Lot 162: QIU YING (1493-1560) - AFTER BEAUTIES IN A GARDEN
December 8, 2016
Prague 1, Czech RepublicLive Auction
Ink and colours on silk. Hanging scrolls, brocade mountings. These two scrolls from a set of the four seasons depict spring and summer, as can be seen from the flowering plum blossoms and peonies, but not the beautiful clothing, which despite the weather is the same on both. In the first scroll, a lady sitting in an armchair with a companion listen to the qin zither, an instrument appropriate for an intellectual. The beauty with blue sleeves standing behind the player is most likely another musician. Two listeners are placed on either side, and the last approaches from the rocks in the background. The other figures are servants. On the "summer" scroll, the fun is more relaxed - the central group of beauties watches a ball game, a trio in the foreground more or less turns towards a green parrot. This, just as the Buddha’s hand (a citrus fruit) in a bowl on the table, and the railing of spotted bamboo, is an erotic motif. The scrolls' hidden meaning can also be seen in the symbolism of the seasonal flowers - plum blossoms symbolise a noble nature, the peony lascivious beauty. In the exhibition catalogue for Josef Martinek's collection of Chinese art held at the Manes Gallery in December 1931, the paintings are attributed to Qiu Ying.
China, 19th century. 180 x 44 cm.