Lot 538
  • 538

Chu Teh-Chun (Zhu Dequn)

15,000,000 - 20,000,000 HKD
23,640,000 HKD
bidding is closed


  • Chu Teh-Chun (Zhu Dequn)
  • 25 Décembre 1985
  • oil on canvas
  • 161 by 129.5 cm.   63 3/8  by 51 in.
signed in pinyin and Chinese and dated 85; signed in pinyin and Chinese, titled and dated 25 Décembre 1985 on the reverse


Galerie de France, Paris
Galerie Bernard Davignon, Paris
Private European Collection
Important Private Asian Collection

Catalogue Note

Important Private Asian Collection
25 Décembre 1985

Chinese Landscape Paintings traditionally centered on mountains. The depiction of mountains is not merely a testament of the artist’s composition skills, but also a demonstration of the philosophical dimension beyond natural landscape. Chu Teh-Chun was born in the mountainous area of Anhui, which is famed for its natural beauty and is historically the source of inspiration for many Chinese ink painters. Chu’s trip across the Alps in 1985 inspired his snow painting series, where the artist combined his experience watching falling snow from his Paris studio with his poetic epiphany while admiring the Mont Blanc into artistic excellence. Despite being vehicled in oil on canvas, 25 Décembre 1985 is a work of Oriental essence. It is comparable to the monumental landscapes depicted by the elite painters of the Song dynasty, and is reminiscent of Li Cheng’s elegant style. Acclaimed by Huang Binhong as “the one and only artist in Chinese landscape painting history”, Li Cheng’s work is distinctive in the richness of tonality, density of form, and harmony of shapes and relations. Capturing a reinterpreted form of such beautiful spirit resonance, this painting tames the wild European mountains with Chinese free painting style (xieyi) and Western abstract painting style. Chu skillfully renders the oil paint to achieve different intensity effects emphasized by Chinese ink painting. The adding of blue, green and red enhances the texture and enriches the viewing experience.

Chu Teh-Chun has devoted himself into the Lyrical Abstraction Movement since the 1950s. As the treatment of dots, lines and blocks in this painting reveals, Chu is deeply rooted in the traditional Chinese ink painting techniques as well as exploring the use of colours and lines from a western perspective. His ambition is exemplified in the calligraphic brushstrokes and the colour wash tendency effect in 25 Décembre 1985. From Western oil painting, the methods of dripping, sprinkling, throwing and flowing have been used to bring in more vitality and depth to the work. As the artist puts it, “The essence of my painting comes entirely from traditional Chinese painting.” Instead of being a puppet of the worlds of Li Cheng and Kandinsky, Chu successfully masters the techniques of both worlds to capture the spirit of the mountain, while discarding most details of nature’s appearance. It is thus a manifestation of Chu’s artistic taste and talent.