Asian Arts / 5000 Years

Asian Arts / 5000 Years

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 149. Lin Fengmian 林風眠 | Harvest 滿載而歸.


Lin Fengmian 林風眠 | Harvest 滿載而歸

Lot Closed

December 21, 03:29 PM GMT


40,000 - 60,000 EUR

Lot Details


Property from a French Private Collection

Lin Fengmian

1900 - 1991


signed Lin Fengmian with one seal of the artist (upper left)

ink and colour on paper, framed

Executed circa 1940

Height 57 cm, 22½ in.; Width 40 cm, 15¾ in.


Collection particulière française

Lin Fengmian

1900 - 1991

La récolte

signé Lin Fengmian et avec un cachet de l’artiste (en haut à gauche)

encre et couleurs sur papier

Peint vers 1940.




1900 - 1991


設色紙本 鏡框




Acquired by the father of the present owner in Shanghai in the late 1940s - early 1950s, and thence by descent.



Lin Fengmian was a pioneer of modernism known for his brilliant hybridization of Chinese and European styles, subjects and methods. In his role as a prominent educator, Lin laid the foundation for Chinese modern art. Throughout his long and productive life, Lin absorbed a wide array of stylistic approaches into his paintings, and was one of the earliest Chinese artists to make a serious study of European modern art along with traditional ink paintings.

Lin’s early life was shaped by poverty and trauma. The son of a painter, Lin was born in Guangdong in 1900. At the age of seven, he watched in horror as his mother was sold into servitude. A year later, in a stroke of good fortune he bought a winning lottery ticket that would transform his fate. After completing middle school Lin used his remaining winnings from the lottery to travel with his friend Lin Wenzheng to Shanghai where they prepared for a work-study program in France. By 1920 Lin was working as a signboard painter in Marseilles, sketching and studying French in his spare time. Lin’s work as a sign painter would help develop the steadiness and clarity of his later brushwork.

Following six months of study at the School of Fine Arts in Dijon, Lin left for Paris where he studied at the École des Beaux Arts and the studio of Fernand Cormon (1845-1924). He had a highly eventful year in Germany, where he saw the works of German Expressionists and held a one-man exhibition, married his first wife, and exhibited 42 paintings in an Exhibition of Traditional and Modern Chinese Art. Soon after, with the untimely and sudden death of his wife and first-born child, the stunned Lin’s art and outlook were transformed. He remarried in 1925 and then returned to Beijing in 1926, committed to revitalizing Chinese art through education. After serving as the first principal of the National Beijing Fine Art School he founded the Hangzhou National College of Art where he taught Western style painting to students including Zao Wou-Ki, Chu Teh-Chun, and Wu Guanzhong.

During the war, Lin Fengmian took refuge from the invaders and moved to Sichuan, where he lived in Chongqing on the south bank of the Yangtze river. He was diligent in his creative work and incorporated into his paintings all the scenes of life in the street markets and the fishing villages along the river, which were also the characteristics of this period of time. In this painting, the fishermen are busy gathering their catch, and the appearance of the characters is similar to that of the Miao people painted by the artist at that time. The brush is smooth, the lines are clear and fast, showing the skill of sketching, and the coloring is vivid, lively and bold, with a strong sense of life. Compare the subject and style, this work should be painted in the early in the early 1940s.

His work can be found in many museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the Cernuschi Gallery of Asian Arts of Paris, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.