for one of the emperor’s duobaoge treasure chests. Zou paid direct tribute to Qianlong in the last leaf of the album with the motif of the plant called wannianqing, literally “verdant over ten thousand years.”10 Qianlong collected paintings before he became emperor. Then known as Prince Bao, he gathered a collection of ancient paintings as well as contemporary works. Prince Bao owned flower paintings by Yun Shouping and Zou Yigui. Zou studied Yun Shouping’s work (and married one of Yun’s descendants) but he used a different technique in his flower album, combining linework, color, and shading. This small album is signed with the term “your servitor” (chen) so it was probably painted for Hongli after he became the Qianlong emperor. Zou wrote in his treatise on flower painting that “the important point in painting flowers is to represent the shapes of the flowers according to nature and not to take them from one’s masters.”11

Handscrolls by two 18th-century artists with the surname Zhang, Zhang Zongcang (Lot 570) and Zhang Pengchong (Lot 590), were united as a pair by a collector. They were re-mounted and fitted with matching hardwood boxes. Zhang Zongcang was recruited for court service in 1751 by the Qianlong emperor after Zhang presented paintings to the emperor on his Southern Inspection Tour. More than fifty paintings by Zhang Zongcang survive in the National Palace Museum collection in Taipei. The Zhang Pengchong scroll is an unusual blending of blue and green color with ragged ink contours and texture strokes.12

The Papp collection includes several major examples of works by professional painters of the 18th century. These include a large palace scene by Yuan Jiang (Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2005.138), and an unusual and highly descriptive view of farming activities by Yuan Yao (Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2005.139). An album by Shen Quan (Shen Nanping) (figure 5, Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2005.133) bears delightful scenes of Flowers, Birds and Animals in auspicious and highly descriptive settings. Shen Quan is perhaps best known as the Chinese artist who visited Japan and established a following known as the Nagasaki school of painting.

Figure 5. Shen Quan (1682-Circa 1760), Leaf E from Flowers, Birds and Animals, ink and color on silk, album of twelve leaves, each leaf 20.6 by 31 cm., 
Phoenix Art Museum, Photo: Ken Howie

A rare landscape dated 1782 by scholar-official Qian Feng (Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2005.130), who served at the Qing court in the late 18th century, was the first Chinese painting purchased by Marilyn and Roy Papp. Qian Feng has been best known for his horse paintings. A handscroll by Fang Xun (Lot 584), painted in the early 1780s, commemorates a celebration of the Duanwu festival and gives a rare glimpse of a family celebration.

The miniature album painted by Zou Yigui for the Qianlong emperor is mentioned above. There are other miniature albums in the collection (a few remain in Phoenix), some made for Qianlong and others made for private patrons. One (Lot 592) represents the artistic collaboration of a husband and wife, Kuai Jiazhen and Qian Yuling.

Aside from the album just mentioned, there are works by several female artists included in the collection and their work shows a wide variety of styles. Wen Chu (Lot 537), mentioned above, followed the Wen family style. Lin Xue (remaining in Phoenix) worked in a style reminiscent of Dong Qichang and his circle. Wang Zheng (Lot 559), a scholar and tutor for a Manchu official’s daughters, painted this hanging scroll in a style associated with court painters of previous dynasties. Cai Han (Lot 562) was a concubine of Mao Xiang, a noted scholar and Ming loyalist. His inscription on her fan painting of an old pine tree emphasizes the longevity theme. The collection also has a hanging scroll by Dong Wanzhen, wife of Tang Yifen, which remains in Phoenix.

A group of works in the collection focuses attention on the role of female beauty in later Chinese painting. The album by Gai Qi (Lot 595) presents famous women from history and legend, including women scholars and artists. A handscroll on the theme of a hundred beauties engaged in cultivated pastimes is rendered in baimiao, fine-line ink painting, by Fei Danxu (Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2006.166). A work by Gu Luo (Lot 617) represents Lin Daiyu, a character from the novel Dream of the Red Chamber (Hongloumeng), as she buries fallen blossoms while musing over the impermanence of things. A fan by Gu Luo (Lot 602) presents the famous Tang dynasty beauty Yang Guifei having her portrait painted. Complementing these depictions of famous women are paintings of famous men, such as a handscroll by Gai Qi (Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2006.165)13 depicting the Luminaries of Mount Shang, who withdrew at the time of Emperor Qin Shihuang (reigned 221 BC – 210 BC). The artist based the scroll on a painting he saw by Tang Yin (1470-1524). A striking portrait of Lin Zexu (Lot 612) records his travels by boat on the Yangzi River in 1837, just before his engagement in the opening events of the Opium War.

