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Subject:Help with identifying seals and text of a beautiful Chinese silk painting
Posted By: StefanM Thu, Sep 14, 2017 IP: 178.149.75.18

Hello good people,

I have inherited this beautiful silk Chinese painting and I have been researching a lot, however I still cannot identify the seals and the text on my own.

The picture itself is beautifully done on silk and it is very professionally mounted in the huge and heavy wooden frame. (dimensions of the frame are 105cm x 60cm and the dimensions of the silk painting are 88.5cm x 47cm).

I will truly appreciate any help.

Thank you in front,

Stefan M.







Subject:Re: Help with identifying seals and text of a beautiful Chinese silk painting
Posted By: StefanM Fri, Sep 15, 2017

Here is the whole picture as well as some of the close up details. I forgot to mention that it seems that the technique is ink + watercolor with very subtle use of color (as you can see in the close ups - subtle green, orange-reddish, etc.).

I am sorry for a flash reflection in the last set of pictures, however I couldn't take better pictures without it.

Thank you in front for any info.

Best regards,

Stefan M.







Subject:Re: Help with identifying seals and text of a beautiful Chinese silk painting
Posted By: I. Nagy Fri, Sep 15, 2017

Your picture reads,
江南之春  Spring in Jiangnan
(Lower Yangtze Walley)
乙丑 秋  Year of Buffalo、Autumn
(..1685,..cyclical date which is repeated in every 60th year)
原祁 Yuan Qi (Courtesy name of Wang Yuan Qi
1642-1715 famous painter of the Qing Dynasty)
Seal reads,
原祁  Yuan Qi
(I found exactly th same seal among 85 other seals used by the artist, in a Chinese seal dictionary)
Other seals from right,
1st square,
宣統御覧之寶 Treasure Seen by Xuantong
2nd oval,
嘉慶御覧之寶 Treasure Seen by Jiaqing
3rd round,
古天子希   Seal used by Emperor Qianlong in
his old age
4th suquare
乾隆御覧之寶 Treasure Seen by Qianlong

Practically you can find four seals of the
Qing imperial collection on your picture.

However, I can not vouch for the originality.
With best regards,
I.Nagy

Subject:Re: Help with identifying seals and text of a beautiful Chinese silk painting
Posted By: StefanM Sat, Sep 16, 2017

Dear Nagy,

Thank you so much for your detailed help!

While I was researching on my own I came to some similar conclusions regarding the seals (had no luck with calligraphy translation thou), however your analysis is far more on point, so once again thank you, I truly appreciate it!

The painting seems genuine and truly beautifully done on what seems to be high quality silk (It seems like 99% silk upon close inspection, due the way it bends and pops up on some parts like a cloth would instead of how paper bends and folds...but also it just seems more like a cloth than paper...also there is this beautiful subtle glow it gives when it is exposed to a light source) with patina that comes with age, after inspecting it with magnifying glass (+ some high resolution photos), ink strokes as well as subtle color are real, so it is not a print...details like shadows, leafs, trees, mountains, etc. and the whole scenery is consistent with works of Wang Yuan Qi however I cannot confirm true originality either.

Any additional opinions are welcome,

Once again, thanks Nagy!

Best regards,

Stefan M.


Subject:Re: Help with identifying seals and text of a beautiful Chinese silk painting
Posted By: StefanM Sun, Sep 17, 2017

Good people,

I would also highly appreciate if anybody has an opinion on the quality of calligraphy, seals, painting overall quality, etc.

I would really highly appreciate it.

Thanks in front.

Best regards,

StefanM

Subject:Re: Help with identifying seals and text of a beautiful Chinese silk painting
Posted By: rat Mon, Sep 18, 2017

Hi Stefan,
I am sorry to tell you that your picture is recent (it is a real painting, not a reproduction), but is not by Wang Yuanqi. Unfortunately, the painting style is not his, nor is the inscription or signature, or seal, and the imperial seals are all facsimiles of actual imperial seals.

While Wang did paint in monochrome ink (https://www.google.com/search?q=wang+yuanqi&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjEz_yMlq_WAhXmrVQKHS9vBzIQ_AUICigB&biw=1920&bih=950#imgrc=akonyjzIVNIkmM:), he is best known for synthesizing the compositional style of Huang Gongwang with the work of Dong Qichang, and for creating a compositional style of his own based on his use of color.

