Ming and Qing Dynasty Chinese Paintings and Calligraphies from the Wang Nan-ping Family Collection

Ming and Qing Dynasty Chinese Paintings and Calligraphies from the Wang Nan-ping Family Collection

Discover the collecting story behind the eminent connoisseur of ancient Chinese paintings and calligraphies.
Discover the collecting story behind the eminent connoisseur of ancient Chinese paintings and calligraphies.

A special collection highlight in Fine Classical Chinese Paintings this spring is Ming and Qing dynasty paintings and calligraphies from the Wang Nan-ping Family Collection. Named Jade Studio, the collection reflects the splendour of Wang Nan-ping’s refined appreciation for painting and calligraphy.

Cai Jia, Landscapes | Estimate: 3,000,000 - 5,000,000 HKD
Wang Shimin, Landscape after Ni Zan, dated bingxu (1946) | Estimate: 2,000,000 - 3,000,000 HKD

Wang Nan-ping (1924-1985) was born into a scholarly family. In his formative years, enlightenment in the arts came through stimulating and spirited discussions with his father and his cousin Xie Yucen (brother of Xie Zhiliu). When the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out in 1937, the family relocated from Changzhou to Shanghai where they ran a textile business. They and the celebrated painter and connoisseur Ye Gongchuo were neighbours. A close bond was built between the two families. Wang often sought guidance from Ye in the acquisition of paintings and calligraphy, and Ye, in turn generously imparted his knowledge. They fostered a relationship that was both mentorship and friendship. From Ye, Wang acquired dozens of Ming and Qing masterpieces, treasures of profound significance. He later became acquainted with the venerable collector Pang Yuanji who was a full cycle of 60 years older in accordance with the Chinese calendar. Pang saw through Wang’s kindred spirit in the realm of art and touched by his dedicated enthusiasm, took him under his wing. Pang referred their encounter as a “common passion, fated connection.”

"Of all the distinguished private collections I've been able to study over the years, it is the one that seems most perfectly and most fully to embody the tastes, ideals, and personality of its owner. Wong Nan-p'ing's contributions to the study, collecting, and knowledge of Chinese painting and calligraphy in America and the West are only beginning to be properly estimated now, together with the contributions of C.C. Wang, Wu Hufan, Xu Bangda, Xie Zhiliu, Zhang Daqian, and the other masters, who should always be remembered as the teachers of American and European scholars and collectors of Chinese art."
- Richard M. Barnhart, Overseas Collectors In The Twentieth Century Wang Nanping's Collection Of Ancient Chinese Paintings, 2015

Wang developed an extensive network of collector luminaries. His early purchase of Mi Youren’s Spectacular Views of the Xiao and Xiang (now in the Palace Museum in Beijing) was a great rarity and beckoned visits from prominent collectors such as Wu Hufan, Zhang Heng, Tan Jing, Xu Bangda, Wang Jiqian, and others. They since continued the creative dialogues encouraging intellectual rigour, sparking new insights, and building friendship and trust.

Yun Shouping, Landscape after Mi Fuwen | Estimate: 1,000,000 - 2,000,000 HKD

In spring 1949, Wang and his family relocated to Hong Kong, where he amassed a notable collection. He maintained interaction with Zhu Shengzhai, Zhang Daqian, and Pu Ru, traversing between Hong Kong and Taiwan in the pursuit of art. In early 1960s, he became a member of Min Chiu Society, the exclusive collectors’ circle in Hong Kong. By 1970s, Wang had established residence in the United States. He often lent his collection to American museums, and engaged in discourse with local academics and thought leaders, leaving an indelible mark on the awareness and appreciation of Chinese art. Endowed with a discerning eye, meticulous collecting practices, and astute connoisseurship, Wang achieved significant recognition in the global art world. His passing in 1985 at the age of 60, while seeking medical treatment in the US, was mourned as a loss to the study and collection of Chinese paintings he had so ardently championed.

Zha Shibiao, Landscape, dated bingwu (1666) | Estimate: 2,000,000 - 3,000,000 HKD

Wang’s collection predominantly centred on Ming and Qing paintings and calligraphy, with exceptional works from the Song and Yuan dynasties, and reflected his deep-seated appreciation for ancient Chinese philosophy and his reverence for the art of calligraphy. Wang made the remarkable works accessible via donations to esteemed institutions worldwide including: the Palace Museum in Beijing, Shanghai Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, Seattle Art Museum, Phoenix Art Museum in Arizona, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in California, and the Art Museum of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Earning acclaim from museums and scholars alike, the collection is emblematic of the literati painting development from the Song dynasty through to the 19th century, attesting to Wang’s status as an eminent connoisseur of ancient Chinese paintings and calligraphy worldwide.

Discover Other Highlights from the Wang Nan-ping Family Collection

Chinese Paintings – Classical The Hong Kong Sales

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