Lee Man Fong
- Lee Man Fong
- A Pair of Ponies
SIGNED IN CHINESE, SIGNED AGAIN WITH TWO ADDITIONAL SEALS OF THE ARTIST AND DATED 1959 IN CHINESE UPPER LEFT
OIL ON MASONITE BOARD
- 100 BY 136 CM.; 39 1/4 BY 53 1/2 IN.
In the late 1930s Lee Man Fong met the renowned Chinese artist Xu Beihong, an artist he had admired since his early youth. Xu was famed for his ink paintings of horses and his influence on Lee Man Fong is evident in the present work. A pair of ponies frolic in a misty, idyllic landscape, their necks intertwined while pine and plum blossom trees stood tall in the background. They are Chinese symbols of enduring love and fidelity. In composition the work is influenced by Chinese painting, with equal deftness between substance and void, light and darkness, bright colours and subdued tones. Lee manages to mimic the effect of an ink brush with his strokes, which is not a simple feat considering the differences in texture and consistency between ink and oil. The painting manages to be both powerful and tender, traditional and innovative. One of the most intimate and poetic renderings by LeeMan Fong, the present work epitomises all that the artist held dear: integrity, balance, serenity and enduring beauty.