An original early 19th-century watercolour painting, Man Executing Prisoner Chinese Pith Painting.
A dramatic Chinese pith painting, showing a man carrying a large sword, apparently about to execute a kneeling prisoner. Backed on pale blue paper.
In good condition for its age. There are abrasions and pockmarks on the image, some age toning, and adhesive marks at all four corners, as shown.
7.2cm x 9.2cm.
This is one of a number of beautiful pith paintings that we have on offer. Delicate pith paintings by local Chinese artists were collected by Western travellers and merchants from around 1825 onwards. Pith paper behaves very differently from conventional rag or woodpulp paper: watercolour and gouache paint readily absorb into the plant cells of the pith to create a rich, velvety depth of colour, and then paint pools in relief on the surface, producing exquisitely vibrant raised details, of sparkling, jewel-like intensity. Pith also becomes brittle over time, though, making it vulnerable to cracking.
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Product code: JH-022