Zhang Daqian

Zhang Daqian or Chang Dai-chien (Chinese:张大千 May 10, 1899 – Apr 2, 1983) was one of the best-known and most prodigious Chinese artists of the twentieth century Originally known as a guohua painter, by the 1960s he was also renowned as a modern impressionist and expressionist painter In addition, he is regarded as one of the most gifted master forgers of the twentieth century

Chang was born in 1899 in Sichuan Province to a financially struggling but artistic family His first commission came at age 12, when a traveling fortune-teller requested he paint her a new set of divining cards At age 17 he was captured by bandits while returning home from boarding school in Chongqing When the bandit chief ordered him to write a letter home demanding a ransom, he was so impressed by the boy’s brushmanship that he made the boy his personal secretary During the more than three months that he was held captive, he read books of poetry which the bandits had looted from raided homes

As a young adult Chang moved to Kyoto to learn textile dyeing techniques He later returned to Shanghai and established a successful career selling his paintings

The governor of Qinghai, Ma Bufang, sent Chang to Sku’bum to seek helpers for analyzing and copying Dunhuang’s Buddhist art

Due to the political climate of China in 1949, he left the country and resided in Mendoza, Argentina, São Paulo and Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil, and then to Carmel, California, before settling in Taipei, Taiwan in 1978 During his years of wandering he had several wives simultaneously, curried favor with influential people, and maintained a large entourage of relatives and supporters He also kept a pet gibbon He affected the long robe and long beard of a scholar

A meeting between Chang and Picasso in Nice, France in 1956 was viewed as a summit between the preeminent masters of Eastern and Western art The two men exchanged paintings at this meeting

Zhang’s early professional painting was primarily in Shanghai In the late 1920s he moved to Beijing where he collaborated with Pu Xinyu In the 1930s he worked out of a studio on the grounds of the Master of the Nets Garden in Suzhou In 1940 he led a group of artists in copying the Buddhist wall paintings in the Mogao and Yulin caves In the late 1950s, his deteriorating eyesight led him to develop his splashed color, or pocai, style

Zhang’s forgeries are difficult to detect for many reasons First, his ability to mimic the great Chinese masters:

So prodigious was his virtuosity within the medium of Chinese ink and colour that it seemed he could paint anything His output spanned a huge range, from archaising works based on the early masters of Chinese painting to the innovations of his late works which connect with the language of Western abstract art

Second, he paid scrupulous attention to the materials he used “He studied paper, ink, brushes, pigments, seals, seal paste, and scroll mountings in exacting detail When he wrote an inscription on a painting, he sometimes included a postscript describing the type of paper, the age and the origin of the ink, or the provenance of the pigments he had used”

Third, he often forged paintings based on descriptions in catalogues of lost paintings; his forgeries came with ready-made provenance

Zhang’s forgeries have been purchased as original paintings by several major art museums in the United States, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston:

Of particular interest is a master forgery acquired by the Museum in 1957 as an authentic work of the tenth century The painting, which was allegedly a landscape by the Five Dynasties period master Guan Tong, is one of Zhang’s most ambitious forgeries and serves to illustrate both his skill and his audacity

James Cahill, Professor Emeritus of Chinese Art at the University of California, Berkeley, claimed that the painting The Riverbank, a masterpiece from the Southern Tang Dynasty, held by the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, was likely another Zhang forgery

Museum curators are cautioned to examine Chinese paintings of questionable origins, especially those from the bird and flower genre with the query, “Could this be by Chang Dai-chien?” Joseph Chang, Curator of Chinese Art at the Sackler Museum, suggested that many notable collections of Chinese art contained forgeries by the master painter.

After the end of World War II, many times in the world to do the exhibition, including France, Paris, London, Switzerland, Geneva, India, New Delhi, Belgium, Greece, Spain, Singapore, Thailand, Germany, Brazil, the United States and Hong Kong. In 1958, with the freehand painting “Begonia” by the New York International Art Institute as the world’s great painter, and won the gold medal. In 1974, he received an honorary doctorate degree from the Pacific University of California.

