Lot 190. Qi Baishi (1864 - 1957), Six Shrimps, ink on paper, hanging scroll, signed, dated 1948, with a dedication and 1 seal of the artist. Titleslip by Zeng Shaojie; 102 x 32.2 cm 40⅛ x 12⅝ in. Lot sold: 189,000 HKD (Estimate: 200,000 - 300,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022
Titleslip: Qi Baishi "Six Shrimps". Shaojie inscribed at mid-Autumn festival of guimao year.
Inscription: Dedicated to Baoshen. Summer of wuzi. Baishi at eighty-eight years old.
Provenance: Collection of famous collector Wang Fangyu (1913-1997), 1940s to 1988.
L.J. Wender, 13 February 1988.
Literature: Ch’I Pai-Shih’s Paintings, by Kai-Yu Hsu and Fang-Yu Wang, Art Book Co., Taipei, May 1979, pl.44
Note: Qi Baishi captured the detailed and vivid movements of shrimps in his works, as if they were swimming freely in the seemingly invisible water. The power struggle of the two shrimps at the very bottom, was however not commonly conveyed in most of his other paintings of shrimps. The pair was facing each other with their antennas and pincers entangled, filling the work with dramatic tension.
The work is dedicated to “Baoshen”. It is suggested that “Baoshen” is Li Baoshen, a native Hebei collector active during the Republican of China era. His affection for Qi Baishi’s artistry is evident where his collector seals are occasionally seen on Qi’s paintings.
Sotheby's. HOTUNG The Personal Collection of the late Sir Joseph Hotung: Part 1, Hong Kong, 9 October 2022