The Personal Collection of the late Sir Joseph Hotung. Lot 103. Fu Baoshi (1904 - 1965), Scholar under the Pine Tree, ink and colour on paper, framed; signed, dated 1943, inscribed, with a dedication and 2 seals of the artist, one of which is handpainted; 26.8 x 21 cm 10 1/2 x 8 1/4 inLot sold: 3,276,000 HKD (Estimate: 700,000 - 1,400,000 HKD)© Sotheby's 2022


The sound of running stream is reminiscent of cool jade, and the shade of pine diffuses a delicate fragrance. The scholar sits for a long time, alone and unknown.

Dedicated to Mr. Xianzhou. Painted on the first day of the twelfth lunar month of guiwei year at Xueweng [Chen Zhifo]'s Liuqi Lu in Shapingba, Chongqing. Fu Baoshi.

ProvenanceChristie’s Hong Kong, Fine Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Chinese Paintings, 12 January 1987, lot 23.

LiteratureThe Chronicle of Fu Baoshi’s Life (Revised Edition), Ye Zonggao ed., Shanghai Classics Publishing House, December 2012, p.110.

NoteThe present work was dedicated to “Xianzhou”, which was the style name of Ai Wei (1890-1955, original name Hua Yong). Born in Jiangling, Hubei Province, Ai was a prominent educational psychologist. After graduating from St. John’s University in Shanghai, he went to study in the United States and obtained his Master of Psychology at Columbia University and Ph.D. at the University of Washington. Following his return to China in 1925, he taught as Professor at Southeast University and The Great China University respectively, and later became the chair of the education department at National Central University. With the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War and the subsequent relocation of National Central University to Chongqing, Ai also moved to the same city and founded the Research Centre of Educational Psychology and served as its director. Later in 1941, he attained a distinguished professorship “appointed by the Ministry of Education”.

According to the artist’s inscription, the work was painted at Chen Zhifo’s apartment in Chongqing during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The seal mark “guiwei”, instead of imprinted, was hand drawn by Fu, suggesting that the artist had improvised the work without having his stone seal at hand.

Sotheby's. HOTUNG The Personal Collection of the late Sir Joseph Hotung: Part 1, Hong Kong, 9 October 2022