NP: 蔣兆和 (Jiang Zhaohe), ca. 1940. Ex-library, first edition. Hardcover. Elephant Folio (16 x 11). 9pp., 41 plates. Original gray string-bound cloth with black lettering on paper label of cover. 41 magnificent b/w collotype portraits on rice paper, by Zhaohe Jiang. The Chinese painter played a leading role in the reform of Chinese painting in the early 20th century, combining the traditional Chinese with the concept of western painting. The book includes an English preface by famed American educator, diplomat and later ambassador to China, John Leighton Stuart. Opening calligraphy by acclaimed Chinese artist Qi Baishi.
Starting out as a design artist and painter, Jiang never had a formal art education. He became a noted painter who exhibited widely and taught at prestigious art institutions. The magnificent paintings in this collection emphasize Jiang's interest in working-class types as opposed to the traditional Chinese art expressing the beauty and the spiritual essence of things. Included among others are portraits of John Leighton Stuart himself as well as Ah-Q, the fictional title character from Lu Shun's "The True Story of Ah Q". The artist's paintings are meant to arouse sympathy and understanding for the lower class and the unfortunate, in order to achieve social progress, expressing his concern for human beings in need rather than merely as figures of esthetic sentiment. The work was self-published by the artist and never meant for sale. Text in Chinese with English introduction.
Binding with light wear along edges with minor fraying at tail of spine, minor bumps at corners and original string ties replaced by ordinary laces. One inch stain on paper label of cover. Inside cover with glued Ex Libris, light staining and cracked at gutter. First two pages with vertical creasing and some small, closed tears and chips along edges of plain page following preface. Binding in overall good, plates in very good condition. Extremely scarce. g to vg. Item #41263
*OCLC lists two other holding worldwide.