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Scholar and Attendant, 18th c.
Paint on Paper
79 3/16 in. x 42 3/8 in. (201.14 cm. x 107.63 cm.)
The theme is probably Confucian, or a historical figure with attendant. It could be Li Bo. The work is signed Huang Shen (18th century), and the painting is in his style. It could be his work, but it is not his best.
Painting is dated 1759. Huang Shen (1687- after 1768) was one of the so-called Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou, and as such often copied and forged. The calligraphy of this painting, though roughly in Huang Shen’s style, is a bit off, enough to inspire strong doubts about the authenticity of the painting. It is, however, a strong painting. If a copy (I doubt it is a forgery), it is a very good one. I cannot read much of the poem to the left, but I suspect that this is a portrayal of Li Bo, the Tang dynasty poet who toasted the moon with wine. Huang Shen was fond of painting historical personages in his unusual style.
Professor Peter Sturman, University of California, Santa Barbara
Listed in the Munthe inventory (p.150) as "Figures by Huang Shen, celebrated for his hoary old men and Lohans. Excellent original of this great portraitist. Seals of Chien Lung, Huang Sheng, and Su Tung-po."
Multicolored paints brushed onto paper, with a silk brocade mounting.
Mounted scroll painting of a historical figure with an attendant. Possible a portrait of Li Bua.
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