T his work was a birthday present from Zhang Daqian to the parents of his good friend Tai Jingnong, notable scholar and calligrapher.
Zhang Daqian was known for his generosity, and it pleased him to create exceptional works for his close friends. As the title of the work suggests, the painting depicts the ancient mountains from the homeland of Tai Jingnong's family. The mountain is also a metaphor for longevity, bringing to mind the saying “as long-lived as the hills.”
Created in 1967, this work is completed in splashed ink and colour, a technique created by the artist which embraces both Eastern and Western influences, and demonstrates the pinnacle of the artist’s splash-colour period. At this time, the artist was bursting with creative energy and produced most of his abstract works. Here, on a sheet of gold paper measuring over four feet, the artist liberally splashed mineral pigments and ink, forming a large splatter of vibrant hues of blue, green and black.
Over the abstract imagery, he added subtle motifs of Chinese landscapes – a pavilion atop and water cascades, bringing the abstract painting to life. Emerging from the mist, a lofty mountain comes to light. With the vivid colours against the background of gleaming gold, the visual impact is striking and extravagant, creating an immersive scenery that is most breathtaking and magnificent.
Lot 6006 - Details
Zhang Daqian (Chang Dai-chien, 1899-1983)
LUSH MOUNTAINS IN MISTY GLEAM
signed ZHANG YUAN, dated 1967, titled, with a dedication, and four seals of the artist
splashed ink and colour on gold paper, framed
128.2 by 63.5 cm. 50 1/2 by 25 in.
Gift from artist to Tai Jingnong
From the family collection of Tai Jingnong
Sotheby’s Hong Kong, Fine Chinese Paintings, Apr 2017, Lot 1453
Current owner: Private collection Hong Kong acquired in aforementioned auction in 2017
Hong Kong, Sotheby's Hong Kong Gallery, Zhang Daqian: The Master, 12 Oct - 9 Nov, 2019
Zhang Daqian: The Master exhibition catalogue, Sotheby's Hong Kong Limited, Oct 2019, p.61