Among flower paintings of the 19th century, the album by Fei Danxu (figure 6, Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp 2007.199.A-X) stands out as a prime example. Describing this album, Ju-hsi Chou observed, “Ink is used not as a ‘bone,’ but as one of the hues in the so-called ‘boneless’ manner. The skill and ease so exemplified supports the claim of versatility for this painter, for otherwise he is chiefly known for his treatment of feminine beauties and portraiture.”14

Figure 6. Fei Danxu (1801-1850), Leaf J from Flowers, ink and color on paper, album of twenty-four leaves, each leaf 22.6 by 32 cm. ,
Phoenix Art Museum, Photo: Craig Smith

Marilyn and Roy Papp collected several landscape paintings of the early 19th century including a handscroll of his own idyllic retreat by Tu Zhuo (Lot 591). An album by Gu Heqing (Lot 588) represents the gardens of a scholar in the Zhenjiang region. One leaf showing transplanting bamboo suggests the rise in prosperity and growth that that city underwent at around the year 1800. A landscape by Su Renshan (Lot 547) was painted when that artist, active in Guangdong province, was still in his teens.

Mid-nineteenth century landscapes are represented by Dai Xi (Lot 608), an early work, and by the same artist a set of eight hanging scrolls, a work of his maturity (figure 7, Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2009.51.1-8). Dai’s contemporary Tang Yifen (Lot 610 and 611) is also represented by two works in the collection. The scholars who added colophons to the handscroll by Tang Yifen, including Puru, a member of the Manchu Imperial family, wrote eloquently about the emergence of Dai Xi and Tang Yifen, their exemplary characters and the good effect they had on painting. A pair of hanging scrolls by Dai Yiheng (Lot 587), nephew of Dai Xi, follow in this trend.

Figure 7. Dai Xi (1801-1860), Landscape, ink and color on gold-# ecked paper, set of eight hanging scrolls, first and last scrolls 163 by 40.6 cm; other scrolls 163 by 43.5 cm., Phoenix Art Museum, Photo: Craig Smith

The continuing importance of ancient models can be seen in the album by Lu Hui (Lot 620). Lu had access to collections of old paintings. The inscriptions on the first two paintings in the album suggest he followed specific works by ancient masters. Although the other compositions may have been freely invented, he captured the general style of each artist, especially Chen Hongshou in Leaf H. Other paintings, like leaf C, convey an updated re-invention of a certain artist’s style. Lu Hui served on the staff of scholar-official and poet-painter-collector Wu Dacheng (1835-1902). A set of eight scrolls by Lu Hui (figure 8, Phoenix Art Museum, gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp, 2006.169) celebrated the sixtieth birthday of Wu Dacheng in 1894. The set is inscribed by the painter and connoisseur Wu Hufan (1894-1968), adopted grandson and heir of Wu Dacheng.

Figure 8. Lu Hui (1851-1920), Flowers and plants, gold on dark blue paper, set of eight hanging scrolls, each scroll 139 by 23.5 cm. 
Phoenix Art Museum, Photo: Craig Smith

In the late Qing some Chinese artists travelled to Japan and worked there, just as Shen Quan had done in the 18th century. The Papp collection holds works by Hu Yuan (Hu Gongshou) (Lot 589), Hu Zhang (Hu Tiemei) (Lot 616 and another remaining in Phoenix), Zhang Xin (Lot 615), and Wang Yin (remaining in Phoenix).15 All of them worked for a time in Japan.

