Set of twelve antique Chinese painted bird studies on pith paper

GBP 15,000.00

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Object Description

Set of twelve antique Chinese painted bird studies on pith paper
Chinese, 19th Century
Panel: Height 20cm, width 32cm
Frame: Height 35.5cm, width 47cm, depth 1.5cm

This fantastic collection of ornithological paintings wow with their vibrant colours. Depicting a variety of species including sparrows and peacocks, the paintings are rendered on a pith paper base which allows pools of watercolour paint to sit on the surface, creating vivid patches of colour. The birds are depicted in groups of two or three, situated amongst lush shrubbery and foliage either on the ground or adorning the tree branches on which they perch. Whilst shaded details add expert dimension to the feathers of the birds, the overall picture plane has a certain flatness which is typical of Chinese painting at the time.

From the beginning of the 19th century, pith paintings by local Chinese artists became highly popular with Western travellers, as easily transportable mementos of local subjects. They were the perfect souvenir for Western tourists, and were often glued into photo albums for transport home.

Each painting is ensconced in a later added painted wooden frame.

As vibrant works of art with a charming character, these twelve paintings are an insight into the historical exchanges occurring between the East and the West.

Object Details

  • Style
  • dimensions
    W:47 x H:35.5 x D:1.5 centimeters
  • period
  • country
  • year
    19th Century

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Dealer Location

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London W1K 2PP
United Kingdom

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