Lot  653 Ravenel Spring Auction 2022 Taipei

Ravenel Spring Auction 2022 Taipei

Mountains Above the Cottage and Streams Under It

PU Hsin-yu (Taiwanese, 1896 - 1963)


Ink and colour on paper, scroll

105 x 36.8 cm


TWD 2,000,000-3,200,000

HKD 543,000-870,000

USD 69,600-111,300

CNY 445,000-713,000

Sold Price

TWD 2,280,000

HKD 609,626

USD 77,604

CNY 518,182


Signed Pu Ru and Hsin-yu in Chinese
With seven seals of the artist

Paintings by Pu Hsin-yu, Taipei, 1971, p. 9
Paintings by Pu Hsin-yu, China Painting Association,
Taipei, 1977, p. 11


Globally acclaimed as the last literati of Chinese culture, Pu Ru, also named Hsin-yu, was born in Beijing to the royal family as the grandson of Prince Gong. He studied in Germany with a passion for poetry, paintings and calligraphy, with special passion towards gongbi landscape, figure and flowers. Pu Hsin-yu's early exposure to paintings was at the age of 27 when he resided in Maanshan. He was keen on literature and composing poems. As paintings are a visual representation of poetry, he started appreciating famous works of Tang and Song. He meticulously copied them and learned techniques from masters and ancient scripts. He made life drawings of landscapes in various changes of light during his travels and learned paintings with brushes. As Pu Hsin-yu was born to a royal background, he could view the royal collection of ancient scrolls and learned from old masters such as Ma Yuan, Xiagui of Southern Song and masters of Yuan and Ming and beyond. His achievement was well respected and was ranked with Zhang Da-qian as the two greatest artists of the North and South of China. This work was made in 1941 with a vertical structure. The lower left panel shows rugged rocks by the shore where a pine tree stands. A few pavilions stand by the shore where a scholar in red strolled by. A lofty mountain looms at the back with a belt collar of clouds and mists, as they shroud the pine woods. A platform was built on the left of the valley, allowing hikers to view the majestic landscape. The rocks of the whole panel were painted swiftly with loose and dried ox-hair cun. Light colours of green and ochre were applied with light ink, creating a scholarly character in the landscape. Such an elegant style was adopted from Shen Zhou of Ming and Wen Zheng?ming's imitation of Wang Meng from the Yuan dynasty. This proves that the style of Pu in his mature period was diverted from the influence of Ma Xia of Southern Song. A more extensive influence of Yuan and Ming could be found, creating Pu's own unique style of painting. Two inscriptions were written on either side at the top of the panel showing Pu's running script in his elegant and classical style. "Houses surrounded by luscious mountains and a stream, which runs through to the kitchen. Guests are served with tea brewed with fresh dew and tender April tea leaves. September of 1941, Pu Ru." By the age of 46, Pu wrote this poem as an inscription of this work. It was the time when Beijing was under war as Pu resided in the Summer Palace. During this time, painting was the only way to express his grief and his wish to lead an austere life of a hermit. The inscription on the left reads that this work was given to Qi Ziwen who resided in Shanghai, as a gift to Yanping Huiguan, a club to gather his Manchuria kin. As a royal descendant, Pu was keen on the affairs of his own kin. Hence he donated one of his favourite pieces from his collection to the club. From the style and inscription of this work, one could see Pu's styles before his relocation to Taiwan and appreciate the intriguing poem of Pu's own creation. Such is also a justification of why Pu was acclaimed as an all-round literati of all times.
Related Info

Refined Brushwork: Ink Paintings and Works of Art

Ravenel Spring Auction 2022 Taipei

Saturday, June 4, 2022, 1:00pm