On April 1 in Hong Kong, Sotheby's sells a landscape painted on paper in ink and water wash without colors by Qian Weicheng, hand scroll 33 x 520 cm dated dinghai corresponding to 1767 CE, lot 2600 estimated HK $ 12M. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
For an autumn landscape in ink and color preserved in the collection of the National Palace Museum in Taipei, Qian stated that he had casually imitated Huang Gongwang.
Since the last years of the Ming dynasty, Huang is considered as one of the four great masters of the later Yuan period. He knew how to express the luxuriant variety of nature by a multitude of details while preserving the coherence of the whole. Some scattered houses bring the only testimony of human existence.
On the scroll that comes on sale, the combined influence of the four old masters is a feat. Huang brings the leading inspiration but the inimitable tranquility of Ni Zan, the realistic drawing of Wu Zhen and the textures in compact lines of Wang Meng are clearly perceptible in places.
The four masters were rejected by the official society in the turbid atmosphere of the end of the Yuan dynasty. They were not professional artists. Huang was a traveling diviner, Wu was an astrologer, Ni lived as a hermit in his floating house and Wang died in jail on a charge of conspiracy.
Qian was a high ranked mandarin. His sensitivity to the art of the four rebels of the Yuan period testifies to the extreme acuity of his artistic appreciation. His art was praised by Qianlong. A 34 x 460 cm scroll in ink and color lining up ten mountain landscapes, commented on each view by the emperor, was sold for HK $ 147M including premium by Sotheby's on April 3, 2018.
SOLD for HK$ 14.6M including premium