Native from Zhejiang province, Huang Binhong had many passions centered on letters and ancient arts including calligraphy. He collected and carved seals, practiced fencing and played guqin. He made drawings since his youth and his favorite theme was the sublime Huangshan mountains which he visited nine times from 1883 to 1935.
Huang worked as an editor and illustrator and also as an art professor. In 1948, aged 85, he settled in Hangzhou where his teaching activity certainly left him more free time. It was from that point that he perfected the art of landscape.
He no longer travels in the mountains and works with memory and imagination, favoring the expression instead of the realism. Like the greatest masters, he does not need a preparatory drawing and does not erase. His full mastery of the width of the line generates superb contrasts enhanced by a skillful use of the voids to show mist and brook. The density of the lines reminds the Dürer hare and the overall composition is well balanced.
Huang had the nice practice of dating some of his works by his age. A view in Huangshan is dated to his 92 years, corresponding to 1955 just before his death. This 171 x 96 cm scroll is estimated RMB 80M for sale by China Guardian in Beijing on June 19, lot 706.
Another scenery realized in the same year, 178 x 74 cm, was sold for RMB 63M including premium by China Guardian on May 18, 2014. It remembers the emotion of the artist comparing in an earlier trip the real view of the mountain with its interpretation by an artist of the Yuan period. The lower estimate that had been announced at RMB 12M attests a posteriori that the extreme quality of the ultimate art of Huang was rediscovered at that sale.
SOLD for RMB 345M including premium