View full screen - View 1 of Lot 3656. Gardens of Pleasure, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period | 清康熙 〈愉悅滿園〉 一冊八幀全 設色絹本.
3656

Gardens of Pleasure, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period | 清康熙 〈愉悅滿園〉 一冊八幀全 設色絹本

Property from the Bertholet Collection 貝氏情色藝術珍藏

Gardens of Pleasure, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period | 清康熙 〈愉悅滿園〉 一冊八幀全 設色絹本

Gardens of Pleasure, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period | 清康熙 〈愉悅滿園〉 一冊八幀全 設色絹本

Property from the Bertholet Collection

Gardens of Pleasure

Qing dynasty, Kangxi period

貝氏情色藝術珍藏

清康熙 〈愉悅滿園〉 一冊八幀全 設色絹本


a complete imperial album of 8 paintings, ink and colour on silk

39.5 by 55.5 cm

This complete, superbly painted album is in overall good condition, with the brilliant pigments very well preserved. There are minor foxing, old stains and creases, which are expected for its material and age. There are also typical professional repair, especially to the edges. 


此冊八幀齊全,整體品相良好,鮮艷色彩保存亦佳。冊頁有些許泛黃、舊污漬及皺紋,但均與其物料及年代吻合。且有常見專業修補,尤其是沿邊處。


"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. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Collection of C.T. Loo (1880-1957), Paris, and thence by descent.


盧芹齋(1880-1957年)收藏,此後家族傳承

Michel Beurdeley, in collaboration with Kristofer Schipper, Chang Fu-Jui and Jacques Pimpaneau, Chinese Erotic Art, Rutland, 1969, pp. 74-76, 96, 103, 113-114, and 116.

Ferdinand M. Bertholet, Les Jardins du Plaisir: Érotisme et art dans la Chine ancienne / Gardens of Pleasure: Eroticism and Art in China, Paris, 2003 (rev. English ed., Munich, Berlin, London, New York, 2010), pp. 6, 10, 17, 70-89.

Ferry M. Bertholet, Concubines and Courtesans: Women in Chinese Erotic Art, Brussels, 2010, pls 42 and 68. 


Michel Beurdeley,Kristofer Schipper、張馥蕊及班伯訥合撰,《雲雨》,拉特蘭,1969年,頁74-76、 96、103、113-114及116

貝索烈,《Les Jardins du Plaisir: Érotisme et art dans la Chine ancienne / Gardens of Pleasure: Eroticism and Art in China》,巴黎,2003年(英文再版,慕尼黑、柏林、倫敦、紐約,2010年),頁6、10、17、70-89

貝索烈,《Concubines and Courtesans: Women in Chinese Erotic Art》,布魯塞爾,2010年,圖版42、68

Liebeskunst: Liebeslust und Liebesleid in der Weltkunst, Museum Rietberg, Zurich, 2002, cat. nos 154-157.

James Cahill et al., Le Palais du printemps. Peintures érotiques de Chine, Musée Cernuschi, Paris, 2006, pp. 180-191.

Seduced: Art & Sex from Antiquity to Now, Barbican Art Gallery, London, 2007, pp. 128-129.

The Chinese Pleasure Garden: Erotic Art from the Bertholet Collection, Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Berlin, 2011.

Gardens of Pleasure: Sex in Ancient China. An Exhibition of the Ferdinand M. Bertholet Collection, Hong Kong, 2014, figs 3, 4, 5 and 20.


《Liebeskunst: Liebeslust und Liebesleid in der Weltkunst》,雷特伯格博物館,蘇黎世,2002年,編號154-157

高居翰等,《Le Palais du printemps. Peintures érotiques de Chine》,賽努奇博物館,巴黎,2006年,頁180-191

《Seduced: Art & Sex from Antiquity to Now》,Barbican Art Gallery(巴比肯美術館),倫敦,2007年,頁128-129

《The Chinese Pleasure Garden: Erotic Art from the Bertholet Collection》,亞洲藝術博物館,柏林,2011年

《愉悅滿園:貝氏中國古代情色藝術珍藏》,香港,2014年,圖3-5、20

The lovers of this album, young and joyful, set themselves apart from the promiscuous couples commonly seen in erotic paintings of the time. The silky drapery, exquisite jewellery and tasteful interior design undoubtedly indicate an imperial context. Only hands skilled enough to serve the court could have painted these charming scenes with such great detail. The present album, stylistically linked to the late Zhe School, is most likely to have been produced at the Qing Imperial Academy of the Kangxi Emperor. It is arguably one of the finest Chinese erotic artworks.


The figures are naturalistically rendered with facial features that conform to the traditional ideal of beauty. The actions are passionate but without haste. Most are partially undressed as if caught in a fleeting moment during their affectionate exchange. A couple of them seductively gaze out at the beholder as if signalling a personal invitation (the third and fourth scenes).

The luxuriant plants imply the different seasons: spring with peach blossom, magnolia and hydrangea, summer with lotus and wistaria, autumn with rose and chrysanthemum, and winter with narcissus and prunus. The paintings are further enhanced by rich symbolism throughout the album. The arrival of spring and the idea of romantic love, for example, is evoked by a pair of swallows in flight above a young couple below the willows (the second scene), and in the polygynous scene, a watermelon and a lotus root symbolise fertility (the fourth scene).


Albums such as the present example were used as guides for the newlyweds or as instruments of arousal. There is a playful detail in one of the leaves as the duo is depicted as enjoying an erotic album leaf of a similarly posed couple (the sixth scene).