Zhang Daqian left China in 1949 after living around the world. After settling in Taipei in 1976. In 1983, the former residence of Taipei donated to the National Palace Museum set up “Mr. Zhang Daqian Memorial Hall.”

He and his brother Zhang Shanzi Kun Zhong founded “wind wind Church”, is the twentieth century Chinese painting the most legendary ink painting workers. Especially in the landscape painting achievements. After the trip abroad, the wind and wind to write a combination of heavy color, ink and ink into one, especially ink and splash color, and create a new artistic style, because of its poetry, books, paintings and Qi Baishi, Pu Xin She par, For the “Southern Zhang North” and “South Zhang North Pu”, the name of numerous. And Huang Junbi, Pu Xin She to “crossing the sea three” par. More than 20 years old will be a beard, as Zhang Daqian future unique signs.

He had with Qi Baishi, Xu Beihong, Huang Junbi, Huang Binhong, Pu Ru, Lang Jing Shan and the Spanish abstract painter Picasso study tour.

Zhang Daqian is an all-round painter, its creation up to “package the whole body of the long, and the north and south of the two rich”, set literati painting, writer painting, palace painting and folk art as a whole. In Chinese painting figures, landscapes, flowers and birds, fish and insects, beasts, meticulous, omnipotent, all fine. Poetry really uninhibited, calligraphy and elegant, outside the soft inside, unique style.

Zhang Daqian is the most legendary Chinese painting master of the 20th century Chinese painting, whether it is painting, calligraphy, seal cutting, poetry are omnipotent. Early study of ancient painting and calligraphy, especially in the landscape painting with great success. After living abroad, the wind and wind to write a combination of heavy color, ink blend, especially ink and splash color, creating a new artistic style. His method of scholarship, worthy of those who try to move from the traditional to the modern painter learn from. [10-11]

In the 20th century Chinese painter, Zhang Daqian is undoubtedly one of the best, painting elegant mood elegant. “He is talented, learning to cultivate people, in the landscape, people, flowers, ladies, feathers are not good, especially in the landscape painting has a special contribution: he and many painters at the time to take on the early reincarnation of the orthodox Responsibility, that is, inherited the Tang, Song, Yuan painter tradition, making since the Qianlong after the weak orthodox ZTE.


Zhang Daqian’s Genesis “ink” and “splashing” painting, after hundreds of authentic original painting of the analysis and comparison, can be summarized into four categories are as follows:

“In the early days of” painting “(” King “)” splashing “and” splashing “painting: still Chinese painting of the” meticulous, freehand, hook Le, color, ink and other technical forms ” King of the corner to “splash ink” and “splashing” painting point of view, such as Zhang Daqian 1962 for “Qingcheng Mountain Jingjing screen” (ink), Zhang Daqian 1983 “Lushan map” (splash color) and so on.

“Chinese ink painting”, “brushwork” and “splash color” painting: changed to the Chinese painting of the “meticulous, freehand, hook Le, color, ink and other forms of technology” supplement, but instead In most of the paintings on paper, “ink” and “splash color” painting to be made. “To ink (color) pearl paper, hand wiping hand, with its shape for the stone, for the clouds, for the water, should be free, figure out clouds, dyed rain, like a sharp, overlooking its ink Trace (see “Tang Dynasty paintings”). Therefore, “rude painting” with “painting on the shape of the meaning of the flow of water,” made, not the painter’s “pen” can really control freely. Zhang Daqian 1966 as “love mark lake” (splash color), Zhang Daqian in 1976 as “high water long” (Ink), Zhang Daqian in 1977 as “Qiushan alone” (splashing splash color) and so on.

