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Pheasants and blue magpie

Tingqua19th century

Hong Kong Museum of Art

Hong Kong Museum of Art

This work shows the typical style of Tingqua's bird-and-flower painting. Among all of the subjects dealt with by Chinese export painting, bird-and-flower painting seems to have the most solid background in the native pictorial tradition and was well received by Western clients. This work is a good example that reveals the influence of traditional Chinese ink paintings of the academic school.

Pheasants, birds, pine trees and flower sprays are common subjects in traditional Chinese painting. This work uses detailed delineation and fine colouring with a void ground, which comes from the Chinese painting tradition, as does the texturing of the rocks in dotted brushstrokes. However, Tingqua uses bolder and brighter colours as well as a touch of chiaroscuro on the rose petals and shadows beneath the pheasants, a technique which would probably have been adopted from the West.

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  • Title: Pheasants and blue magpie
  • Creator: Tingqua
  • Date: 19th century
  • Theme: Birds-and-flowers
  • Physical Dimensions: w29 x h39.5 cm
  • Artist's Biography: Tingqua (Guan Lianchang) was the younger brother of Lamqua, one of the most celebrated Chinese export artists in Canton. Tingqua is best known for his albums of flowers, birds, insects, trading ports and interiors. His works are characterized by bright colours and delicate brushstrokes.
  • Type: Gouache on paper

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