Fleurs dans un vase
Papier, Encre, Couleurs - Pigments
姚華茫父殘臂; 泰猗詞話; 姚華; 老茫; 爬融餘爪
Don manuel : Barrère, Jacques; Barrère, Marie-France
Yao Hua was a major figure of artistic and literary circles in Beijing between the wars. His activity embraced many fields, from poetry to theatre and from epigraphy to calligraphy. He took up painting in his later years, but excelled in all genres: bird-and-flower painting, as well as landscape and figure painting, with a preference for Buddq hist figures.
His flower paintings reflect the radical evolution of his style between the 1910s and the 1920s. Abandoning meticulous execution for a freer manner, he prolonged the movement to renew the genre that had been initiated by Wu Changshuo (1844-1927). His work developed in interaction with that of Chen Shizeng (1876-1923) and Qi Baishi (1863-1957), also active in Beijing in the interwar period. This vase of flowers dating from 1929 illustrates the achievement of this work.
The vase’s slender silhouette, traced with a deliberately uncertain hand, is shifted to the right of the painting. This principle of composition leaves much of the space to the semi-cursive calligraphy on the left. The poem is a network of metaphors whose central theme is the flower. The flowers, symbols of fleeting spring, represent the war’s toll on the people in those times of civil strife. Yao Hua mentions that this poem was written a year earlier, at a time when the warlord Zhang Zuolin (1875-1928) was leaving Beijing for the north-eastern region. Control of the old capital was of prime political and military concern for the various forces involved. With consummate skill, Yao Hua uses the flower painting genre to evoke the fate of the Chinese nation.
Eric Lefebvre, Six siècles de peintures chinoises, œuvres restaurées du musée Cernuschi, Paris Musées, 2009, p.122-123