Ink and watercolour on paper, featuring nobleman on horseback, hanging scroll; signed Zhang Daqian (Chinese, 1899-1983), inscribed with 2 artist seals; with certificate, signed by Shan Guo Qiang. 92.5 x 33 cm (36.41 x 12.99 inches).
In addition to his prized original works, Zhang has become equally well known for his recreations of Chinese masterpieces. His copies span 1,000 years of Chinese art and demonstrate a virtuoso talent for emulating, and even improving upon, the work of painters before him. Today many examples of his works, still attributed to others, hang alongside Zhang originals in museums worldwide.
Zhang Daqian (also known to some as Chang Dai-chien) was born on May 10, 1899 in Nei-chiang, Szechwan as Chuan Chi, the ninth child of a wealthy family who had converted to Roman Catholicism. Resisting his family's efforts to push him into a business career, Zhang briefly entered a Buddhist monastery before beginning serious study of Chinese calligraphy and painting at the age of 19. After an extended visit to Kyoto, Japan, Zhang settled in Shanghai in 1919 to study with prominent artists Tseng Hsi (c.1861-1930) and Li Jui-ching (1867-1920). In a training method typical among art students in China, Zhang made many arduous copies of artistic masterworks, beginning to develop his legendary ability to recreate works from diverse periods. Because of his family wealth, Zhang first entered the Chinese artistic community as an amateur painter and connoisseur. The collapse of several family businesses in 1925 deprived Zhang of his income and compelled him to begin selling his art work. His first exhibition of 100 paintings in 1926 was a great success and launched his career. The start of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937 began a period of war and revolution that repeatedly disrupted Zhang's artistic efforts, forcing him into flight several times. In 1939 he found refuge in the remote desert outpost of Tun-huang, where he spent more than two years learning from the legendary murals in the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas.
Leaving China in the wake of the Civil War of 1949, Zhang sojourned in Hong Kong, Taiwan, India and Argentina before settling in 1954 into a 30-acre compound outside Sao Paolo, Brazil that he named the 'Garden of Eight Virtues.' Zhang continued to exhibit his art in the US and Europe, traveling to Paris in 1956 for a breakthrough show of his paintings at the Musee d'Art Moderne. Zhang's meeting with Pablo Picasso during this trip was given considerable attention in the press as a meeting of the masters of Western and Eastern art. A dam construction project in the mid-1960s that would flood his home caused Zhang to leave Brazil. California had impressed Zhang during his numerous trips to the state, the first of which was in 1954. Zhang moved to the Monterey Peninsula in 1967, eventually acquiring both a home in Carmel and another on the scenic Seventeen Mile Drive. Zhang relocated to Taiwan in 1976, spending the last seven years of his life painting and creating his garden home known as the 'Abode of Illusions.' He never returned to California after 1979.
Previously in the private collection of Mr. Kong Ming Ma, (1937-2017) and purchased directly from Zhang Daqian's studio in Taiwan and thence by descent.
马振道（1907-1956） 字启业,号乐齐。广东番禺人。十八歳时入伍被分配到前身为Â“建国粤军第一师Â”的Â“国民革民军第四军Â”。被派驻第三十一团;于北伐时期与十一师师长留守广州;官至上士。因国民党退守台湾曾居住在香港的调景岭，后与军中兄弟合伙，迁居到香港铜锣湾避风塘开设海鲜艇并遇到了徐悲鸿, 开始他对中国水墨画收藏的兴趣。
Mr. Zhen Dao Ma (1937-2017). He was born and raised in the city of Panyu, province of Guangdong in 1907. He enlisted in 'The Fourth Army of the National Revolutionary Army' when he was 18 years old. He was assigned to the First Division of the Army which also known as 'The County-founding Division of Guangdong.' He was then reassigned to the thirty-first corps. During the Northern Expedition, he was ordered to stay with the Eleventh Division and therefore, was left behind in Guangzhou. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant. Due to the Kuomintang retreated to Taiwan; he had lived in Tiu Keng Leng (Rennie's Mill), Hong Kong for an extended period. Later, Mr. Ma moved to the Causeway Bay's Typhoon Shelter, Hong Kong, and opened a seafood boats under a partnership with his army colleagues to raise his family, where he also met Xu Beihong and began his collection of Chinese ink and watercolor paintings.
马光明（1937-2017） 字亦嘉,号木水。广东番禺人。香港和台湾八十年代著名粤菜名厨。六十年代于香港青山道及湾仔区开设Â“国龙酒家Â”。于当时认识了香港敏求精舍之创办人之一及首任主席胡仁牧先生并成为朋友，重新点燃从他父亲那里而来, 对中国水墨画和其他中国文化艺术品的兴趣, 从而开始涉足中国书画收藏。期间访问美国，英国，巴西 和日本的著名艺术家，认识了多名中国书画大师如张大千等, 并从他们那里收集艺术品。期后在台湾先后担任力霸大饭店, 霖园大饭店及园山大饭店的首席行政总厨及总监。旅居台湾期间认识了中国书画大家张大千先生的后人。八九年举家移民美国。九十年代中期，他开始前往中国, 不遗余力地收藏中国近现代艺术名家的作品，他的收藏主要是中国水墨画。马光明先生于2017 年2 月逝世。
Mr. Kong Ming Ma, (1937 -2017) (school name as Yi Jia, also known as Mu Shui). He was born and raised in Hong Kong. Mr. Ma was a famous Cantonese chef in both Hong Kong and Taiwan in the eighties. He opened a Cantonese Style Seafood Restaurant named 'Guo Long Restaurant' in Castle Peak Road, Kowloon and Wan Chai District, Hong Kong Island during the 60's. At that time, he met Mr. Hu Renmu. Mr. Hu was one of the founders and the First President of 'Min Qiu Jing She,' Hong Kong. Gradually, became involved in collecting Chinese paintings and calligraphy artworks. In the 70's, Mr. Ma started visiting artists such as Zhang Daqian. He traveled to, Brazil, England, Japan, and the USA visiting artists and collecting artworks directly from them. In the early 80's, he served at the Taipei Crown Plaza Hotel, Lin Park Hotel and Grand Hotel Taipei as Chief Executive Chef and Director. While living in Taiwan, he was able to meet the descendants of Mr. Zhang Daqian. In 1989 Mr. Ma and his family migrated to the United States. In the mid 90's‚ he started travelling to China focusing on building his collections of late modern Chinese artists specializing mainly in Chinese ink paintings. Mr. Ma passed away in Feb 2017.
Photographs featuring 马光明 (1937-2017) with Zhang Daqian are available upon request. These photographs feature 马光明 (1937-2017) at an exhibition of Zhang's work held at the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, San Francisco on November 1972. The photographs are said to be from the major retrospective presented in 1972 by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco in which the exhibition presented several mural scale works as part of the gathering of one work from each year of Zhang Daqian's professional career. [Photographs are withheld at owner's request.]