Sanyu (1901 - 1966)
China Guardian HK 2016 Autumn Auctions
20th Century and Contemporary Chinese Art
44 x 27.5 cm
Ink on paper;Signed in Chinese and Pinyin "Sanyu" on lower right;Literature:The Li-Ching Culture and Education Foundation, Taipei, Taiwan, Sanyu-Index of Drawings (L’inventoire des Dessins), 2014, p.37, Plate D0403Provenance:Private Collection, Asia.Sanyu(1901 - 1966)Nude Lady – Body Language in the Eyes of SanyuA close friend of Sanyu, Xu Zhimo once vividly depicted the artist’s nude female paintings as the “thighs of the universe”, a term which later became synonymous with Sanyu’s nude paintings.The nude women portrayed under Sanyu’s brush are plump, seductive and unconstrained, which has to do with the painter’s then laid-back and carefree artistic life in France. His works were often composed from the bottom up, lending a voyeuristic feel to the picture, sexy but not lustful. In this work, the nude lady was portrayed top-down in a half-lying position, with her upper body supported by her hands in the back, face slightly turned to one side and resting on the shoulder, feminine and looking idle and deep in thought at once. The lady’s twisted posture and peaceful bearing are powerfully visual; her disproportionately plump hips and legs subtly reflect the artist’s hidden passion and desire. This is truly a classic work of the “thighs of the universe”.Sanyu’s nude female paintings were not created to break new ground or to prove anything. Unlike many of his Chinese contemporaries travelling to France determined to make it big, Sanyu had created his works with a measure of self-satisfying ridicule, taking his overflowing love and satire to a whole new level with his brush.