386
386
Lee Man Fong
ROOSTERS
Estimate
500,000700,000
LOT SOLD. 625,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
386
Lee Man Fong
ROOSTERS
Estimate
500,000700,000
LOT SOLD. 625,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art

|
Hong Kong

Lee Man Fong
1913-1988
ROOSTERS
Signed in Chinese and stamped with the seal of the artist
Oil on Masonite board
101.5 by 50 cm; 40 by 19 3/4  in.
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Provenance

Private Collection, Australia

Catalogue Note

As we celebrate an auspicious start to the year of the Fire Rooster, Sotheby’s is proud to bring to auction one of Lee Man Fong’s finest paintings of a rooster – a rare subject in his oeuvre.

The way in which Lee Man Fong paints roosters is a radical departure from his other works. Here, the background is rendered in light washes of paint, reflecting the serenity and lightness of medium in traditional Chinese in art. However, the rooster in the foreground stands in stark contrast to the gentle strokes in depicting natural formations: Lee Man Fong does not hesitate in bringing forth the boldness of personality fitting for a creature of such stature. He renders the rooster in broad, spirited impasto brushes of colour -  it holds an almost Impressionistic quality reminiscent of works of artists such as Mary Cassatt. This innovates on a long-standing genre in the footsteps of artists such as Qi Baishi, Zhang Daqian and Xu Beihong, a close friend of Lee Man Fong’s.

Furthermore, this piece is notable for the rooster’s colour and gaze, conveying its fiery yang spirit. Roosters represent civil virtues, martial virtues, confidence, kindness and domestic protection, sentiments thoroughly conveyed in Lee Man Fong’s piece. This majestic rooster stands tall, his eyes staring right at the viewer, highlighted by its rich plume. These yang elements are balanced by the yin of the hen behind him and the calmness of the background, creating a balanced and propitious composition suited for a boisterous year to come.

Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art

|
Hong Kong