Until 1st Jan, 2026

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Lot 201 - FAS0624

Buy now for €3,900.00

Lot details

China, 20th century. Ink and watercolors on paper, laid down on paper. Finely painted with a red and a black goldfish, each with trailing trifurcated tails, frolicking beneath three lily pads and yellow lotus blossoms.

Inscriptions: To the right-hand edge, signed ‘Zuoren’, dated ‘In the spring of 1979’, and titled ‘By the pond’. Sealed on the upper left edge, ‘Yuushui,’ and to the bottom right corner, ‘Wu Zuoren.’

Provenance: From a private collection in Houston, Texas, USA.
Condition: Very good condition with minor wear, light soiling, and some foxing.

Dimensions: Image size 34 x 22.8 cm, Size incl. frame 40 x 28.8 cm

Wu Zuoren (1908-1997) was a Chinese painter. Born in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, he successfully practiced both traditional Chinese ink painting and European oil painting. His ability was recognized by Xu Beihong while he studied in the department of fine arts at Shanghai Art University in 1927, and one year later he followed Xu to study at the National Central University (renamed Nanjing University in 1949). In 1930 he traveled abroad to study in Europe, returning to China in 1935. With the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Wu joined the China Artists Association, later elected as vice president. In 1949 he also became a professor and the first provost of the China Central Academy of Fine Arts. Presented with the opportunity to design postage stamps for the People’s Republic, he designed the famous Giant Panda stamps first issued in 1963, which established the giant panda as the emblem of the new China. Wu Zuoren founded and endowed the Wu Zuoren International Foundation of Fine Arts.

Auction result comparison:
Type: Closely related
Auction: Bonhams Hong Kong, 9 October 2014, lot 2
Price: HKD 187,500 or approx. EUR 27,000 converted and adjusted for inflation at the time of writing
Description: Wu Zuoren (1908-1997): Amusement of Goldfish
Expert remark: Compare the closely related motif, style, and calligraphy on this painting dated 1977. Note the size (41 x 34.5 cm).

Auction result comparison:
Type: Closely related
Auction: Christie’s Hong Kong, 28 February 2023, lot 71
Price: HKD 113,400 or approx. EUR 13,000 converted at the time of writing
Description: Wu Zuoren (1908-1997): Gold fishes
Expert remark: Compare the closely related motif with two goldfish swimming beneath lily pads. Note the size (53.3 x 27 cm) and that the painting is not dated.


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