Gusu Beauties Print 5

A woman is standing in front of a black pedestal with red spiral decoration arranging lotus flowers and some leaves in a round porcelain vase with dragon decor. A boy is holding up a flower to her while watching another boy supine on a marble couch. Two stools in twined bamboo with lacquer red tops, a simple wood stand with a big round bowl holding cymbidiums (lan) [thank you Terese for the identification], a small cushion on the couch, and a slender lamp stand from which hangs a glass bowl with a candle are the other furnitures in the room. The room gives out to gardens and paths.

Gusu Beauty 5

Gusu Beauty 5

Château de Filières

The lady is dressed in a short jacket with high collar over a long robe. Two long redribbons flows out  from her hips. The boys are wearing short blouses only.

In 2010 I was lucky to buy from a small provincial sale in the UK two framed prints, incuding a copy of  this print, as well as a Print 9. Both prints are mounted on a coarse woven linen canvas, with traces of some kind of gesso, and has many cracks and repairs. Both are framed behind glass in what looks like old frames but the prints themselves are dirty, indicating a previous existence somewhere else before being framed. They could possibly have been mounted on a wall considering the canvas.

The total size of the framed part is 107 x 57 cm, but only 104,5 x 54,5 cm is visible due to a piece of wood covering the image and the glass.

The recently published  Zhongguo muban nianhua jicheng – Riben cang 中国木版年画集成·日本藏品卷, Beijing, 2011. ISBN 978-7-101-07846-6, illustrates a lady arranging flowers in a vase, having a direct influence from or being a derivative of Print 5. This same print is also published on plate 138, page 420, in Aoki, S., Kobayashi, H., & Machida Shiritsu Kokusai Hanga Bijutsukan “Chūgoku no yōfūga” ten: Minmatsu kara Shin jidai no kaiga, hanga, sashiebon.「中国の洋風画」展:明末から清時代の絵画、版画、挿絵本, 東京:町田市立国際版 画美術館, Machida, 1995.

During our research of the Gusu Beauties we learned that 嘉德国际拍卖有限公司 or China Guardian auction firm in Beijing on the 23 of March 2008, lot 4503, included two of these prints in their sale. This Print 5 was one of them, the other was a Print 1. The two prints were said to come from the UK. The size is 109 x 59 cm, so just 1 cm less than my prints.

There is a lengthy, but rather general text to the catalogue entry:

So, just like Print 1, Print 5 exists in three eleven copies, eight copies are on the walls of Small Chinese Salon at Esterházy Palace.

About chiwoopri

Collector and researcher of old Chinese woodblock prints
This entry was posted in chinese prints, Suzhou prints, woodblock. Bookmark the permalink.

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