Hong Kong: Kao Ling-Mei, 1961. First edition. Hardcover. A folio volume with full page color plates of one of the best known and most prolific Chinese artists of the twentieth century, known as Zhang Daqian, 1899 - 1983 (original name Zhang Yuan). Zhang Daqian's lotus paintings and landscapes are especially noteworthy. Zhang and his brother studied painting as children, and traveled to Japan to study textile dyeing techniques. Zhang studied traditional painting in Shanghai, and began to meticulously copy ancient masters' works. He later studied ancient Buddhist wall paintings, enriching his own understanding of religious imagery.
Contents of this folio include: on the art of painting; on painting plum blossoms, orchids, chrysanthemums, bamboo, flowers & plants; flowers and plants in the Mo Ku style, peonies in the elaborate style; on landscapes; on copying old masters; snow scenes; on nature, feeling and attitude; paper and ink; brush and water; birds, fish, animals, humans, classical ladies; painting eyes; of inscriptions, seals and mounting.
Over time, Zhang became a highly skilled forger; one of his forgeries was acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 1957. In a recent Museum exhibition, titled "Zhang Daqian Painter, Collector, Forger" (Dec. 2007 - Sept. 2008), Zhang is described as follows, "As a painter, he was known for his singular ability to mix traditional techniques and styles with contemporary ideas and currents. As a collector, he accumulated important examples from all genres of Chinese painting and left behind copious seals and inscriptions. As a forger, Zhang so mastered the art of deception that his fakes were purchased unwittingly by nearly every major art museum in the United States.... Of particular interest is a master forgery acquired by the Museum in 1957 as an authentic work of the tenth century. The painting, which was allegedly a landscape by the Five Dynasties period master Guan Tong, is one of Zhang’s most ambitious forgeries and serves to illustrate both his skill and his audacity."
Folio, 114pp, 74 plates. Blue cloth covers in pristine condition, traditional binding with title in Chinese on cream silk at front cover, gilt illustration of two figures at lower right, and red stamp. Housed in a gold and black patterned silk (slightly faded) fabric covered slipcase with title label laid down at front cover in English and at rear cover in Chinese; with loop and peg fasteners. The margin of the Chinese label at rear cover slightly torn at right side, not affecting text; some damp marks at margins only of inside flap of slipcase. OCLC: 20269190. Very good condition. Item #19990