Master of Painting Art Forgery, Zhang Daqian, 张大千

Master of Painting Art Forgery, Zhang Daqian, 张大千 (May 10, 1899 – April 2, 1983)

Most gifted painting master forgers of 20th century. To say it lamely, he was a master of copycats in paintings. However, his artwork was well-respected, in term of painting skill.

Till today, many Chinese artists and painting amateurs have approached to his sought-after copying technique for learning art. Best example is oil painting reproductions.

To his exceptionally skillful technique, his forgeries are difficult to detect for many reasons.

  1. Using only medium of Chinese ink, he has proven in many artwork of capable to imitate the great Chinese masters. His believes of emulating from great masters is presented as a necessary stage in artistic development.
  2. His sharp-minded knowledge to the specific material he used. This is visible in his paintings writing in small Chinese characters, such as type of paper and ink.
  3. He often forged paintings based on descriptions in catalogues of lost paintings; his forgeries came with ready-made provenance.

Back in 1956, a much-heralded summit between the Eastern and Western world of art masters; Zhang Daqian met Pablo Picasso in Antibes.

Both artists worked in different genres, but that have not deterred them from exchanging of artwork and culture.

Their profound influence and artistic genius have kept them united for common purpose in art.

I hope to source for some photos of his paintings on my next post. Below showing a video of Chang Dai-chien gesturing in a cypress.

Flickr: SFSU Fine Arts

His recent artwork was auction at Christie’s late May 2010. Paintings entitled: “Lady Scroll”, mounted and framed, ink on paper.

Price realized was ($35,591), approx 10% higher than estimated value of US$32,000. View here.