FROM AN IMPORTANT MONTREAL COLLECTION
[LOTS 1104, 1107, 1119, 1124, 1130, 1133, 1136, 1138, 1139, 1145-1148, 1230]
FINE AND RARE, A SCHOLAR’S ANTIQUE JADE TABLE SCREEN OF LOHAN
CHINA, CARVED BOTH SIDES AND INSCRIBED WITH A POETRY
A wonderful Scholars screen meant as a source of inspiration. During the Qing Dynasty, many jade screens or boulders were carved based on famous paintings. Here a skilled lapidary artist features a scene from and important painting carved out of a solid block of jade. The painting from which this scene derives received the highest recognition possible from the court, a poem composed by the Emperor. This carved screen respectfully bears this same Imperial Poem. While carving after a painting will allow an easy depiction of depth in a landscape as you’re sculpting in three dimensions, conversely carving round organic shapes like human faces for which we have strong expectations (they should tell a story and embody emotion), is truly the pinnacle of difficulty. The veracity in depiction of faces in a scene like this is the way we evaluate the talent of it’s author and successful execution of a particular work.
Note: Some gold residue visible inside carving of calligraphy when viewed under magnification.
A rough English translation would be:
Imperial poem praising the Lohan
The Lohan’s sleeves and potions have supernatural powers
but this changes nothing in actions.
In meditation he can see the levied heart,
but it is owed nothing because the body is an illusion
Portrayal of the painted special wall
H : 15.2cm – 5 15/16’’
L : 24,3cm – 9 ½’’
p-d : 2.3cm – .3/4’’