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Details & Cataloguing

The Mei Yun Tang Collection of Paintings By Chang Dai-Chien ── A Master’s Secrets Unveiled

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Hong Kong

Zhang Daqian (Chang Dai-chien, 1899-1983)
"BUDDHA-HEAD BLUE" PEONY
with three seals of the artist, and two collector’s seals, one on the titleslip. Titleslip by Kao Ling-mei

Inscription:
Painted for “younger brother” Mujuan in early-summer of the wuzi year, Dai-chien Chang Yuan.
ink and colour on paper, hanging scroll, 1948
145 BY 69 CM. 57⅛ BY 27⅛ IN.
Lire le rapport d'état Lire le rapport d'état

Exposition

Hong Kong, City Hall Art Gallery, Recent Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, 21 April-9 May 1962
Singapore, Victoria Memorial Hall, Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, 12-17 March 1963
Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka, Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, 24-30 June 1963
Malaya, Ipoh, Ku Kong Chow Kung Wai, Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, 9-16 November 1963
Malaya, Penang, Penang Museum, Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, 20-29
December 1963
Thailand, Bangkok, Kai Shou Hall & Metropolitan Bank, Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, 12-25 September 1964
Thailand, Haadyai, Hakkas Association Auditorium, Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Daichien, 2-8 February 1965
Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Art Gallery, The Mei Yun Tang
Collection of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, 17 April-23 May 1993
Japan, Tokyo, Shoto Museum of Art, The Mei Yun Tang Collection of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, 5 April-21 May 1995
Singapore, Singapore Art Museum, The Mei Yun Tang Collection of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, 28 February-27 April 1997

Bibliographie

Exhibition of Recent Works by Zhang Daqian, exhibition catalogue, Exhibition Gallery of the City Hall, Hong Kong, April 1962, no. 100
Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, exhibition catalogue, East Art Co., Hong Kong, March 1963, Singapore exhibit no. 98
Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, exhibition catalogue, East Art Co., Hong Kong, June 1963, Kuala Lumpur exhibit no. 98
Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, exhibition catalogue, East Art Co., Hong Kong, November 1963, Ipoh exhibit no. 98
Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, exhibition catalogue, East Art Co., Hong Kong, December 1963, Penang exhibit no. 98
Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, exhibition catalogue, East Art Co., Hong Kong, September 1964, Bangkok exhibit no. 98
Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, exhibition catalogue, East Art Co., Hong Kong, February 1965, Haadyai exhibit no. 98
The Mei Yun Tang Collection of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, edited by Kao Mayching, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Art Gallery, Hong Kong, 1993, pl. 43
The Mei Yun Tang Collection of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, Shoto Museum of Art,
Japan, 1995, pl. 42
The Art of Chang Dai-chien, written by Ba Tong, National Museum of History, Taipei,
December 1996, colour pl. 34

Description

Peonies In The Elaborate Style
Blessed with majestic elegance and splendour, the peony is hailed as
the queen of all flowers, the reigning beauty of celestial fragrance.
Hence, in the elaborate style of painting, it may be regarded as the
representative of the floral kingdom.

Of the numerous species of tree peony, the ones I like best are the
Palace Crimson, the Inky Purple and the Buddhahead Blue. To paint
these varieties, one must make painstaking efforts and not expect to
get good results via the slipshod way. It is no child’s play to grind the
mineral pigments and mix in the right proportion of glue. If the glue
content is too low, the pigment may easily fall off; if too high, it may
become dull and sluggish. The glue must be mixed into the pigment
on the day it is used and should be drained off after use by means of
a bath, or else the original colour of the azurites and malachites will be
lost. A certain kind of crimson has a glue content ready for use; the
others must be pulverized with the fingers and glue-processed by the
painter himself.

The Palace Crimson. The artist begins with tracing the outline of the
petals with a thin brush and diluted ink. Next he draws the branches
and leaves in such an order as may befit the form of the flower. The
petals should be filled one after another with even washes of light
carmine and, when dry, with another coat of the same colour. Then he
washes every petal over with deep carmine three or four times so that
the pigment will stand out in relief with a velvety effect. The contour
of each petal is to be outlined with heavy carmine and again with
milk gold, thus adding lustre to the regal elegance of the flower. The
anthers should be stippled with whitish-yellow. In case of a full-blown
flower, the pistils should be painted with malachite into the shape of a
cluster of millet grains and touched with saf-flower red at their tips. The
anthers may be dotted with whitish-yellow or milk gold.

It is the practice to provide the leaves and branches with a red ochre
base before washing them over with malachite green. When dry, the
painter may define their contour with sap green and wash the leaf-face
over with the same colour two or three times. In the final wash, space
should be left along both sides of the leaf-veins to make allowance
for the gradual fade-out of the azurite line to be drawn in the middle.
For the other side of the leaves and the tender leaves, No. 2 or No. 3
green is commonly used. Light indigo and sap green are suitable for
describing the contour of the back of leaves. If the lines are drawn once
again with milk gold, the effect will be even more engaging.

The Buddhahead Blue. The technique of painting the leaves and
branches is the same as that depicted above. But instead of carmine,
the artist fills the face of the petals with flat washes of azurite,
preferably No. 3, without gradation, and the back with No. 4. The
boundaries must be outlined with light indigo and milk gold, otherwise
the flower may appear insipid and dull.

Extracted from Chinese Painting with the Original Paintings and
Discourses on Chinese Art by Professor Chang Dai-chien
Edited and compiled by Kao Ling-mei
Translated by Yao Hsin-nung

The Mei Yun Tang Collection of Paintings By Chang Dai-Chien ── A Master’s Secrets Unveiled

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Hong Kong