3650
3650
A LARGE 'FEMALE IMMORTALS' PAINTING
YUAN – MING DYNASTY
Estimate
1,000,0001,200,000
JUMP TO LOT
3650
A LARGE 'FEMALE IMMORTALS' PAINTING
YUAN – MING DYNASTY
Estimate
1,000,0001,200,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

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Hong Kong

A LARGE 'FEMALE IMMORTALS' PAINTING
YUAN – MING DYNASTY
gesso, ink and gouache on linen, decorated with six female immortals standing on clouds in a celestial setting, each figure rendered adorned in an elaborate headdress and clad in loose robes billowing in the wind
85.5 by 165.5 cm, 33 5/8  by 5 1/8  in.
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Catalogue Note

This piece depicts a magnificent procession of celestial figures dressed in long flowing robes and embellished with luxurious jewellery. A jardinière in the form of a bronze censer sets the scene and leads the eye towards the figures and their swaying robes, which endow the composition with a sense of animation. In Taoism, female immortals were fundamental manifestations of the yin force, and complemented the yang (male) force. The vital importance of yin is expressed in a passage of the Daode jing [The Scripture of the Dao and its Virtue], attributed to Laozi, translated in the catalogue to the exhibition Taoism and the Arts of China, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, p. 275:

The Valley Spirit [the Tao] never dies. It is named the Mysterious Female. And the Doorway of the Mysterious Female Is the base from which Heaven and Earth sprang. It is there within us all the while; Draw upon it as you will, it never runs dry.

Stylistically this painting follows in the linear style of the painter Wu Zongyuan (active in the early 11th century), who was in turn inspired by the Tang muralist Wu Daoizi (active c. 710 – c. 760). One of the most talented painter of Daoist subjects in the Song period, a handscroll by Wu Zongyuan painted with a procession of immortals dressed in similar flowing robes, was included ibid., cat. no. 74.

Compare also paintings made for the Water and Land Ritual (Shuilu zhao), which feature elegantly dressed immortals standing among billowing clouds, such as a set of four paintings, including one of female immortals, from the Baoning temple, Shanxi province,and now in the Shanxi Provincial Museum, Taiyuan, included in the exhibition Imperial China. The Living Past, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1992, cat. no. 57.1.

 

Important Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong