In the coming autumn sales in Hong Kong, Sotheby’s is offering a self-portrait of celebrated Chinese ink painter Zhang Daqian with his beloved dog. The painting revealing the intimate friendship between the artist and his Tibetan mastiff remained in the artist collection throughout his life, showing the artist’s affection to this work. This beautiful painting Self Portrait with a Tibetan Mastiff is going to lead the Fine Chinese Paintings sale, carrying an estimate of HK$35m (US$4.48m).
Self Portrait with a Tibetan Mastiff
Parts of Self Portrait with a Tibetan Mastiff
Measuring 6 foot in height, Self Portrait with a Tibetan Mastiff depicts Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) garbed in robes, with a scroll in hand. Beside him is a strapping Tibetan Mastiff sporting dense black fur, both fine and lush in texture. The background of the composition is filled with rich and thickly impastoed blue ink splashes of varying gradation.
Zhang Daqian's Self Portrait and Saint Bernard
Zhang Daqian's Two Tibetan Girls with Mastiffs
Though Zhang Daqian is best known for his landscape painting, dog is another recurring theme that the artist liked to use. This dog-loving artist also created paintings like Self Portrait and Saint Bernard and Two Tibetan Girls with Mastiffs. The latter one was sold for HK$48.3m at Poly Auction in Hong Kong in 2012.
Zhang Daqian's Portrait of Guanyin from Dunhuang Fresco
Parts of Portrait of Guanyin from Dunhuang Fresco
Estimated at HK$12m-18m, Portrait of Guanyin from Dunhuang Fresco was created by Zhang Daqian in 1943, around the pivotal period during his career. In 1941, Zhang Daqian travelled to Dunhuang to study Buddhist mural paintings at the famed Mogao Caves, where they stayed for approximately two years. This portrait was a gift to Gu Zhenglun, the Chairman of Gansu provincial government of the time, to show his gratitude for the assistance provided by the Chairman.
The painting is a fresco copy of the Bodhisattva in Mogao Cave number 277. A gentle kindness is conveyed through the Bodhisattva’s solemn disposition while the torso is thickly impastoed with mineral-based pigments in a manner that is reminiscent of the ornate splendour of the Tang Dynasty. Besides those kept in the National Palace Museum of Taipei and the Sichuan Museum, the present painting is one of the few examples of Zhang’s fresco painting remaining in private hands.
Zhang Daqian's Empty Valley and Cloudy Peaks
In addition to portraits, the sale also features landscape paintings by Zhang. One of the highlights is Empty Valley and Cloudy Peaks from the Mei Yun Tang collection, internationally recognised as one of the most preeminent and comprehensive private collections of Zhang Daqian’s paintings. The painting is expected to fetch HK$30m-35m.
Other highlights of the sale include Wu Guanzhong’s Wing On Street - Cloth Alley, Li Keran’s Kunlun Mountains and Fu Baoshi’s Grandeur of Coal Capital etc. They all touch upon themes of modern society and show the artists’ unique interpretation of the city view and natural scenery.
Leading lots by Zhang Daqian at Sotheby’s Hong Kong
Zhang Daqian (1899-1983). Self Portrait with a Tibetan Mastiff
Splashed ink and colour on gold paper, framed
Lot no.: 1366
Size: 176 x 96 cm
Title slip by the artist
Previously from the Dafengtang Collection
Previously from the Chai Sian Kwan Collection
Zhang Daqian (1899-1983). Portrait of Guanyin from Dunhuang Fresco
Ink and colour on silk, framed.
Lot no.: 1255
Created in: 1943
Size: 189 x 86 cm
Signed ZHANG DAQIAN YUAN and two seals of the artist
Estimate: HK$12,000,000 - 18,000,000
Zhang Daqian (1899-1983). Empty Valley and Cloudy Peaks
Ink and colour on paper, hanging scroll
Lot no.: 1430
Created in: 1945
Size: 161 x 63 cm
Signed YUAN with two seals of the artist, and two collector's seals
Sotheby's Hong Kong, The Mei Yun Tang Collection of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, May 1988, Lot 19
Estimate: HK$30,000,000 - 35,000,000
Zhang Daqian (1899-1983). Man on Horseback After Li Zanhua
Ink and colour on paper, hanging scroll
Lot no.: 1416
Created in: 1953
Size: 60 x 73.5 cm
Signed ZHANG YUAN with two seals of the artist, and two collector's seals
Sotheby's Hong Kong, The Mei Yun Tang Collection of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, May 1988, Lot 14
Estimate: HK$12,800,000 - 16,000,000
Auction house: Sotheby’s Hong Kong
Sale: Fine Chinese Paintings
Lots offered: 268
28 September 2018 ｜10am - 5:30pm
29 - 30 September 2018｜10am - 8pm
1 October 2018 ｜10am - 6:30pm
Sale date: 2 October 2018 ｜10am & 2:30pm
Location: Hall 1, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive Wanchai, Hong Kong