The Papp collection includes rare items associated with the late Qing court.16 One of these, a small album by Dai Quheng, a high official who had joined Qianlong’s imperial manuscript library project, Complete Library of the Four Treasuries (Siku quanshu), and continued court service under the reign of Jiaqing (1796-1820). He served as tutor to the Jiaqing emperor’s son Prince Miankai. In Celebration of Child Prodigies (Lot 594) bears the poems inscribed by the Prince on each leaf and his dedication to the emperor on the last leaf: “Your son and servitor, Miankai, respectfully inscribed (the album) at your command.”  A work by Qu Zhaolin, active as a court painter under the Empress Dowager Cixi, remains in Phoenix.17 Another artist active during Cixi’s time in power was Chen Zhaofeng, whose Pasturing Horses (Lot 601) appears here in this sale. Qu was praised by Cixi as an artist who could paint in the manner of Lang Shining (Giuseppe Castiglione),18 and Chen apparently developed similar skills. In the 18th century Castiglione and other artists had devised ways to integrate some aspects of Western pictorial space and the technique of shading to suggest volume (chiaroscuro) with Chinese media and formats. Such elements were largely disused in the 19th century as private patronage supplanted that of the court. However, in the late-19th and early 20th century, certain elements of Western pictorial realism resurfaced in a revival of the “Lang Shining” or “Castiglione” style. Chen Zhaofeng’s screen reflects this intriguing aspect of court painting at the end of the Qing dynasty.

The Papp collection includes no works by the so-called Eight Eccentrics of 18th century Yangzhou, nor any by the Four Ren active in Shanghai in the 19th century. Works by Shitao and Zhu Da are also conspicuously absent. This is because Roy and Marilyn felt that other collectors had already concentrated on these famous artists. In collecting, they were not guided by the artist’s name, but rather they selected each work based on its own intrinsic quality and beauty.

Claudia Brown is a Professor of Art History at Arizona State University.


1. Scent of Ink: The Roy and Marilyn Papp Collection of Chinese Painting, Phoenix Art Museum, 1994, cat. 1, pp. 18-19; and Hidden Meanings of Love and Death in Chinese Painting: Selections from the Marilyn and Roy Papp Collection, Phoenix Art Museum, 2013, fig. 4, pp. 20-21. Another Zhe school painting that remains in Phoenix is by Wu Shi’en (Hidden Meanings, fig. 16, p. 34).
2. For this and more biographical information on the artist, see Journeys on Paper and Silk: The Roy and Marilyn Papp Collection of Chinese Painting,Phoenix Art Museum, 1998, p. 39. On the role of Ming princes in the patronage of Daoism, see Richard G. Wang, The Ming Prince and Daoism: Institutional Patronage of an Elite, New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.
3. On these activities see Scent of Ink, p. 26
4. On this painting see Ju-hsi Chou, “Chain of Causation: Fang Shishu’s The Autumn Colors on the Qiao and Hua Mountains after Zhao Mengfu and Dong Qichang,” in Judith G. Smith (Ed.), Tradition and Transformation: Studies in Chinese Art in Honor of Chu-tsing Li, University of Kansas, 2005, pp. 281-303.
5. Ju-hsi Chou, “Through the Disciple’s Eyes: Transmission of Art and Group Interactions in the Ming and Qing Periods,” in Heritage of the Brush: The Roy and Marilyn Papp Collection of Chinese Painting, Phoenix Art Museum, 1989, pp. 11-21
6. For this and more on Lan Ying’s place in history, see Heritage of the Brush, 42-43.
7. Chou, “Through the Disciple’s Eyes.” For recent scholarship on family traditions in Ming and Qing painting, especially the Wen family heritage, see Craig Clunas, “The Family Style: Art as Lineage in the Ming and Qing,” in Jerome Silbergeld and Dora C. Y. Ching, The Family Model in Chinese Art and Culture,Princeton, NJ: The P.Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center for East Asian Art, 2013, pp. 459-474.
8. The manual has been reprinted and published many times. See, for example, Mai-mai Sze, The Tao of Painting: A Study of the Ritual Disposition of Chinese Painting with a translation of the Chieh tzu yüan hua chuan or Mustard Seed Garden manual of painting, 2 vols, New York: Pantheon Books, 1956. See also Dawn Ho Delbanco, Nanking and the Mustard Seed Garden Painting Manual (Doctoral dissertation), Harvard University, 1981. The manual also circulated in Korea (see Burglind Jungmann, Painters as Envoys: Korean Inspiration in Eighteenth-Century Japanese Nanga, Princeton University Press, 2004, pp. 49-51).
9. This album was the focal point for Momoko S. Welch, Reconstructing Yun Shouping’s Legacy: His Life and Work as Perceived in Edo-period Japan(Master’s thesis), Arizona State University, 2010.
10. Scent of Ink, p. 82. See also Claudia Brown, “Scholar Zhang Peeks at Yingying: Thoughts on Pictorial Aspects of Chinese Cloisonné and the Relationship with Painting”, in Béatrice Quette (Ed.), Cloisonné: Chinese enamels from the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, New York: Bard Graduate Center, 2011, fig. 7.24.
11. The treatise is the Xiaoshan Manual of Painting (Xiaoshan huapu). Translation from Osvald Sirén, Chinese Painting: Leading Masters and Principles, vol. V, NY: The Ronald Press Company, 1956. Scent of Ink, p. 83 points out that Zou “contended that his floral studies were not those of wild, natural growth, which would be too tangled and disorderly in nature, but of the cultivated varieties.” Cura, “A Cultural Biography of the Admonitions Scroll: The Qianlong Reign (1736-1795)”, in Shane McCausland (Ed.), Gu Kaizhi and the Admonitions Scroll, London: The British Museum Press, 2003, pp. 260-276, comments (272 and 276n51) that Zou “meticulously described how to depict 115 varieties of flowers using eleven mineral pigments.”
12. For more on these two handscrolls, see Heritage of the Brush, pp. 80-83.
13. Journeys on Paper and Silk, cat. 45, pp. 147-149.
14. Scent of Ink, p. 132.
15. For the paintings in Phoenix by Hu Zhang and Wang Yin, see Scent of Ink, cat. 48, 49, pp. 157-161.
16. More scholarship is needed on the continuation of activity in painting and the arts during the reigns following Qianlong. For a brief study, seeTranscending Turmoil: Painting at the Close of China’s Empire, 1796-1911, Phoenix Art Museum, 1992, pp. 14-37.
17. Scent of Ink, cat. 45, pp. 152-153; and Transcending Turmoil, cat. 7, pp. 34-35.
18. Ka Bo Tsang, “In Her Majesty’s Service: Women Painters in China at the Court of the Empress Dowager Cixi,” in Deborah Cherry and Janice Helland,Local/Global: Women Artists in the Nineteenth Century, England: Ashgate Press, 2006, pp. 35-57. See especially, 38 and 56nn16, 17. These notes refer an article by Qu’s grandson, Qu Zuming. On Chen Zhaofeng, see also Transcending Turmoil, cat. 6, pp. 32-33.

