Zhang Daqian (1899-1983). 
Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), New York. 
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler, New York. 
 See object record.
 See note 1.
 See note 1.
- Previous Owner(s)
Zhang Daqian China, 1899-1983
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987
This painting results from collaboration between the famous painter known as Shitao and a minor portrait specialist identified by his surname, Jiang. It was not unusual for portraitists to work with other artists to create lyrical likenesses, since very few landscape painters possessed the training or skill to use color to render a lifelike face. Generally, the non-figural aspects of the painting were the most highly valued artistic contribution.
Here, the inscription just to the right of the figure and mountain was written by Shitao and explains the circumstances of the work's creation. He wrote that an artist surnamed Jiang painted a convincing portrait of Hong Zhengzhi, who was Shitao's friend and pupil. To complete the image of Hong, who is pictured from the knees up, Shitao created a mist-filled landscape that makes Hong seem to stand in, or levitate above, the clouds and mountain pines. Shitao deliberately distorted the scale of the figure in relation to the landscape to dramatize Hong's lofty personality. The unrealistic proportion suggests that these hills and valleys are not actual scenery but, instead, represent the thoughts that fill Hong Zhengzhi. It was common to describe a superior man as one who embodied these landscape elements in his heart and mind.
The bold calligraphic frontispiece is by the artist Chang Da-chien (also spelled Zhang Daqian; 1899-1983), who was one of the twentieth century's greatest Chinese artists. Chang was also a major collector of Shitao's paintings, which deeply influenced his own work. The colophons include several eulogies to Hong Zhengzhi, written by eighteenth-century calligraphers.
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
- Rights Statement
Copyright with museum