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 Shouping Yun  (1633 - 1690)

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Lived/Active: China      Known for: Scroll paintings

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from Auction House Records.
ROCKS AND CHRYSANTHEMUMS
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Sotheby's Hong Kong:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Yun Shouping (1633-90), originally named Ge, zi Shouping, and called Nantian, was a famous painter of the early Qing dynasty.  He ranks with Wang Shimin, Wang Jian, Wang Hui, Wang Yuanqi and Wu Li as one of the six masters of the early Qing.

At first he devoted himself to landscapes, winning praise for his skill and vigor.  Later he painted more flower and plant compositions, focusing on making his paintings come to life.  Among his compositions are realistic works, mogu, ink paintings, and free sketches.  Early in his career he aimed at regular compositions, and later gradually developed a more graceful and vigorous style, and toward the end of his career produced more works notable for their lustrous, gorgeous quality.

His style gave rise to the Yun school of painting.  The ink paintings he produced were elegant yet simple, and he was a master at using color to produce scenes of flowers vying with their splendor.  Yun Shouping imitated the mogu flowers painting style of the Northern Song painter Xu Chongsi.  In fact, he did better than imitate; he surpassed the master.  In the mogu flowers style, the painter forgoes drawing outlines.  Instead, throughout the painting he washes colors with differing levels of thickness to create flowers that are light and soft, delicate and pleasing.

 Examples of Yun Shouping’s mogu paintings in light colors can be seen in a painting album of flowers held by the Palace Museum in Beijing and published in China: The Three Emperors, 1662-1795, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2005-6, cat. no. 251. 

In his paintings Xu Chongsi, perhaps because of tastes at the Northern Song Painting Academy, applied colors thickly, making it difficult to attain simple elegance.  Yun Shouping, in contrast, used deep and light colors and applied them thickly or lightly as appropriate.  As a result he attained an uncommon delicate beauty in his paintings.  Late in his career he used diluted ink instead of color to achieve a result that was simple yet elegant.

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