Origin, Period and Impact of Kangxi Emperor’s  Calligraphy  康熙帝書法的淵源,分期與影響

Yang Danxia楊丹霞

 The calligraphy of Xuan Ye, Emperor Kangxi, generally neglected in academic research, is usually treated as a supporting character instead of a star in the history of Chinese painting. Kangxi shares the same learning process, stylistic development and characteristics as other contemporary calligraphers. However, his special identity as a Chinese emperor made his personal preferences an influential factor in shaping the stylistic development of calligraphy in the early Qing dynasty. The writer argues that detailed discussions of and research into Kangxi’s calligraphy, especially his learning process, stylistic development and personal preferences, will be very helpful not only to the research into Qing emperors’ calligraphy, but also to the further discussions of the Sinicization of Manchu painting and calligraphy. The longstanding belief that Kangxi’s calligraphy follows Dong Qichang’s style was contradicted by evidence that he imitated a wide variety of famous calligraphy works. We also pinpointed the exact time when he began to learn Dong’s style, which proves the previous belief wrong.

Inscribed Board to Nian Xialing by KangXi ©Private collection, China

Inscribed Board to Nian Xialing by KangXi ©Private collection, China

KangXi’s facsimile calligraphy of Dong Qichang calligraphy screen ©Palace Museum

KangXi’s facsimile calligraphy of Dong Qichang calligraphy screen ©Palace Museum


Identification and Authentication of Famous Modern Chinese Painting and Calligraphy  近現代書畫鑑定與辯偽

Yang Danxia 楊丹霞

The forgeries of modern Chinese painting started in the 1930s with the Republic of China (1912-1949) period with gangs of counterfeiters often from one family.  They first divided the work in detail then every member of the gang was responsible for their own procedure.  Using good quality artistic material many of the counterfeiters had formal academic training in Chinese painting. They studied the many different styles of painting and famous artists such as Qi Baishi, Chen Shaomei or Pu Ru’s techniques enabling them to produce the the styles of the many famous artiste.

The subject of the talk is confined to indentify the forgeries of some famous modern painters’ work. Analysis of traditional methods of forgery include facsimile, copy, imitation, recreate, editing, collage  as well as new forgery methods using print and high definition copies etc.  Some of the counterfeits systematically forged publications as well as the works to dupe collectors.  This talk will compare genuine samples and forgeries to give the audience some ideas of how to identify forgery modern Chinese paintings using the method ‘identify with eyes’ and the six essential factors to identify forgery!

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Fig 1. A forgery of Qi BaiShi’s  Wisteria ©Private collection
Fig 2. A forgery of Qi BaiShi’s  Wisteria ©Private collection
Fig 3. A genuine Wisteria by Qi BaiShi ©Private collection

Yang Danxia is assistant researcher at the Palace Museum and specialist of Chinese painting and calligraphy art. She gained a BA degree in history at Beijing Normal University and an MA in art history at Peking University. She has worked for the Palace Museum for over 30 years, where she has accumulated substantial knowledge of the history of ancient painting and calligraphy and much experience in painting appreciation. Yang’s publications include Identifying Authentic Chinese Painting, Zhang Daqian, Yu Fei’an, and numerous academic papers including “The Regionality of Ancient Painting Forgery”, “A Brief Discussion on Paintings and Calligraphies by Huang Yue”, “Differentiation and Analysis of Paintings and Calligraphies of Li Zhaoheng and Shi Changying”, “Discussion of the Development, Style Periods and Influence of Emperor Kang Xi’s Calligraphy”, “A Brief Introduction to Emperor Yongzheng’s Calligraphy”, “Identification and Analysis of Authentic Modern Paintings and Calligraphies” etc. Yang is the main editor of The Calligraphy and Painting Gallery of the Palace Museum Part II, National Arts and Crafts Museum Painting and Calligraphy Collection. She is a guest lecturer at Tsinghua University, Capital Normal University, and the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and a special programme of hers was broadcast on the Painting and Calligraphy Channel of Digital TV, CCTV. Yang’s lectures about painting and calligraphy appreciation are easy to understand and practice-orientated, and are very popular amongst the general public.