Huang Gongwang was a famous Yuan dynasty landscape painter, compare this detail to the Wang Yuanqi detail above: https://ka-perseus-images.s3.amazonaws.com/49d2e1599d9f5a753b7b866f1aafed574e907c63.jpg

Dong Qichang was a famous Ming dynasty calligrapher and painter whose work could be very beautiful but often can seem crude: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/Dong_Qichang_-_Mountain_landscape_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

And here is a mature work by Wang Yuanqi, detail from "Wangchuan Villa": http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/images/h5/h5_1977.80_av2.jpg

Note the tilted ground planes and the apparent movement based on how the rocks are placed that induce a sense of dizziness; the Chinese discovered abstraction a long time ago.

Here are legitimate versions of three of the "imperial" seals on your picture (R-L: Jiaqing, Qianlong, Xuantong emperors):
https://n.sinaimg.cn/collect/crawl/20170527/EEa1-fyfrfvv4702937.jpg

Here's the fourth: http://s10.sinaimg.cn/middle/4943247egabc444652ba9&690

Your Wang Yuanqi seal seems to be imitating this one: http://diglweb.zjlib.cn:8081/zjtsg/zgjcj/cypicxl.jsp?searchword=%C3%FB%C8%CB%B1%E0%BA%C5%3D826&channelid=91700&record=67






Subject:Re: Help with identifying seals and text of a beautiful Chinese silk painting
Posted By: StefanM Mon, Sep 18, 2017

While awaiting some additional info, I've took the best close-ups I could.

These three pictures of close-ups were the sharpest I could get...unfortunately I just got a part of the calligraphy sharp for this post (I wanted to point out that it doesn't seem that calligraphy is completely black ink [as it might seem in the two first photos I posted], however for this post I do not have an additional photo of calligraphy).

I hope these photos actually may help to get the opinion on the material (as well as the artwork itself), as it puzzles me still (even I claimed I was 99% sure it was silk more than paper...I would still really like to hear some other opinion...)

Thanks good people,

Best regards,

StefanM








Subject:Re: Help with identifying seals and text of a beautiful Chinese silk painting
Posted By: rat Tue, Sep 19, 2017

yes, this is silk

Subject:Re: Help with identifying seals and text of a beautiful Chinese silk painting
Posted By: StefanM Wed, Sep 20, 2017

First of all, many thanks to Nagy and Rat!

While I was awaiting for replies, I researched this beautiful forum up back to 1999. I have seen so many beautiful art pieces and learned so much from your replies throughout the years (regarding the seal quality, calligraphy quality, styles, etc.). Now I can say that I was wrong stating that the style resembles the one of Wang Yuanqi, it takes time to analyze the style, details and history to be sure to state something like that, you live and you learn so I am very grateful for your expert input and the things I have learned.

Once again, Nagy thank you for you professional translation of the seals and calligraphy and Mr. Rat thank you for you detailed input and expertise regarding Wang Yuanqi.

I enjoy this painting non the less even knowing that it is not an original Wang Yuanqi and I love it on my wall! :)

I have one more question: Do you maybe know when this painting was made (and by who) and how can I determine the value of this piece (I am not planing on selling it, I would just like to know how to appraise it for my own knowledge)?

That's all good people,

Keep up the excellent work you are doing,

Love you,

Best regards,

Stefan M.

P.S. I will be posting few more of my inherited Asian art pieces soon so we can discuss them.


Subject:Re: Help with identifying seals and text of a beautiful Chinese silk painting
Posted By: Rat Thu, Sep 21, 2017

Hi Stefan, this dates from the past 3 decades or so. It gives no clue of the actual artist's identity. The composition itself (river alongside hills) predates Wang Yuanqi by centuries. Am glad you enjoy it

Subject:Re: Help with identifying seals and text of a beautiful Chinese silk painting
Posted By: StefanM Fri, Sep 22, 2017

Hi Rat, thank you so much for your time and all of the info you have provided!

Best regards,

Stefan M.

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Subject:Re: Help with identifying seals and text of a beautiful Chinese silk painting
Posted By: StefanM Fri, Sep 22, 2017

Hi Rat, once again thank you for your informative inquiries and expertise!

Respect,

Best regards,

Stefan M.


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