558: Inside Painted Chinese Snuff Bottle By Wang Xisan
Fine, Rare Inside Painted Chinese Snuff Bottle by Master Wang Xisan, inscribed, Spring Month Wu Shen (1968), One Bottle Studio, Xisan Painted, the face painted with a wintry mountainous landscape with a large pine tree in the foreground with a woman and two children before the gate of a compound, the entire landscape covered with snow except for a flowering prunus tree on the far right, the reverse painted with a mountainous landscape with a waterfall cascading from a cleft in the mountains, the foreground showing a rushing stream crossed by an arched stone bridge and travelers crossing the bridge and approaching a cluster of buildings, the fine glass bottle of rectangular form with rounded corners and having carved mock ring handles and a gilt mesh top, h. 3-1/2". Wang Xisan is probably the best-known modern painter of inside snuff bottles, His works are highly sought after by collectors world-wide and are in the collections of major museums. Wang Xisan became enthralled by inside painted bottles ("Nei Hua") as a child visiting the fairs at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. Eventually he studied the art with Ye Xiaofeng and Ye Benqi, sons of the late 19th century master Ye Zhongsan, and was the first student outside of the Ye family to be trained by this illustrious family. Because of his extraordinary talent, Wang Xisan has been assured a place in the history of Chinese art. In 1968 he founded the Ji School of Inside Painting Art which has evolved into the Xisan Academy of Art and Design. Today, at 73 years of age, he continues to guide and teach students. An extensive biography of Wang Xisan can be found in J.H. Leung, A New Look of Chinese Inside Painted Snuff Bottles (Yang Xin Xuan Art Books, 1990) pp.16-37; near-identical examples to the present lot are illustrated there on p. 27, items4 and 4B.
Overall excellent condition - no damage or repairs noted - paintings on both sides in excellent condition with no rubbing nor fading - in "as new" condition - consignor has stored this bottle in a box since purchase in the 1970s.