Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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  • loan
  • Description

    Lotus is one of Zhang Daqian’s (1899-1983) favourite subjects. He believed that what matters in Chinese painting is the skill of using brush and ink and ‘painting lotus shows one’s basic skills’. Zhang applied various accomplished skills in his lotus paintings, such as the fine brushwork gongbi style, the expressive xieyi style, the mogu ‘boneless’ style, and the use of gold, powder, and colour.

    This handscroll, however, is a simple ink painting with playful brushwork that he produced for his old friends Khoan (1919-2003) and Michael Sullivan (1916-2013), after he returned and settled in Taiwan. The inscription reads ‘My friends Michael Sullivan and Madam Wu Khoan ardently love my expressionist painting on small scrolls. I left America and returned to Taiwan recently and I met them there. I have been ill, but I drop the brush on the page and try to doodle. My work is not even worth a laugh.'

  • Details

    Associated place
    Asia Taiwan (place of creation)
    26 June 1978
    Zhang Daqian (1899 - 1983) (artist)
    Zhang Daqian (1899 - 1983) (calligrapher)
    Associated people
    Khoan Sullivan (1919 - 2003) (recipient)
    Michael Sullivan (1916 - 2013) (recipient)
    Material and technique
    ink on paper
    painting 12.5 x 116.4 cm (height x width)
    Material index
    Technique index
    Object type index
    No. of items
    Credit line
    On loan from the Khoan and Michael Sullivan Collection.
    Accession no.
  • Further reading

    Sullivan, Michael, Modern Chinese Art: The Khoan and Michael Sullivan Collection, revised edn (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2009), no. 149 on p. 152, illus. p. 152 fig. II.149

Past Exhibition

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    • currently in research collection

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