WANG SHIMIN (1592-1680)
CHINESE LANDSCAPE PAINTER
LATE MING-EARLY QING DYNASTIES
Wang was born in the Jiangsu province. His family members were scholars and his grandfather served as a prime minister during the late Ming dynasty and his father was a member of the royal court's Hanlin Academy.
Because Wang came from an artistic family, Wang learned painting at an early age. It wasn't until around 1630 that he began to immerse himself in painting at around the age of 38.
Wang became a very excellent painter, so much so that his achievements carried him into one of the highest ranking groups of that time, the 17th century. Known as "The Four Wangs" the other members of that group, his peers, were Wang Jian (1598-1677), Wang Hui (1632-1717) and Wang Yuanqui (1642-1715).
The Four Wangs, including Wang Shimin, painted in a style known as shan shui. It is a traditional style of Chinese painting that uses only brush and ink and focuses on beautiful landscapes with mountains, rivers and, many times, waterwalls. This painting, Lot #15, is one such painting.
Noted scholar, Osvald Sirén, in 1956, wrote, "They do not try to present an image of what they have seen in nature, but what they have thought about nature." Quite poetic.
Together, the Four Wangs were also members of another group known as "The Six Masters of the Early Qing Period."
This painting was professionally restored in Japan before WW II, when it was part of a Japanese old collection. The Japanese are well-known for their outstanding paper restorations and conservations. The painting and its specially made, blue-cloth wrap, is embellished with calligraphy writing on its cap end and outer cloth label. It was photographed, many years ago, alongside another very old photograph of two Chinese gentlemen that appears to have been taken circa 1900. They are dressed in Mandarin clothes. We are presuming that one of the gentlemen, the one who is emphasised in one of the two photographs, was a former collector. The painting was sold to a Japanese collector and then, after WW II, was sold again to an American collector, lastly being in the hands of the present owner.
· Please note that this hanging scroll is very, very long. Photo #1 does not show the scroll at full length. The bottom part of the scroll is intact and in good condition.
· This painting is signed and sealed by the artist.
· This painting has additional calligraphy on it, that appears to be by the hand of another person (?). There may be a seal missing from this second calligraphy writing. Please see restoration pictures.
· The brownish-orange photos of the restoration were taken outside under direct sunlight. If you wish to have further images, please send your email request for additional pictures as needed.
· The painting, as mentioned, underwent very professional conservation and restoration, as seen in the pictures. We have further pictures available upon request.
· The scroll ends are finely crafted and polished buffalo horn.
· A special, blue-cloth 'sock' was made for the painting a long time ago. If you would like close-up pictures of the calligraphy on the end cap, please email us and we will be happy to supply you with further images.
· The painting will be accompanied by a photocopy of an old 3-page letter, written in what appears to be Japanese. Please email for additional, large scanned images of each page if you wish to have it translated by someone who is capable of reading it. We are sorry, but we do not read Chinese or Japanese and will be unable to assist you with any translations.
· The approximate size of the image itself is 39.5 in x 15.75 in.
· Wang Shimin's work was collected by the Qianlong emperor. The National Palace Museum in Taiwan has a spectacular painting known as "Snow Over Rivers and Mountains" whereby Wang Shimin painted it "After Wang Wei."
· For other "brush and ink shan shui" landscape paintings by Wang Shimin, please see...
· Sotheby's Fine Chinese Paintings, Hong Kong, 05 October 2015, Lot 1112.
· Christie's Fine Chinese Paintings, Hong Kong, 30 May 2006, Lot 1213 A.
· Christie's Fine Chinese Paintings, Hong Kong, 27 November 2006, Lot 706.
Please note that there are three (3) VERY SPECIAL Chinese paintings offered in this auction...
Lot #15 (this lot), Lot #16, and Lot #17.
All three (3) of these Chinese paintings were PERSONALLY SEEN by a Specialist Representative from one of the two MAJOR AUCTION HOUSES in the world.
All three (3) paintings were APPROVED for sale through their venue.
In addition, these three (3) paintings come from a Special Private Collection, wherein other paintings have already been sold through that very same Major Auction House.
Please bid accordingly. We welcome all requests for additional photos.
PLEASE MAKE SPECIAL NOTE: THIS AUCTION WILL BE RUN AUTOMATICALLY BY THE LIVEAUCTIONEERS COMPUTER SYSTEM. KNOWN AS A “LIVE TIMED AUCTION (AUTOMATED CONSOLE),” THE BIDDING WILL TAKE PLACE VERY QUICKLY AND THERE WILL BE NO CHANCE OF A PAUSE BETWEEN BIDS. PLEASE BE PREPARED, IN ADVANCE, TO IMMEDIATELY PLACE YOUR BID WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY ARISES.
IN ADDITION, THIS IS A NO RESERVE / NO BUYER'S COMMISSION AUCTION. PLEASE KEEP THAT IN MIND WHEN PLANNING YOUR BIDS.
Thank you and enjoy the auction!