SANYU (1895-1966)

Lot 204
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Estimation :
175000 - 250000 EUR
Result with fees
Result : 176 400EUR
SANYU (1895-1966)
Yellow teapot, 1927 Oil on canvas, signed upper right, dated on reverse PROVENANCE Collection Henri-Pierre Roché, Paris Collection Alexandre Netsa - Mamonoff / Marynen (avant 1940) Collection privée, Belgique (par descendance des précédents entre 1991 et 2003) BIBLIOGRAPHY This work will be included in the forthcoming edition of SANYU catalogue raisonné compiled by The Li Ching Foundation. Fellow Chinese artist Zao Wou Ki described Sanyu as follows: «Sanyu should have taught in China, he was very bold and followed his impulses. La Théière jaune affirms the artist’s unique and innovative vision. By depicting the subject in close-up on a small canvas, Sanyu offers a very personal angle on the subject. This intimate vision forces the viewer’s eye to focus on the chosen object: the yellow teapot. The setting is secondary, and only the center of the composition matters. The absence of a background combined with a linear perspective is a reminder of the artist’s Chinese origins. Traditionally, in Asia, artists do not depict figures and backgrounds in Chinese ink painting, and favor a lateral representation. In the realization of La théière jaune, the painter uses a bird’s eye view, and we can easily imagine the continuity of the table, on which the teapot rests. Sanyu was home-schooled and took classes in calligraphy with Zhao Xi (1866-1948) and in painting with his father, an animal painter, before also studying at the University of Shanghai. Finally, in France, he attended the academy of the Grande Chaumière and gradually emancipated himself from traditional Chinese art. Struck by the avant-garde and creative emulation of painters of all origins that he rubbed shoulders with at the Coupole or on the benches of the academies, he used his great mastery of calligraphy to overturn traditional Chinese codes and explore the forms and colors. Although living in France and leading a bohemian life, the painter does not fail to make a tribute to his origins. The technique of this work combines European and Asian influences. While Sanyu retains, from the West, the oil painting he discovered during his apprenticeship at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, he keeps, from his training in China, the spontaneity of gesture. On the other hand, originating from China, tea, which has a sacred aspect, is inseparable from the Middle Kingdom. Popularized throughout the world, its ritual remains codified and China its birthplace. Marked by the Roaring Twenties and the buzzing character of Paris at that time, the artist chose to use rather traditional colors for his first oil on canvas works. The palette used allows the teapot to glow in yellow while standing out against a pinkish background. Sanyu’s work cannot be described in better words than his own in an interview by Pierre Joffroy for the Parisien Libéré: « European painting is like a rich feast where there are roasts, fried foods, all kinds of meats of various shapes and colors. As for my paintings, if you like, they are vegetables and fruits, salads too, which can serve to rest you from your usual tastes in painting. »
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