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WOOD AND ROCK
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WOOD AND ROCK
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À propos de l'objet

SU SHI (1037-1101)\n\nWOOD AND ROCK\n\nHandscroll, ink on paper\n\nPainting: 26.3 x 50 cm. (10 3/8 x 19 3/4 in.)\n\nPainting and colophons: 26.3 x 185.5 cm. (10 3/8 x 73 in.)\n\nOverall with mounting: 27.2 x 543 cm. (10 3/4 x 213 3/4 in.)\n\nColophons by Liu Liangzuo (11th century), Mi Fu (1051-1107), Yu Xilu (1278-1368) and Guo Chang (1563-1622)\n\nForty one collector’s seals, including one of Liu Liangzuo, twelve of Wang Houzhi (1131-1204), three of Yu Xilu, twelve of Yang Zun (circa 1294-after 1333), nine of Mu Lin (1429-1458), two of Li Tingxiang (1485-1544) and two of Guo Chang\n\nColophon by Liu Liangzuo:\n\nIt has been thirty years since Qiyun of Runzhou, the venerable Master Feng, resigned from his official position and followed the Way of Tao. Now in his seventies, his dark beard and hair ever glowing, he carries an elegant, calm air. As he showed me Wood and Rock by Dongpo [Su Shi], I hereby inscribe a poem for him, and still invite the respectable Haiyue [Mi Fu] to respond in the same rhyme. Liu Liangzuo of Shangrao.\n\nFrom ancient dreams a rock rises from the clouds,\n\nIn vicissitude the wood sheds its skin;\n\nIts gnarled branches forever blessed by the heavens,\n\nHeroically defying worldly fates.\n\nUnrolling the scroll brings me so much joy,\n\nFor true friends are rare behind closed doors.\n\nSuch a sight exists in the garden of my home,\n\nOnly embarrassed am I, to have forgotten to return.\n\nColophon by Mi Fu:\n\nFu, following the rhyme:\n\nWho can say what it is like at the age of forty?\n\nFor three years, I haven’t had any new clothes made.\n\nIn poverty one understands the dangers of life;\n\nIn old age one feels the intricate wisdoms of Tao.\n\nAlready too late to devote oneself to an official career,\n\nNot to mention how few souls truly know me.\n\nDelighted am I to find such refined company,\n\nIn the autumn years of my life, I have yet to speak of returning home.\n\nColophon by Yu Xilu:\n\nHaving read Ode to Old Tree by Yu Zishan [Yu Xin, 513-581], I loved the incomparable sharpness of the language and tried to paint the old tree from my imagination, but to no avail. Now I see this painting by Dongpo where the proud, withered tree branches resemble giant creatures and dragons appearing and disappearing from stormy seas - a phenomenal result of the artist’s years of experience. I can almost see Zishan’s Ode coming to life! Master Liu of Shangrao and Master Mi of Xiangyang both composed fine poems; particularly, the calligraphy by Master Mi is most attractive. What a rare treasure combining both painting and calligraphy!\n\nOn the occasion of Zongdao [Yang Zun] showing me this fine scroll in his collection, I hereby inscribe my joy upon seeing it. Yu Xilu of\n\nJingkou.\n\nColophon by Guo Chang:\n\nWithered wood, bamboo and rock by Su Changgong [Su Shi] with calligraphy by Mi Yuanzhang [Mi Fu] - a renowned work by two masters showcasing the finest achievements in both painting and calligraphy. A real treasure to be cherished! At the Pavilion of the Omniscient Mind. Jiayin year of the Wanli Reign (1614), two days after the Dragon Boat Festival.
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notes

One of the Rarest Discoveries in Chinese Art History

Su Shi’s Wood and Rock is among the most significant classical Chinese paintings in existence. It comes from the hand of one of the world’s greatest cultural luminaries, it embodies a revolution in the creative potential of the visual arts, and it is accompanied by centuries of commentaries that recognise its exceptionalism and uniqueness.

The location of Wood and Rock was unknown to the international scholarly community for most of the past century. A household name in the Chinese world, Su Shi is the quintessential “renaissance man” half a millennium before the Renaissance.

Bidding of the “Wood and Rock” by Su Shi, Lot 8008,

will require a high value paddle designated for this

Lot. Please contact us at su-shi@christies.com or

+852 6111 9658 for details.

One of the Rarest Discoveries in Chinese Art History

Su Shi’s Wood and Rock is among the most significant classical Chinese paintings in existence. It comes from the hand of one of the world’s greatest cultural luminaries, it embodies a revolution in the creative potential of the visual arts, and it is accompanied by centuries of commentaries that recognise its exceptionalism and uniqueness.

The location of Wood and Rock was unknown to the international scholarly community for most of the past century. A household name in the Chinese world, Su Shi is the quintessential “renaissance man” half a millennium before the Renaissance.

A Great Name of Chinese Cultural History

Su Shi was a true polymath, excelling in art, literature and statecraft. His legacy looms large over Chinese culture. Su’s verses were sung in the streets of the Song empire a thousand years ago, and remain mandatory reading for Chinese students today. He was a

child prodigy who went on to achieve the highest honours in the imperial civil service examination. At the tender age of 24 Su passed the incredibly arduous decree examination, awarded a rank never surpassed in the history of the Northern Song dynasty. In spite of his genius, Su’s career fell foul of court factionalism. He underwent successive exiles to ever more remote regions, dying en route back to the capital in 1101 after the end of his final exile. While Su’s voluminous writings have been preserved in China’s literary cannon, his paintings are exceedingly rare. Wood and Rock is the only example still in private hands.

An Artistic Revolution

Wood and Rock embodies a seismic shift in world art history. In his terse, controlled brushstrokes Su explores painting’s capacity to express an artist’s psychological communion with nature. His contemporaries in the Song imperial atelier were required to carefully reproduce the world they observed. Su admired their accomplishments, but eschewed their approach in his own work. Instead he pursued subjects he described as having “inconstant form but constant principle.” He conceived ink painting as a process that xternalised the moral character of the artist in the moment of creation. A millennium on, Su’s creative process is still visible to us today. We see it in the sinewy strength of the twisted tree, the carefully contoured structure of the rock, and the liquid flexibility of the newly sprouting bamboo. Court painters recorded a sumptuous world before their eyes. Wood and Rock takes us into the mind of the artist.

A Renowned Work by Two Masters

As the scroll unrolls past the painting we find commentaries inscribed by successive generations of connoisseurs and collectors. Mi Fu (1051-1107), a close friend of Su Shi, is foremost among this illustrious roll of inscribers. Both Su and Mi rank among the four greatest calligraphers of the Song dynasty. Mi’s short verse reflects on Su’s long life, the introspection he was inclined to in his later years, and the profound value of their shared friendship. The undulating turns of Mi’s brush and his careful balance of form and rhythm make his inscription a masterpiece in its own right. Su and Mi’s deep affinity is visible in their paired examples of artistic excellence and signify a glorious monument of World Culture.

title

WOOD AND ROCK

creator

SU SHI (1037-1101)

lot_number

8008

provenance

Property from a Japanese Private Collection

Previously in the So¯raikan Collection of Abe Fusajiro¯ (1868-1937)


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  • Voir tous les objets dans la catégorie Autres
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  • Voir tous les objets dans la catégorie Autres
  • Voir tous les objets dans la catégorie Autres
*Merci de noter que le prix n'est pas recalculé à la valeur actuelle, mais se rapporte au prix final réel au moment où l'objet a été vendu.


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