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Subject:Blue-Green Paintings
Posted By: Tony W. Tue, Feb 28, 2023 IP:

Dear friends,

I have two older-looking large frames of what appear to be watercolor paintings in Blue-Green style. Could they be prints of some sort?
Very much appreciated your time, help and inputs!!!


(details on one of them)

Subject:Re: Blue-Green Paintings
Posted By: rat Tue, Feb 28, 2023

You can check Zhang Daqian works, but to me this seems like an imitation of his style. There are a fair number of Zhang attributed blue-green landscapes around

Subject:Re: Blue-Green Paintings
Posted By: peter Tue, Feb 28, 2023

no, they appear to be painted. the vertical lines are result of the paper used.

Subject:Re: Blue-Green Paintings
Posted By: Tony W. Wed, Mar 01, 2023

I am very much grateful for your help and inputs RAT and Peter 🙏🙏🙏

I have and had shared on the forum another large painting frame in the Blue-Green style by Zheng Baizhong- made known and forever in debt of Gratitude to I. Nagy for his diligent effort and help🙏, and during the search on the artist, I was made aware of Zhang Daiqian that you RAT pointed out…

How interesting that it might be the case of forging of the Forger’s style here! I had lost my innocence /naivety as to such extend of forgery of Chinese, particularly, arts by the first lesson with you a few years back going through a series of scrolls with “Imperial” seals, and during the exchanges I had wished that a few with decent quality would not have bear those fake seals!

I guess that my wish has come true that these 2 frames that I am going through here bear no marks, at least the obviously noticeable one.

Examining closely under the loop, Peter is right that these seem painted to me, as well, but I was puzzled as how it would bear no signature, and that was why I posed the question that I did!
The paintings are large and seem customarily mounted with no area being obstructed under the borders, and I would not think that anyone would crop off the signature/ seal area to make them fit the frames (though I have noticed that ZD tended to have his marks discretely and near the edges of the side border of his paintings in many instances). So RAT must be right that these are attributed to ZD's style and bear no mark out of the respect for the Master!?
Well, I am getting carried away too subjectively now and should stay on with the facts 😊

Seriously, is it common to not sign or under what circumstance a painting would bear no mark? It is hard to imagine and quite humble of the one who created them and had no desire for such credit, as the paintings are quite magnificently, in my opinion.

Also, the painting paper is quite unique and has that texture to it...
Again, so much thanks to all, especially RAT and Peter for your precious time and expertise🙏🙏🙏
Should I move on or continue trying to learn more the hidden fact(s) with any welcoming thought from you allowed ...


Subject:Re: Blue-Green Paintings
Posted By: rat Wed, Mar 01, 2023

yes, it's copies all the way down :)

you are right that no one would have cropped Zhang's signature out during mounting (unless it was obviously not in his hand, perhaps, but good forgeries of Zhang's painting and writing have been around for a long time). Zhang was well known as a legitimate painter (and his forgeries fooled a lot of people who were paid to look carefully; that took some skill).

almost everyone learning how to paint Chinese pictures learns by doing, not in the sense of going outside to paint a landscape or a still-life of fruit on a plate but by copying the brushwork/composition of some noteworthy predecessors. And most of the time no one adds their own name to such copies, let alone the name of the person whose work they were copying. So it would not be unusual for unsigned copies to be floating around. Then someone adds a false signature and seals and tries to resell them to some dealer who then tries to auction them on liveauctioneers, etc.

Subject:Re: Blue-Green Paintings
Posted By: Tony W. Thu, Mar 02, 2023

Dear RAT,
Again, thanks so so very much for sharing your insightful and expert opinion on the painting!!!
I've learned a lot from you and other members on the forum over the years, and I am very grateful for the kind educating and for providing the opportunity for learning :)
Thank YOU!!!!!!

Also, here are a few more photos of that same painting taken with ambient light which might give it more depth as compared to the previously posted ones that were taken in pitch dark with flash thus appeared a bit "flat".
As you can see with these photo, under the loop, it is interesting to note the presence of many shiny speckles of metal or something on the paper, and it is very thick glaze of paint where areas of Blue-Green color are.

