UC Berkeley, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive > Art Collection Highlights - Chinese Paintings > Brush Fire with Animals Fleeing 18 century A.D

Image / Brush Fire with Animals Fleeing 18 century A.D

Have a question about this item? Contact Owner

Item Information. View source record on the Online Archive of California.

Brush Fire with Animals Fleeing 18 century A.D
Hua Yen (Hua Yan)
Date Created and/or Issued
18 century A.D
Publication Information
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
Contributing Institution
UC Berkeley, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Art Collection Highlights - Chinese Paintings
Rights Information
Please contact the contributing institution for more information regarding the copyright status of this object.
T: Ch'iu-yüeh
H: Hsin-lo shan-jen
Hua Yen was born in Lin-t'ing, Fuchien province, but moved to Hangchou and then Yangchou, both major painting centers in the early eighteenth century. He was very active with a group of artists who had been involved in various ways with the late seventeenth-century painter Tao-chi. By the 1730s, Hua Yen's compositions follow those of that master of the spontaneous and unexpected.
"Hua Yen is a major, very versatile artist of the first half of the eighteenth-century . . . and very famous now. Quite a lot of his work is around, but this is a very special subject. [When I bought this work] it looked kind of coarse, with a five-character title, plus the seal of Hua Yen, but no signature. And it was not published. [However] the animals are very sensitively painted. You can see through the smoke and fire and see the line of red fire going across. [There is] wonderful use of ink, a highly unconventional painting. In this period, in Yangchou, and in eighteenth-century painting generally, something gives way in the restrictions on subject matter and suddenly they could do things with sort of ominous or painful overtones. This has become a favorite painting, partly because it breaks the rules. Over the years, as I have said to many people now, I have come to value more the odd corners, the dissidents, the unorthodox, I mean people who really break the rules. There are lots of painters in Yangchou who are eccentric, but [I mean] painters who really break new ground, like this one."
Painting Album leaf mounted as hanging scroll: ink and color on paper China h 21 x w 20 -3/4 inches