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Lot 1383. Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), Magnificence of the Mountains. Scroll, mounted and framed, ink and colour on paper, 129 x 70.5 cm. (50 ¾ x 27 ¾ in.). Signed, with one seal of the artist and one dated seal of 1965Estimate HKD 15,000,000 - HKD 20,000,000Price realised HKD 18,060,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2017

ProvenanceLot 169, 26 April 1998, Fine Modern and Contemporary Chinese Paintings, Christie’s Hong Kong.

Note: Zhang’s second period of artistic development began after 1957 when he started experimenting in the splashed-ink style. His use of colours became more fabulous and diverse, exuding an air of magnificence and monumentality in his creations. The technique of “accumulating ink and colour” were in part derived from the Tang dynasty model of splashing ink on silk and spreading them into shapes. Undoubtedly, his exposure to different cultures and artistic styles over the course of his travels greatly inspired and added to his influences in his own creative pursuit - it was around this time his splashed-ink paintings developed into the technique that is highly revered today. 

By 1965, Zhang Daqian had travelled much of the world, covering South America, Europe and Asia before he chose to make Carmel, California his home for several years to follow. Zhang’s meeting with Picasso in late July 1956 was influential in his pioneering a new path towards his approach to art creation – this period also marked Zhang’s meeting with Chinese artists practicing within the abstract realm, such as Zao Wou-ki and Sanyu, which very likely expanded his exposure and understanding towards Abstract Expressionism. Paintings completed in this year portray a multitude of subjects, from the snowstorms of the Swiss Alps to the remote settlements of Brazil, and this present painting is most likely a confluence of the many influences he gathered and assimilated of the time.  

By 1965, Zhang Daqian had travelled much of the world, covering South America, Europe and Asia before he chose to make Carmel, California his home for several years to follow. Zhang’s meeting with Picasso in late July 1956 was influential in his pioneering a new path towards his approach to art creation – this period also marked Zhang’s meeting with Chinese artists practicing within the abstract realm, such as Zao Wou-ki and Sanyu, which very likely expanded his exposure and understanding towards Abstract Expressionism. Paintings completed in this year portray a multitude of subjects, from the snowstorms of the Swiss Alps to the remote settlements of Brazil, and this present painting is most likely a confluence of the many influences he gathered and assimilated of the time. 

Christie'sFine Chinese Modern Paintings, 30 May 2017, Convention Hall