WANG JIAN ZHANG (17TH CENTURY)
QUAILS AND MILLET IN THE SONG DYNASTY STYLE
A rare Chinese scroll painting, ink and colour on silk, inscribed and signed with two artist's seals, framed and glazed, 141cm x 81cm.
Provenance: purchased by Mr William Levi Wood (1879-1958) of West End House, Frensham and thence by descent. Mr Wood was the first editor in chief of English Vogue.
The Chinese word for quail, an, is a homophone for the word 'peace' and the word for millet sui, is a homophone for 'year'. The imagery of quail and millet in Chinese is used as a pun 'sui sui ping an', which may be translated as 'May you have everlasting peace year after year'.
Wang Jian Zhang, was a native of Fujian. Very few paintings by Wang are known to exist as he only painted for personal friends, not for money. During his life his works were already precious and rare, so much so that anyone with even a simple fan leaf by Wang would treat it as a prized possession.