Pioneered in the middle and late “crude abstract” “ink” and “splashing” painting: some are still Chinese painting “brushwork, freehand, hook Le, color, ink and other technical forms” supplemented. Most of the painting on the painting content, are based on “ink” and “splash color” painting to become a blunt. Its “rude painting” is also with the “paper on the shape of the meaning of the flow of water,” made, not the painter’s “pen” can really control freely. Zhang Daqian in 1965 as “Glen Figure” (splashing splash color), Zhang Daqian 1965 for the “Swiss ice gully” (splash color), Zhang Daqian 1967 “Swiss snow-capped mountains” (splash color), Zhang Daqian in 1972 as “spring snow “(Splashing splashing) and so on.

Although some of the Chinese painting is still “brushwork, freehand, hook Le, color, ink and other forms of technology,” supplemented, but has been “Xi” Pen as gold “. Painting the vast majority of the contents of the painting, are “splashing” painting fine fine pen to become. This painting is extremely difficult, because the painter must control the “splashing rendering degree” is like holding the “fine pen” in general, whether it is the color of the degree of harmony and pen, must be “meaning that pen to (splash To “just right, did not allow any errors, even the painting of the rendering degree of paper must be accurate, completely” since the rough, that is, probably into it. Because this painting is quite time-consuming and consumptive, not a few decades of “ink” and “splashing” painting and enough experience, others simply can not copy imitation of the splash, or just wasted his paper and paint Just now. So the finished product is not much, see the world works are not many, because Zhang Daqian mostly in this painting finished products presented to the Kuomintang party veterans appreciate the majority. Such as Zhang Daqian in 1978 (80 years old) as “Taiwan across the road Acacia bird’s eye view of Jinbi Piao Cai landscape map” (splash color), Zhang Daqian 1981 (83 years old) for “dream into the city of the world fairy paradise” ), Zhang Daqian in 1982 (84 years old) as “people in the fairy tale landscape map” (splash color) and so on.

Zhang Daqian created a large school painting, it is one of China’s comprehensive painting genre. The twentieth century, 20 years, Zhang Shanzi, Zhang Daqian in Shanghai West Road West into the “wind” Church open attendance, preaching and art, all disciples are known as “wind gates”. It is a different from the “Changan School of Painting”, “sea painting school”, “Beijing and Tianjin painting school” and so the only ink painting and other painting, the style of the wind style painting are showing a flourishing scene, is a The Chinese Painting School of Inheritance and Inheritance.

And many painters, Zhang Daqian also experienced a tracing road. In modern times like a large number of ancient people like the absorption of the painter is one of the few, his teacher of the ancients, division of the people, division of things, division of the soil, in order to achieve the “teacher for the” realm. He also thought of innovation, and finally in the inheritance of the traditional basis of the development of the ink, creating a splash color, splash color ink art, but also improved the texture of Chinese painting Xuan paper, but also to improve the quality of the traditional Chinese culture, However, the pioneer of thought is often lonely, in his five words quatrains “pond” there are “gentlemen return, who take this boat” sentence, seems to imply that the latecomers continue his way.

He had a lot of time and effort to copy the ancients masterpieces, especially his imitation of stone Tao and eight mountain people’s work is vivid, almost chaos, and thus took his first step in painting. He from the Qing Dynasty Shi Tao from the pen, to the eight mountain people, Chen Hongshou, Xu Wei, etc., and then the Ming and Qing dynasties, and then to the Song and Yuan Dynasties, and finally back to the Sui and Tang dynasties. He picked up the representative painters one by one, from near to far, painstaking research. However, he is not satisfied with these, but also to the grotto art and folk art learning, especially Dunhuang face wall for three years, copy the ancient frescoes, achievements brilliant. These mural to the time span theory, after the Northern Wei Dynasty, Western Wei, Sui, Tang, Five Dynasties and other dynasties. Such as many years ago the Hong Kong market has appeared in one of the four famous one of the ancient paintings, is Zhang Daqian “antique”, shoot close to 200 million high price.

