Golden Landscape – Yellow Mountain


Ink and color on gold-coated paper

98.5 x 183 cm

Inscribed: There stand the magnificant yellow mountain for over a hundred years, this is the ninth time of my visit, dated to the autumn of year 1983, signed Liu Haisu as of age eighty-eight.
With seven seals of the artist

850,000 - 1,300,000
3,571,000 - 5,462,000
109,500 - 167,500
Sold Price

Ravenel Spring Auction 2016 Hong Kong


LIU Haisu (Chinese, 1896 - 1994)

Golden Landscape – Yellow Mountain

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Collection of Mr. Zhou Yunjian, Brazil

Catalogue Note:

Liu Haisu, a member of China’s first generation of oil painters, worked together with Wu Shiguang and Zhang Yunguang to establish the Shanghai Academy of Chinese Painting in 1912. As the proponent of a new artistic revolution in China, he broke new ground as a pioneer in many respects, such as by founding the first private institute of fine arts, known as the Celestial Horse Association, and published Art magazine, the first magazine of its kind in China dedicated to covering the arts. He initiated co-education and was one of the first individuals in China to incorporate the use of nude models to teach painting, which stirred up a great deal of controversy at the time. Moreover, he encouraged artists in China to take part in en plein air painting while traveling outdoors, breaking from the convention of relegating painting indoors which was common at that time in China. Liu’s pioneering efforts also won the support of the famous scholar Cai Yuanpei. Liu excelled at traditional Chinese painting, oil painting, calligraphy, poetry, and art theory. He placed great emphasis on capturing the candid reality of his subject matter, and his style is not only bold and unconstrained but also vigorous and strong. Traces of post-impressionism can be seen in his ink and color paintings, imbuing his work with a style that is unabashedly unique. Supposedly maligned with the nickname a traitor to the arts, Liu instead embraced the title and took the initiative, similar to les Fauves at the time, to set out to create innovative new art that would stand the test of time. Yellow Mountain was greatly appealing to Liu, and was also his favorite theme. Liu visited Yellow Mountain ten times. In 1988, he even held a show titled Ten Visits to Yellow Mountain at the Shanghai Art Museum.

He once said, Yellow Mountain is a truly beautiful place and a veritable natural museum of sculpture – I never grow tired of its scenery. There is stillness in moving things and a sense of movement in still objects. Gorgeous peaks, unusual stones, and lush pines seem still, but are instantly brought to life as a bank of wandering clouds rolls in. Yellow Mountain is magnificent and steadfast. Yellow Mountain has an almost indescribable aura of mystery surrounding it. Each time I visit, I am inspired in a different way. The subject matter for painting scenes of Yellow Mountain is inexhaustible. Yellow Mountain is my teacher, and its beauty inspires me to create many artistic works. When I gaze out at the ever-changing clouds and interplay of light at Yellow Mountain, I see ink and color splashing across white paper. Yellow Mountain taught me the splashing ink and color painting method. Golden Landscape – Yellow Mountain, was created in 1983 after Liu’s ninth visit to Yellow Mountain. The splashing ink and rich colors make this fantastic painting a highly representative piece from Liu’s portfolio of work centered on the theme of Yellow Mountain.

In 1983, at the age of 87, invited by the Anhui Federation of Literary and Art Circles, Liu paid his ninth visit to the celebrated Yellow Mountain. In a period of two months, from August 8 to October 6, he completed a large number of sketches and magnificent masterpieces. He painted by day, organizing his drawings and composing poems by night. Being spirited and productive, his brush was never idle during his stay in Yellow Mountain. In 1988, he even held a show titled Ten Visits to Yellow Mountain at the Shanghai

Art Museum, which included his creations on Yellow Mountain over the years. This piece presents the classic themes of the Yellow Mountain series: the peaks, the clouds and the pines. Liu employed three different methods to complete this painting. Depicting the clouds in the foreground with realist techniques, he outlined the trunks and stems of pines in detail with lines of various sizes. Such a depiction echoes the style of Liu’s sketches from the 1950s. His pines are tall, straight and appealing, demonstrating the majestic co-existence of force and grace. Liu used the calligraphic center tip technique to trace the mountains in the middle ground, and then added washes of ink to smoothly complete the whole design. Such striking momentum brings Yellow Mountain to life. The mountains and the mist in the background, however, were created through the splashing technique of watercolor. A coherent stroke creates a scene where the clouds cover the peaks while the peaks show up through the clouds, which is simply dashing and refined.

Golden Landscape – Yellow Mountain is entirely in the unique style of Liu, and is even rarer than usual as the work was created on gold-coated paper. The imposing aura of Huangshan is augmented by this golden splendor, imbuing the painting with the mysteries of the Orient. Inside Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, Liu’s masterpiece The Magnificence of Yellow Mountain (now in the collection of Diaoyutai State Guesthouse) once hung in public view. The imagery and structure of this painting is almost exactly the same as the Golden Landscape – Yellow Mountain. For collectors of Liu Haisu’s works, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to add the rare masterpiece The Magnificence of Yellow Mountain on gold-coated paper to your collection.