The hand scroll is an art much more refined than a mere drawing. The image is read from right to left as it is unfolded, offering the scene of a real action. The paper should also be exquisite in the touch.
Towards the end of the Southern Song Dynasty, the artist Chen Rong pushed his ink pictures of dragons to the rank of masterpieces. His scrolls were much admired by the Qianlong emperor who commented on the colophons and stamped his seals.
The drawing of the fabulous beast by Chen Rong is sharp and detailed, in contrast to its wet surrounding realized by an original method of ink spraying. In the Taoist tradition, such a scene is a magical summon to rain.
The Boston Museum retains a scroll starring nine young sons of the Dragon King, 46 cm high for 15 m long, including on the painting two autograph inscriptions that provide an estimate of the date of the artwork at 1244 of our calendar.
On March 15 in New York, Christie's sells a scroll featuring six dragons in a style similar as in the Boston specimen. Signed by one seal of the artist, it is 35 cm high with a length of 4.40 m for the image and 83 cm for the calligraphy. De-accessioned from the Fujita Museum in Osaka, this artwork is estimated $ 1,2M, lot 507. It is handled for our pleasure in the video shared by the auction house.
SOLD for $ 49M including premium