In order to test their own pseudo-ancient works can achieve the degree of chaos, he invited Huang Binhong, Zhang Congyu, Luo Zhenyu, Wu Hufan, Pu Ru, Chen Min Ding, Ye Gongchao and other appreciation of the famous and the world famous museum experts identified and left A lot of anecdotes. Zhang Daqian many artificially valuable artifacts and the status of Chinese art in the history of the ancient masters than the real thing has gone. Many museums in the world are holding his fake works, such as the Washington Fole Museum of Art collection of his “come Wuzhong three hidden”, the New York Metropolitan Museum collection of his “stone Tao landscape” and “Mei Qing landscape”, London British Museum collection of his “giant Maolin stacked peaks map” and so on.

Daqian in learning stone Tao at the same time, also won the essence of the ancients thought, and can personally. Zhang Daqian said: “The ancients called” reading books, line Miles “, what is the meaning of it? Because of the broad knowledge, from the actual observation, not only by books, both to complement each other. , And other flowers, people, animals are the same. “He said:” more to see the famous mountains and rivers of the mountains and rivers, the chest has a hilly, under the natural basis, to experience more than ever. , The world of things, to understand the physical, experience the situation, understand the state of affairs. “He was born at home and abroad mountains and rivers, both the vast Central Plains, the beautiful Jiangnan, or the brutal plug, misty customs, all leave him The footprints. He wrote in a poem: “The old lady footprints half a day, north of the Bo West West summer.

In the thousands of travels of the famous mountains and rivers, he has always pushed Huangshan first, has three times boarding. The reason why the preference for Huangshan, mainly from the impact of Shi Tao, Huangshan both Shi Tao of the division, but also for the Friends of Stone. There are only four or five beautiful scenery, Huangshan before and after hundreds of miles radius, no one bad, but the risk of Huangshan, nor is it anywhere, a slip of the foot There is the possibility of crushing. “Daqian before the age of 50 traveled the motherland mountains and rivers, after the age of 50 is traveling around Europe and the United States, which is the former painter can not experience the realm. Zhang Daqian has lived in Hong Kong, India, Argentina, Brazil, the United States and other places, and traveled to Europe, North America, South America, Japan, North Korea, Southeast Asia and other places of historic sites. Wherever he went, he wrote a lot of poems and writings, and accumulated inexhaustible creative material, at the same time for his future art innovation to create a good condition.

Reading is very important to the painter. He usually taught the younger generation: “painting to vulgar, wash gas, in addition to carnival, the first – is reading, the second is more reading, the third is to have a systematic, selective reading. Painting and reading are big Of the daily life. In the past is the case, after the lion park is more like this, day and night read, hands without volume.On the journey in the car on the ship, the big are also concentrated reading.One time, from Chengdu to Chongqing, The story of the “hard book”, the author’s views, life and the late Ming and early Sichuan scholars and the relationship between Shi Tao, so familiar It is surprising, because it is an academic work outside of art, and the habit of reading has been accompanied by a great age.He often says that some painters are at the end of the day, only to pursue skills, do not know how much reading is the fundamental change temperament The study of thousands of books covered by a wide range of history, sub, set all-encompassing, not limited to the spectrum, painting a class of books.

Zhang Daqian in addition to good at landscape, people, flowers, feathers, the calligraphy is relatively lacking, it should be his regret. His early division from the late Qing Dynasty famous calligrapher Li Ruiqing, Zengnong beard, to form their own fine show, Fang Ping, slightly with the book of the book style, after the twentieth century, 30 years, Mr. Zhang Daqian calligraphy began brewing changes. He transferred to learn more teachers, learning Wei monument, “瘗 crane Ming”, the participants to the Song Dynasty Huangshan Valley of the gesture, learning stone Tao bravery, eclectic style of writing. His calligraphy art on the basis of inheritance on the basis of the integration of the landscape of the mood, not blindly pursuing the surface of the publicity exposed and tense, but to force and feelings of integration, peace in the odd, so that his calligraphy fresh and elegant , Outside the soft within the just, Zhang Daqian Li Qiu Qiu and show their own style, was later known as the “big thousand”.

