Lot 1103
  • 1103


60,000 - 80,000 USD
106,250 USD
bidding is closed


  • Tao Cheng
  • ink and color on paper, hanging scroll
  • 121.1 by 32.3 cm. 47 5/8  by 12 3/4  in. 
with one seal of the artist, yun hu tao cheng Titleslip by Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), signed Yuanweng, with one seal, zhang da qian chang nian da ji you ri li With four collectors' seals of the Chew family, qiu yong he jian shang zhang, wu zhong ying yin, qiu fu lun yin, qiu fu lun cang hua with three collectors' seals of Zhang Daqian, da feng tang zhen wan, cang zhi da qian, bu fu gu ren gao hou ren; and two other collector's seals, both illegible


Zhang Daqian (Chang Dai-chien) collection

Catalogue Note

Tao Cheng, zi Mengxu or Maoxue, hao Yunhu xianren, was a native of Baoying, Jiangsu. The scion of an official family, he passed the prefectural imperial examinations in Nanjing. He was active during the late 15th century, during the Chenghua and Hongzhi reigns. According to historical records, Tao Cheng was adept at poetry and calligraphy in seal and clerical scripts, and painted landscapes that were mostly in the blue-green manner and figures that were close to Song-dynasty styles. He was especially fond of drawing bamboo and rabbits. Few of his works have survived.

This painting belonged to Zhang Daqian. Another work by Tao Cheng is featured in volume 4 of Dafengtang mingji, the catalogue of his collection (no. 26), entitled Bidding Farewell in the Clouds. As evidence of the high regard in which Zhang held Tao, Zhang inscribed on the mounting of latter painting that "...every brush stroke takes directly from Longming [Li Gonglin]... Qiu Shifu was neck-to-neck with him... [Tao's] are to be taken as ordinary paintings." It turned out that Zhang Daqian "in the twelfth lunar month of jiyou (1949) visited New Delhi, India. When I was making the final count of my luggage, Wenbo (Artist's spouse) asked me if we can trade it." In the end Zhang impressed the seal bieshi rongyi and exchanged Bidding Farewell in the Clouds for some money. The painting is now in the collection of the Palace Museum in Beijing. By contrast, he kept Wild Rabbit Amongst Bamboo and Chrysanthemum with him until he met the Chews, to whom he sold it. Since then the painting has remained in North America. Both Tao Cheng works formerly belonging to Zhang Daqian bear impressions of his collector's seals Bufu guren gao houren and Dafengtang zhenwan, as well as impressions of the painter's seals. The one on Bidding Farewell reads Yunhu xianren, and the one on Wild Rabbit reads Yunhu Tao Cheng. The seals are highly consistent in style.

According to the Illustrated Catalogue of Selected Works of Ancient Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy, aside from Bidding Farewell, the Palace Museum also holds another Tao Cheng painting, entitled Moon and Rabbit and also bearing the seal Yunhu Tao Cheng. This authenticates the seal on Wild Rabbit. The Shanghai Museum holds a Tao Cheng painting of White Rabbit Amongst Bamboo and Chrysanthemum, which is on silk and whose dimensions are not published. The Cleveland Museum holds the scroll Two Sketches from Life by Tao Yunhu, which was in the collection of Zhang Heng. The chrysanthemum in this work is painted in a more expressionistic manner than in Wild Rabbit, but the brushwork is extremely close. Another similarity is that in both works Tao uses dark ink in the leaves and stems to contrast the light ink of the chrysanthemum's leaves.