Upon close examination it is apparent that the intimate acts are carefully staged, framed by the furniture and architectural elements of the royal pavilions and gardens. All the scenes are semi-private, shielded by trees and rocks. The compositions are outstanding, for harmony is achieved through the balance of lines as well as colours. Top-quality pigments such as malachite, lapis lazuli and vermilion are applied judiciously in order to highlight selected elements. The colouration is mostly well preserved despite the passage of time.


The majority of painters working in the Qing Imperial Academy under the Kangxi Emperor were from southern regions such as Zhejiang and Jiangsu, hence the name nanjiang (‘southern craftsmen’). James Cahill notes that these painters “constituted the Academy, and brought to it their highly developed skills and urban repertories” (Pictures for Use and Pleasure: Vernacular Painting in High Qing China, Berkeley, Los Angeles and London, 2010, p. 35). Jiangsu painter Gu Jianlong (1606-1687 or later) is recorded as appointed painting attendant (zhihou) in the early Kangxi period. During his decade of service at the court, he is believed to have painted an extant series of two hundred illustrations to the late Ming erotic novel Jin ping mei [The plum in the golden vase], presumably for the Emperor (ibid., p. 59).


Another skilled painter from Suzhou, Xu Wen (active 1690-1722, d. 1724), whose artistic repertoire includes erotica, was once summoned to court to participate in the painting project for the Kangxi Emperor’s sixtieth birthday. An erotic album by Xu, with clever use of compositional space and the utmost attention to detail, displays an artistic style not dissimilar to the present example. The album was exhibited in A Selection of Calligraphy and Paintings from the Collection of Mr and Mrs Ullens de Schooten of Belgium, Palace Museum, Beijing, 2002, pp. 52-53, and illustrated in Pictures for Use and Pleasure, op. cit., fig. 2.3.


The present album was formerly in the collection of C.T. Loo (Loo Ching Tsai, 1880-1957). Born into a scholarly family in Zhejiang, Loo was educated in Shanghai before moving to Paris at the age of 20. In 1902 he established ‘Ton Ying’, a private trading company with Zhang Jingjiang, the commercial attaché to the Qing Minister in France, and contributed to the financing of the Xinhai Revolution which ended imperial rule. With access to treasures from the Qing court collection, and agents not only in Beijing and Shanghai but also in the interior cities, he was the unrivalled buyer of Chinese art of all periods throughout the 1920s and 1930s. He originally set up a gallery in Paris, but after the First World War he also opened stores in Fifth Avenue, New York and became a major supplier to museums throughout the US, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.


畫中男女,年少而歡欣,異於當朝春畫常見之荒靡模樣。絲袍綾羅、珍寶珠翠,及富麗華貴的家具陳設等,展現此應為皇家之景。畫藝如此細膩且生動,應出自宮廷畫師之手,且風格近於浙派晚期,或應造於康熙朝宮廷畫院,可謂中國春畫中最為精美之作。


人物面容五官,描寫自然,反映傳統審美。姿態則恣情大方,捕捉情慾橫流,寬衣解帶之瞬。第三、四景,畫中人物直視觀者,秋波蕩漾,宛若邀誘共嬉。


畫中點綴大量花卉植株,暗示不同節氣:春時桃華、木蘭、繡球,仲夏紫薇、荷花,入秋月季、菊花,凜冬梅花、水仙。此外,畫中借物寄意極豐,春時春情也,雙燕相戲,相應柳樹下儷人;第四景,妻妾同歡,一旁藍釉大盆中盛放西瓜、蓮藕,象徵多子多孫。


此類畫冊多用於新婚指導或助興,第六景描繪愛侶同賞春畫,且姿態與畫中人物相同,別富意趣。


細觀之,各景之陳設、布置,及建築細節,均屬皇家庭閣、名園,樹木庭石環繞,給予半隱密之空間。構圖出色,線條與色彩搭配和諧,使用質地至高之石綠、石青、赭紅,提亮畫中焦點。即使年代久遠,色彩仍鮮豔明麗。


康熙朝宮廷畫師多出身南方,浙江、江蘇一帶,遂得「南匠」之名。高居翰曾述及,畫師們技法高超,對於市井題材涉獵廣深,見《致用與娛情:大清盛世的世俗繪畫》,洛杉磯及倫敦,2010年,頁35。康熙早期檔案記載,江蘇籍畫師顧見龍(1606-1687年或更晚),供奉內廷,據傳任內曾繪製超過二百幀晚明情色小說《金瓶梅》之插圖,應為帝王所製(同上,頁59)。


另一位知名蘇州南匠,徐玟(活躍於1690-1722年,1724年卒),擅長繪畫範疇包含春畫。康熙六十大壽之際,曾受詔入宮,參與萬壽節相關繪畫。徐氏所作一冊春畫,構圖巧妙,細節豐富精彩,類同本品,展出於《比利時尤倫斯夫婦藏中國書畫選集》,故宮博物院,北京,2002年,頁52、53,亦刊於《致用與娛情》,前述出處,圖2. 3。


本冊出自盧芹齋舊藏(1880-1957年),盧氏出身浙江世家,負笈上海,20歲時移居巴黎,1902年與清廷駐法商務參贊張靜江,一同創立「通運」公司,並資助辛亥革命。盧氏不僅於北京、上海等地辦貨,且佈局中國內地都市,亦有管道取得釋出之清宮收藏,可謂1920、1930年代最強力之中國藝術買家。最初於巴黎開商舖,第一次世界大戰後,於美國紐約第五大道開設骨董店,成為美國各大重要博物館藏品之主要提供者,包括大都會藝術博物館、納爾遜阿特金斯藝術博物館。