Buddhist Art Headlines Gianguan Auctions’ September 9 Sale

Fourteenth century Tibetan frieze.

“We have done a great deal of research on the Buddhist art. Their counterparts can be viewed in museums around the world.” Kwong Lum, Founder/President, Gianguan Auctions.

Gianguan Auctions opens the fall round of Asian art sales with a strong collection of Buddhist art that reflects not only the focus of the faithful but also the history of the religious phenomenon that migrated from India to China, possibly as early as the second century BC. While Buddhist paintings lead the day, it is the gilt bronze, stone, and lacquer representations of the important Chinese bodhisattvas, Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin) and Manjushri (Wenshu), that are the instantly recognizable icons of Buddhist art. Both hold a significant place in Gianguan’s September 9 sale.

A magnificent allegorical ink-on-paper entitled “The Wandering Mallard” by Zhu Da (Bada Shanren), the Qing Dynasty painter of royal descent who took refuge in a monastery and became a monk, is the day’s marque property. Exquisite in its full-bleed background of dark brown with the singular duck, tree and rockery rendered in black, it is signed Bada Shanren and bears one artist seal. It is Lot 107, expected to command upwards of $600,000.

Wang Hui, whose Qing era works were seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2008 exhibition “Landscapes Clear and Radiant: The Art of Wang Hui (1632-1717),” delivers a bold, academic depiction of a “Mountain Temple” nestled in the rolling peaks of brown, green and subtle red. Lot 192 will fetch upwards of $100,000.

Another meditative painting is Dai Jin’s “Four Panels of Buddha.” A Ming work, it is executed in Zhe School (Southern Song) style with frontispiece by Wang Zuxi and colophon by Yu Yue. Lot 100, it is valued at more than $30,000.

Highlighting the statues and altarpieces is Gianguan Auctions’ catalog cover lot–a 2-foot tall, gray-stone Guanyin (the embodiment of the virtue of compassion) seated in dhyanasana. Its monastic shawl and bare chest carved are in the Western Wei (386-535 CE) manner of clothing deities in Chinese scholar’s robes. It weighs 100-pounds. Similarly, an Eastern Wei (534-550 CE) Guanyin, also of gray stone, is a slender standing, somewhat flattened…

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