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Antique wooden Face Screen, painted with a picture of life in the China seas.

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Description:
Ref:   103fs    http://hygra.com/face/103fs 

Antique wooden Face Screen, painted with a picture of life in the China seas.  Circa 1820

The screen is painted in confident brush strokes pointing to the work of a professional painter. It was most probably painted by a European artist who travelled to China in the early 19th century. It shows oriental figures travelling towards an island in different types of boats. It perhaps suggests the illicit trade in opium which was often carried out away from the watchful eye of the authorities. The birds perching on the small boat on the left introduce a somewhat sinister note. The differentiation between the various vessels suggests that the artist was working from life, or at least had studied and had good knowledge of Chinese crafts.

The scene is very busy both on land and sea. The pagoda, pavilion and exotic buildings are scattered in the rocky landscape. Figures weave their way up the steps. The crowning of a rocky outpost with a pagoda and the precarious perching of a pavilion were typical of Chinese vistas described by Europeans, who were enchanted by such other worldly landscapes.

The figures in the boats are small, but their pointed hats or pigtails define their origin. There is a lot of movement suggested, for example the figure in the middle of the large boat near the island, straining at the oar.

The trees and other flora are delicately painted. Where the sea meets the sky the sheen of the sea and the light in the sky suggest dawn. One or two white sails are barely suggested in the distance.

This is a work of art to hold in the hand.

 

Origin: UK artist painting in China ?;  Circa:1820 ; Materials: wood .

Size:  Screen 24 cm wide by 16cm; handle 21 cm long:9.4 inches wide by 6.5 inches; handle 8.2 inches.

Condition:  Please refer to the above photographs for details of condition.

Keywords: Hygra.com, Antique box, Antique Face Screen, fan, fire screen, Painting, China Sea, Ships,  Pagoda,

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The birds perching on the small boat on the left introduce a somewhat sinister note. The differentiation between the various vessels suggests that the artist was working from life, or at least had studied and had good knowledge of Chinese crafts.

Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

Enlarge Picture

The birds perching on the small boat on the left introduce a somewhat sinister note. 

The differentiation between the various vessels suggests that the artist was working from life, or at least had studied and had good knowledge of Chinese crafts.

 

Enlarge Picture

Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture

Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

Enlarge Picture

The figures in the boats are small, but their pointed hats or pigtails define their origin. There is a lot of movement suggested, for example the figure in the middle of the large boat near the island, straining at the oar.

 

This a very small detail. Even the birds eyes each a darker dot.

The brush strokes to depict the birds plumage is exquisite.

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 This maybe Oriental lacquer. 

Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

 

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The birds perching on the small boat on the left introduce a somewhat sinister note. 

The differentiation between the various vessels suggests that the artist was working from life, or at least had studied and had good knowledge of Chinese crafts.

It is the details which make his an artist painting: the hair cuts of the boatmen; their hats; the seabirds with black backs and white breasts.

 

The scene is very busy both on land and sea. The pagoda, pavilion and exotic buildings are scattered in the rocky landscape. Figures weave their way up the steps. The crowning of a rocky outpost with a pagoda and the precarious perching of a pavilion were typical of Chinese vistas described by Europeans, who were enchanted by such other worldly landscapes.

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The painting is unsigned:

I have searched: Painting: English artist, 1800s, in Asia, boats, boatmen, China. I uploaded this image to google and ended up here: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junk_(ship

The term ultimately stems from the Chinese chun (, "boat; ship"), also based on and pronounced as [dzuːŋ] (Pe̍h-ōe-jī: chn) in the Min Nan variant of Chinese, or zhōu (), the old word for a sailing vessel.[citation needed] It entered the English language in the 17th century through the Portuguese junco from the Javanese jong.[3][4] The modern Standard Chinese word for an ocean-going wooden cargo vessel is co ().[5]

 

 

The trees and other flora are delicately painted. Where the sea meets the sky the sheen of the sea and the light in the sky suggest dawn. One or two white sails are barely suggested in the distance.

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Please click on images to enlarge |  slide show  | thumbnail index |

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The handle  is turned and gilded hardwood. It is worn.

 

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The birds and the men seem to be living in harmony. 

The figures meeting ship in black and the boatman in white.

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All text and images and linked images are 1999-2015 Antigone Clarke and Joseph O'Kelly. If you require any further information on permitted use, or a licence to republish any material, email us at copyright@hygra.com

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