View full screen - View 1 of Lot 3660. Scenes from Rou putuan [The carnal prayer mat] Qing dynasty, 18th century | 清十八世紀 〈肉蒲團〉插畫 一冊十一幀 設色紙本.
3660

Scenes from Rou putuan [The carnal prayer mat] Qing dynasty, 18th century | 清十八世紀 〈肉蒲團〉插畫 一冊十一幀 設色紙本

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

Scenes from Rou putuan [The carnal prayer mat] Qing dynasty, 18th century | 清十八世紀 〈肉蒲團〉插畫 一冊十一幀 設色紙本

Scenes from Rou putuan [The carnal prayer mat] Qing dynasty, 18th century | 清十八世紀 〈肉蒲團〉插畫 一冊十一幀 設色紙本

Property from the Bertholet Collection

Scenes from Rou putuan [The carnal prayer mat]

Qing dynasty, 18th century

貝氏情色藝術珍藏

清十八世紀 〈肉蒲團〉插畫 一冊十一幀 設色紙本


an album of 11 paintings, ink and colour on paper

37.8 by 37.5 cm

Overall good condition with foxing, old stains, and minor creases typical for its age. The last scene is approx. 1.5 cm narrower than the rest of the group. The paintings were inspected without removing from the frames.


"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."

Yimen and Ferry M. Bertholet, Dreams of Spring. Erotic Art in China, Amsterdam, 1997, pp. 58-67.

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. 38, 48, 118-125. 

Ferry M. Bertholet, Concubines and Courtesans: Women in Chinese Erotic Art, Brussels, 2010, pl. 40.


Yimen 及貝索烈,《春夢遺葉》,阿姆斯特丹,1997年,頁58-67

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38、48、118-125

貝索烈,《Concubines and Courtesans: Women in Chinese Erotic Art》,布魯塞爾,2010年,圖版40

Yimen and Ferry M. Bertholet, Dreams of Spring. Erotic Art in China, Amsterdam, 1997, pp. 58-67.

James Cahill et al., Le Palais du printemps. Peintures érotiques de Chine, Musée Cernuschi, Paris, 2006, pp. 96-113.

Gardens of Pleasure: Sex in Ancient China. An Exhibition of the Ferdinand M. Bertholet Collection, Hong Kong, 2014, figs 12 and 33.


高居翰等,《Le Palais du printemps. Peintures érotiques de Chine》,賽努奇博物館,巴黎,2006年,頁96-113

《愉悅滿園:貝氏中國古代情色藝術珍藏》,香港,2014年,圖12、33

This album, exuberantly painted with scenes from the exotic novel Rou putuan [The carnal prayer mat] written by Li Yu (1611-1680) in 1657, is likely to have preserved the compositions of a now-lost major work by the Kangxi period court painter Gu Jianlong (1606-1687 or later) from Jiangsu (James Cahill, ‘Les peintures érotiques chinoises de la collection Bertholet’, Le Palais du printemps, op. cit., pp. 33-34). According to Guochao hua zhi lu [Records of Qing dynasty painters], Gu was appointed painting attendant (zhihou) in the early Kangxi period and enjoyed immense fame in Beijing. During his decade-long service at the court, he painted an extant series of two hundred illustrations to the late Ming erotic novel Jin ping mei [The plum in the golden vase], presumably made for the Kangxi Emperor and formerly preserved in the Qing court collection. It is believed that Gu also painted a similar set of illustrations to Rou putuan (Cahill, op. cit.). Although there are no surviving artworks of Rou putuan attributable to Gu, the similarities of stylistic elements between the present album and Gu’s Jinping mei illustrations suggest it is a faithful copy of the originals. Compare eight illustrations to Jinping mei attributed to Gu in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri (accession nos F80-10/1-4 and F83-4/1-4).


Rou putuan tells the story of Vesperus (Weiyang Sheng), a hedonist who ignored the advice of a monk and indulged in sexual misdeeds such as seducing married women. The eventual suicide of his own wife Jade Scent (Yuxiang) after being abducted and sold to a brothel compelled him to accept the law of karma and redeem his sins through the Buddhist faith. For discussions on individual scenes, see ibid., pp. 99-112, or Ferdinand M. Bertholet, Les Jardins du Plaisir / Gardens of Pleasure, op. cit.