Jiang Guofang

In 1993, Jiang Guofang began the series of works he was to produce on the Forbidden City. Our painting, “The Eldest Princess”, is dated 1995 and perfectly illustrates the artist’s talent to transcend a “classical” portrait into a work of breathtaking cinematic realism. Jiang is inspired by Chinese tradition in the sets, costumes and characters, but does not wish to create a painting of history in the traditional sense of the term.

For him, these historical representations are only instruments to express his own artistic concepts. In the making of this portrait, Jiang shows the full extent of his knowledge of Western painting. The technique of oil painting, the composition, the taste for detail and precision in the rendering of fabrics, the softness of the skin tone, the light gradations, are a tribute to Jan Van Eyck, a Flemish primitive painter.

The sensation of “suspended time” felt when looking at this young woman who seems to be contemplating us, also reflects the painter’s knowledge of Vermeer’s work. But, through her immobility, the refined elegance of her clothing, and the submission that seems to emanate from her melancholic gaze, this young princess expresses many themes of oriental culture.

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In 2004, Jiang held a solo exhibition at the Forbidden City Museum, which was a huge success.
In 2005, he also exhibited his series of portraits of the Forbidden City in Rome, arousing the enthusiasm of amateurs and critics alike. Today he is represented in the most important international collections.

The auction house Aguttes sells works by Jiang Guofang at auction, obtaining very good results with important prices. In 2014, The Eldest Princess, a large-format oil on canvas (185.5 x 299 cm - 74 1/4 x 177 3/4 in.) made in 1995, was sold for € 235,875.
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