Lot 163 Lot 164 Lot 165 Lot 166 Lot 167 Lot 168 Lot 169

photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VI  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 27 May 2013: Lot 166 

Lot 166

Lot 166
Treasury 4, no. 508 (‘Fulfilled Desires’)

Glass, ink, and watercolours; with a concave lip and a recessed convex foot surrounded by a protruding rounded footrim; painted on one main side with a herdboy riding a water buffalo in the shallows of a river, reaching for his straw hat, which has just been blown away by the wind, the other main side with a young woman at a circular window, drawing apart the curtains to look out on a young cypress tree, inscribed in draft script ‘Painted by Ye Zhongsan at the capital in the first month of autumn in the year yiwei,’ with one seal of the artist, huayin (‘painting seal’), in negative seal script
Ye Zhongsan, the Apricot Grove Studio, Chongwen district, Beijing, first month of autumn, 1895
Height: 6.11 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.6/1.62 cm
Stopper: coral; vinyl collar

Sotheby’s, New York, 3 June 1992, lot 454

Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 324
Chen Yibing 1994, p. 111, top left
Kleiner 1995, no. 401
Treasury 4, no. 508

Hong Kong Museum of Art, March–June 1994
National Museum, Singapore, November 1994–February 1995
British Museum, London, June–November 1995
Israel Museum, Jerusalem, July–November 1997
Christie's, London, 1999

In 1895, Ye Zhongsan demonstrates sufficient artistic confidence to begin emerging from the shadow of Zhou’s subject matter, which up until then had dominated his output. He is still clinging to Zhou’s aesthetic coattails with the scene of the boy on the water buffalo on one side. (For an example of Zhou’s version, see Sale 1, lot 47; the message is put into words on a chalcedony bottle in Sale 5, lot 16. ). The subject on the other main side, however, owes nothing to Zhou but is an indication of Ye’s growing confidence and evolving personal style, which showed such promise of artistic mastery in these early years. It is a lovely, poetic painting of a beautiful young woman parting the curtains of her boudoir somewhat suggestively. It cannot have been intended to be entirely free of erotic intent. This is exaggerated by the beauty of the woman, whose face is superbly painted with an enigmatic smile that adds to the veiled erotic content of the image.


This is not the Sotheby’s sale catalogue. This is a product of Hugh Moss for the purposes of this website. For the catalogue details please refer to Sotheby’s website or request a copy of a printed sale catalogue from Sotheby’s


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