A reverse hand-painted glass Chinese perfume bottle. The bottle has a rounded white stopper with a dauber attached to it. The bottle is painted with image of a women in robes standing amidst plants and flowers. 20th Century.
These widely collected Chinese antiques for sale are exquisite miniatures. They measure between one-and-a-half and three inches high and illustrate the technical skills of Chinese craftsmen and the culture of China.
Condition: Fine. No chips or cracks.
Provenance: Ex. Private collection, Hampshire, UK.
Chen Zhongsan is a late-comer in the Beijing school whose dated bottles span a little over a decade between 1907 and 1919. He maintained his own distinctive style throughout his career. He was obviously a commercial artist and primarily a decorative one, as were so many of the followers of Zhou Leyuan, but some of his work rises above the merely decorative. He is perhaps better viewed as a folk artist, so that instead of seeking in vain for lofty brushwork and other hidden languages of Chinese art, one can concentrate on the naïve, childlike charms of most of his subject matter, which is always rewarding. He borrowed subjects from other commercial artists without fear or favour but always managed to infuse them with his own distinctive style.
Chen Zhongsan painted almost exclusively in glass, as did a number of the more decorative artists of the period, suggesting that there was a price range beyond which these artists were not able to sell their works too readily, prompting them to confine themselves to the cheapest material available for painting. He also seems to have used a range of rather fatter glass bottles than was usual for the school.
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