Major works:
In 1882, eighty-four-year-old Zhang Daqian still painted more, this picture shows Zhang Daqian sick painting. In the simple and light ink on the rocks to re-blossoming, color fresh and elegant, Qiu-cheng old trees are full of angry; a stick Gao Shi looked up to the trees, like the life geometry if sentiment. From this figure can also be seen in his childhood thinking about his life.

This painting is made by Zhang Daqian in 1982, works size: 73 * 104cm, seal: Nishikawa Zhang Yuan (white) stone with life (Zhu) Moye fine homes (Zhu) to Jie Mei birthday (Zhu).

“Huangshan Wen pen peak” This painting is Zhang Daqian eighty-three years old when the memories of Huangshan for, from the “to gradually Jiang, bitter gourd two law to write this.” Old pen vertical and horizontal, vigorous and vigorous to ocher thick applied to the mountain side of the mountain, mostly to crack wrinkle for the mountain feet stained with flowers moist, see Huangshan Qi and ink of the spicy. Daixian years of the series of memories of the works in the simplification of the specific scene at the same time more to Italy, temperament Chunhua and both deep and muddy.

“Qing Lu Hengyun” This picture was made in 1980, Zhang Daqian still diligently in the pursuit of art, to brush the ink to replace the pen. This figure is vigorous mountains and trees, trees Pu Mao, smoke clouds, is a big late in his old age, from the lyrical landscape of the masterpiece.

“Alishan clouds” This picture shows Zhang Daqian eighty-year-old when the memories of the tour, mainly to the main ink, a few not see the outline of rubbing, then the foot of a few houses outline, Dayton to make abstract ink into thousands of weather, real Is “pen simple week”, meaning Tiancheng. Daqian also made “Alishan Xiaoqing”, its memories of the works in the simplified real scene at the same time it has enhanced the performance of the air, and enhance the appeal of the mood and the overall effect of the frame, more truthful expression.

“Jin Jian landscape” in 1980 Zhang Daqiong eighty-two years old, still painting, and the use of ink is more handy, up to Chunhua. The picture painted on the mud Jin Jian, rich colors, magnificent muddy, especially the mud at the end of the screen to have a noble and elegant sense.

“Figure” This figure is Zhang Daqian years of ink freehand flowers and birds of the masterpiece, a few branches of bamboo, stone on a bird, a few fish in the water, although evolved from the eight paintings, but the composition is more ethereal, ink Refreshing, less eight of the cold, lonely.

This figure is the big eighty-one years old in Taiwan Moye fine homes made, this figure is the dream of Emei in the dream, to create a semi-abstract ink color Jiahui mood, the actual situation of life, in the Ink line bones of the rock body swaying stone green stone green, leaving the screen appears to be “magnificent”, flowing out of the charm of the mountain and strong homesickness.

“Emei received the temple” for the spring of 1948. In August, Zhang Daqian fifth, is also the last time boarded Mount Emei. The first four times Emei strong tour, so that the hearts of the big brewing for the Emei has a difficult to let go of the feelings, then the first four times to see the tour, the smell, thinking, thinking, into the pen at the end of smoke, painted this Huang Huang giant system The This can be seen as a large number of the Northern Song Dynasty monumental landscape of the emmination of Emei’s peak giant system, is also the heart of Emei feelings of an art rendering.

“Yangtze River Jiang Jing set fishing boat”
“You can cross the Emei”
“Qingcheng world quiet”
“Wide Pu Yu Shan series”
“Moye fine homes outside Sungai”
“Golden Paint Lottery Lottery”
“Taipei Shuangxi Moye”
“People in the fairy Church”
“Chun Yun Xiao Margaret”
“Water Hall fragrance lotus map”
“Ink red map”
“Shushan Chunxiao”