Subject:Re: Would Appreciate Help Identifying These Paintings
Posted By: rat Sun, Jan 30, 2022
The inscriptions and seals all appear consistent in identifying Jiang Lian as your artist. The inscription in the initial picture says that he is relating that work to Ming painter Qiu Ying, but he is not copying a specific work of Qiu's, and there's no indication that someone other than Jiang is the painter. Given the ubiquity of fakes and copies, it's difficult to say with certainty that these cannot be the work of a later copyist, but practicality suggests that these are not later copies.
Here's what comes to mind for me. To start with, I believe that Jiang was not a well-known artist, so forgers would likely try to fake someone better known (though there's no certainty on these points). Second, he was also not a particularly good artist. It's not that he was a bad painter, but students/copyists typically were given or selected particularly noteworthy examples to reproduce. Relatedly, the pictures in the article Peter shared a link to suggest to me that, if they are all by Jiang, then Jiang could be a pretty sloppy painter/casual with his brushwork (and there's some evidence of that in your pictures too). (Or they aren't all by Jiang, meaning that people were indeed copying/faking him, but if your pictures are by a later copyist they are good quality given the range of other examples shown in that article.) Third/fourth?, these album leaves show an array of different seals; a forger would have needed to recreate each one of those from scratch, and I suggest that this would probably have been considered too much work given Jiang's limited stature. Similarly, why forge three different Jiang pictures with different seals? It would be a lot easier to do just one hanging scroll, or reapply the same seal on the three different leaves you have. Finally, a copyist would not create seals to replicate the original: the point of copying is to educate yourself by first observing closely what the artist has done and then trying to do it yourself. A copyist is interested in painting technique and has no reason to be forging seals.
While your pictures seem tighter (perhaps given their smaller format) and their colors in better condition most of those in the article Peter shared, I don't see why that is reason to reject them as genuine examples of Jiang's work.