Lot 1108
  • 1108


100,000 - 150,000 USD
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  • ink and color on paper, handscroll
  • 34 by 369.4 cm. 3 1/4  by 145 1/2  in. 
signed Xianglan Nüshi Ma Shouzhen, dated jiaxu of the Wanli reign (1574), summer, the sixth lunar month, with three seals of the artist, jiu wan zhong ren, xiang lan, shou zhen xuan xuan zi Colophons by Wu Hufan (1894-1968), signed Wu Hufan, dated dingchou, the first day of twelfth lunar month (January 2, 1938), with two seals, wu hu fan, zui hao hui hao wan zi yi yin gong qian zhong; Wang Tongyu (1856-1941), signed Xuyuan, at the age of eighty-three sui, dated dingchou (1937), the twelfth lunar month, with two seals, wang tong yu, wang sheng zhi; Fu Tienian (1886-1947), signed Xiancun jushi Tienian, dated wuyin (1938), the first lunar month, with one seal, fu tie nian; Wu Zheng (1878-1949), signed Baoxuan jushi Wu Zheng, dated wuyin (1938), the twelfth lunar month, with two seals, wu zheng zhi yin, bao xuan ju shi; Zhuang Yan (1899-1980), signed Liuyi weng Zhuang Yan, dated gengxu, the fourteenth day of eighth lunar month (September 14, 1970), with three seals, dong tian shan tang, zhuang yan mu lin chang shou, zhuang yan shang yan; Jiang Zhaoshen (1925-1996), signed Jiaoyuan Jiang Zhaoshen, dated gengxu, mid autumn (September 15, 1970), with two seals, jiang zhao shen yin, jiao yuan jin kuangFrontispiece by Zhao Shuru (1874-1945), signed Zhao Shigang, dated dingchou (1937), the twelfth lunar month, with two seals, shi gang zhi xi, shu ruTitleslip by Chunpu (unidentified), signed Chunpu, with one seal, chun pu With five collectors' seals of the Chew family, qiu yong he jian shang zhang, liao dong qiu yong he cang, yun meng wu zhong ying cang, qiu fu lun yin, qiu fu lun cang huawith two collectors' seals of Gu Yun (1835-1896), gu yun zhi yin, wu xia gu yun; one collector's seal of Deng Bangshu (1868-1939), qun bi lou; five collector's seal of Gao Peilan (20th century), yi yan tang, xiang ling zhen cang, gao, pei lan zhen cang, bai ya shan ren; two collector's seals of Na Zhiliang (1908-1998), na zhi liang yin, xin ru guo yan; two collector's seals of Li Lincan (1913-1999), li lin can yin, li zhuang jiu ren; and one collector's seal of Li Damu (1926-2002), da mu


- Paper bears tanned tone due to age. - Vertical creases can be found here and there. - Foxings and loss of paper can be found.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

Wu Hufan's colophon:
Ma Siniang or Jinling, wearing jade inside red chambers, was known as a Ji Bu in rouge [i.e. a woman of courage]. Inside her Peacock Hut, wearing her Broken Jade Hairpin, she was passionate and untrammeled. Living by a bridge over a verdant river, she sang pearl-like notes and danced jade-like dances. With the bones and stomach of a knight-errant, she attracted jealous belittling and libelous criticisms, but these only increased her renown greatly and brought glory to the Qinhuai River. The reason was that in mixing pigments and manipulating the brush, she had a talent and her own style, and she did not charm others by beauty alone. Zhu Shi of Changshui, in his Baoshuting ci, includes a lyric to the tune of "Haoshijin" inscribed on one of Ma's paintings, which he still possessed in his collection. The lyric is as follows: "Ten plus two orchids in a bush / Have the appearance and pose of hundreds and thousands. With the old rouge and face powder washed cleanly away, they reveal their natural colors. The Ji Bu in rouge was renowned in the past, and her paintings are still moving. If one replaced the signature with Madame Guan's, who could tell?" I follow Dige's rhyme in the following lyric: "From the empty valley emanates a subtle fragrance--the recitation of three hundred poems from Weifeng. The powdered women of the Southern Dynasty on their pleasure boats recall the spring colors of yesteryear. They in their silk dresses spilled wine, like tears, onto ones in blue robes, with whom they shared a precious farewell. How many sorrows they had in the hearts, who can know?"
A friend brought Xianglan's scroll painting to show me and asked me to inscribe it. I inscribed an old lyric to bear witness to my encounter with it. Fu Tiannian's colophon:
The elegant orchids and bamboos are full of spirit. Her art suffices to make one recall her person. The sorrows of the Southern Dynasties still remain. But now the plants will never enjoy another spring.

Zhuang Yan's colophon:
Not many of Ma Shouzhen's paintings have survived. I have seen her ink orchids in the Forbidden City. It is a pity that as a monk who live reclusively in a monastery, I have no right to retrieve it to compare it with this one. The application of colors here is subtle and even, brimming with a natural feeling. All that is missing is a poetic inscription by Wang Baigu.

Jiang Zhaoshen's colophon:
During the Ming-Qing transition, there was a trend amongst literati women to learn the brush arts, but few of their works have survived. What I have seen are mostly casual fan paintings of a few strokes, or else small scrolls that are alike cursorily painted. Xianglan was the most outstanding of the female painters. I have seen a scroll painting of Orchid and Bamboo in the Double-Hook Method by her bearing an inscription by Goudaoren. Painted in just a few strokes, it was infused with an ethereal air and had a beautiful literary character. The present scroll of orchids, bamboo, lingzhi fungus, and rocks has colors additionally. Classical painters never made long scrolls recklessly; they were meant to be ready at hand to be appreciated for a long time, and thus were taken very seriously. The same is true for this work by Xianglan.