Introduction Selected Publication List:
1. Ju-hsi Chou and Claudia Brown, Heritage of the Brush: The Roy and Marilyn Papp Collection of Chinese Painting, Phoenix Art Museum, 1989|
2. Claudia Brown, “Heritage of the Brush: The Roy and Marilyn Papp Collection of Chinese Painting”, in Orientations, vol. 22, no. 9, September 1991, pp. 76-82
3. Ju-hsi Chou and Claudia Brown, Scent of Ink: The Roy and Marilyn Papp Collection of Chinese Painting, Phoenix Art Museum, 1994
4. Marsha Weidner (Ed.), Perspectives on the Heritage of the Brush, University of Kansas, 1997
5. Ju-hsi Chou, Journeys on Paper and Silk: The Roy and Marilyn Papp Collection of Chinese Painting, Phoenix Art Museum, 1998
6. Antoine Gournay (Ed.), Le Parfum de l’encre: Peintures Chinoises de la Collection Roy et Marilyn Papp, Musée Cernuschi, 1999
7. Ju-hsi Chou, “Chain of Causation: Fang Shishu’s The Autumn Colors on the Qiao and Hua Mountains after Zhao Mengfu and Dong Qichang”, in Judith Smith (Ed.), Tradition and Transformation: Studies in Chinese Art in Honor of Chu-tsing Li, The University of Kansas, 2005, pp. 281-303
8. Claudia Brown, “Painting and the Qing Court: Scholar-Artists, 1736-1850”, in Judith Smith (Ed.), Tradition and Transformation: Studies in Chinese Art in Honor of Chu-tsing Li, University of Kansas, 2005, pp. 305-321
9. Claudia Brown (Ed.), Myriad Points of View, Arizona State University, Phoebus 9, 2006
10. Chun-yi Lee, Hidden Meanings of Love and Death in Chinese Painting: Selections from the Marilyn and Roy Papp Collection, Phoenix Art Museum, 2013