Subject:Re: Blue-Green Paintings
Posted By: Tony W. Thu, Mar 02, 2023

… and I just love how the birds were portrayed 😊

Subject:Re: Blue-Green Paintings
Posted By: peter Thu, Mar 02, 2023

The fact that your paintings are unsigned is rare. Studiy paintings for learning would not only be unsigned but also remain unmounted. Its an investment.

As I have not seen the whole composition I fell it srather difficult to comment on this absence of a signature.

I also see no reason to mention Zhang Daqian here, your paintings are very differently composed. Its not even close. He splashed the colores and than interpreted the structures by adding brushstrokes. Your painting is carfully composed and than the blue green color applied. So the only common thing is the color, used for centuries in China.
The blue green painting style is like the green gold style an old, more theoretical tradition which survives only in copies or interpretations of later painters. Other contemporary painters, like Liu Haisu (a much better master) came up with their ideas how to paint in this old style too, also Japanese painters other the centuries invent their versions. I think its fare more appropriate to discuss what is painted than what others might have done with the same materials.
As a last word, I found it especially annoying to lament about forgeries than we discuss an object that does not even have a signature to pretend anything! Why?

But I am sure the painting is now in the right hands, as you seem to like it Tony. I think it was made for exactly this reason.

Subject:Re: Blue-Green Paintings
Posted By: Tony W. Fri, Mar 03, 2023

Dear Peter,
I have so much joy reading your comment, especially the statement from the last two sentences ❤️ It resonates so true with how I see things and have tried to live Life, in principle 😊
I am just eager to say “Thank You” Peter and to RAT for your precious time and dedication to help educating 🙏🙏🙏
… and will defer my full reply to the next one tomorrow, as I just got home from a long day working in the laboratory.

Subject:Re: Blue-Green Paintings
Posted By: Tony W. Sat, Mar 04, 2023

Dear Peter,

Was very happy to receive your comment …Got home late last night from work thus that short replying 😊

I’ve learned from each of the many inputs from the forum over the years, and they all touched on, though sometime out of the context, some relevant aspects of the Art world and objects, and of Asian origin, particularly.

Judging from pictures, especially of poor photographic quality- often time the cases of mine, could be hard and misleading 😊 And you are absolutely right about the difference between the two painting styles, which I had no knowledge about …

Back to the two paintings, if you are not bored yet by now, they both are mounted and framed the same way, each painting itself is 50” x 28” roughly. Aside from the technical and artistic aspects, which I am ignorant of, since there are two of similar items, there are tangible attributes (paper, type of ink, frame and marking, backing with special medium, indications of age and period…) that could help to attest to the originality of the paintings. It can be very hard though, and, more importantly, if it is worth to go through that effort 😊
Again, as a set, it is hard for me to not think about whether there is any intended message that the artist was expressing….

As for the unsigned authorship, the paintings are slightly different in the depicted sceneries; however, they were probably done by the same individual, since there is a common logo of "The Orange-Leaf and Pine Trees” to the left corner…there you go 😊

Here is the whole of the first, the second, and that “logo” 😊

Thanks so much again!!!


Subject:Re: Blue-Green Paintings
Posted By: peter Sun, Mar 05, 2023

I think it most probable that the artist was ordered to not write characters on to the painting. Maybe it was for or by somebody specificly ordered who would appriciate this more. The horizontal composition and the framing suggest this too.
Its possible you could therefore find an information on the backside of the mounted painting. Did you check for this?

Subject:Re: Blue-Green Paintings
Posted By: Tony W. Mon, Mar 06, 2023

Dear Peter,

You are right that one possible place to look for hint is at the back of the mounted paintings, if for reason the info was not preferred to be visible in the front. I had thought about that, too, but one frame is completely sealed off in the back, and the other still has a sealed backing with tapes and quite a few anchoring nails in place! At least on the frame that has a missing dusting paper backing, there is marking of stamped/printed "... MADE IN TAIWAN"
I will definitely share the finding, if and when I get to the mounted board.
Again, very much appreciate your precious time, inputs and effort to help Peter!

Tony :)

Subject:Re: Blue-Green Paintings
Posted By: Tony W. Mon, Mar 06, 2023 | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |