Supported by Henri-Pierre Roché from 1929 to 1932, Sanyu perfected his oil painting, experienced the drypoint engraving and found other themes.
On September 30 in Hong Kong, Sotheby's sells as lot 1018 Léopard, an oil on canvas 93 x 116 cm painted in 1931 which had originally belonged to Roché. The near life size leopard is sketched by the white lines delineating the body and by the circles of the spots in a figure that hardly stands out from a black background interspersed with irregular white stripes.
The four legs and the tail upwards, the wild animal offers its belly in the attitude of a trusting cat requesting a caress. At that time of crisis when financial difficulties arise for Sanyu, this artwork transposes his desire for a cosy well-being.
Accumulating the originality of the camouflaged line, the large size, the attitude of joy, the joint inspiration from classical China and modern Art Déco and the minimalism of black and white, this nice feline has few equivalents in the art of Sanyu. The auction house does not reveal the estimate.
Please watch the short video shared by Sotheby's.
SOLD for HK$ 80M including premium