Lot 511
  • 511

Yu Chengyao

500,000 - 700,000 HKD
bidding is closed


  • Yu Chengyao
  • Landscape
  • ink on paper, framed
signed in Chinese and marked with one seal of the artist


Han Tang Yufu Collection
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 3 November 1994, lot 708
Private Asian Collection


Sotheby's Thirty Years in Hong Kong, Sotheby's, Hong Kong, China, 2003, p. 100

Catalogue Note

Yu Chengyao, born in 1898 in Fujian, set aside his brush at an early age to join the National Revolutionary Army, and rose to become a General during the Sino-Japanese war. At the age of fifty-six in 1954, Yu created his first painting; he drew upon topographical knowledge from his military days, and painted nostalgic memories of China’s majestic landscapes in a realistic style. Inspired by his extensive travels, Yu looked to nature as his teacher.

As evident in Landscape (Lot 511), the mountains are outlined first and the dense vegetation and stone cliffs are then rendered in various densities of distinctive dry brushstrokes. While his lack of formal artistic training is widely known, his decades of cultivating the scholarly lifestyle of the literati through the appreciation of ancient poetry, calligraphy, and music greatly enhanced his explorations in painting. The idealized landscape is poetically composed of meandering streams amidst receding mountains while his distinctively textured brushstrokes provide a calligraphic rhythm to each mountain and ascending peak. His paintings exude a confidence in their brushwork and sense of structural design in composition that garner praise from his contemporaries and scholars alike.