6 Fine Chinese Color Paintings of the Dukes (國公) by Ding Yunpeng

SIX FINE CHINESE COLOUR PAINTINGS OF THE DUKES. (國公) by Ding Yunpeng (Ting Yün-p'eng) of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). 8.25” x 6.25”. On each, it says 明代 (Ming Dynasty) and “painted by 南羽 (his alias) 丁雲鵬”(his name). The title, name and alias of each person painted are written on the front of the painting and the previous owner of them also repeat them on the back. All of figures are dukes and the hats they wore indicate their ranks.

The painter, Ding Yunpeng, (c. 1547 – 1628) (Ting Yün-p'eng, 丁雲鵬) was from Anhui Province. He was a famous Chinese painter, especially good at human figures and landscapes during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). Ding's painting followed the style of Qiu Ying, similar to paintings from the Song Dynasty. Ding used pure and minute brush strokes for a strong and terse look and feel. He was mentioned in Sequal of the Painting Treasures  (繪圖寶鑑續纂): “初見其筆,似乎過拙,展轉玩味,知其學問幽邃,用筆古俊,皆有所本,非庸流自創取奇也”(Upon the first look, his painting seems too clumsy. You will appreciate his art more and more upon further look. You will know he is a painter of great knowledge and his style is deeply rooted. His paintings are by no means the mediocre self-invented tricks to shock people.) His paintings that were passed down are:      
          A painting of the 3 religious figures (三教图), in Museum of the Forbidden City, Taipei.               
          A painting of Soaking the Scarf in Wine (漉酒图), in the Shanghai Museum, CHINA.

PROVENANCE: the estate of Agnes Newton Keith, who died in Victoria, B.C.  The collection comes with her simple printed letterhead.  Agnes Newton Keith (1901 – 1982) was an American author best known for her three published autobiographical accounts of life in North Borneo before, during, and after the Second World War.  Where and when she acquired these paintings is unknown.
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