A Flock of Seven Peace Doves, by Lee Man Fong (1913 – 1988)

May 27, 2022. 13:46 UTC
A Flock of Seven Peace Doves, by Lee Man Fong (1913 – 1988)


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Note: I can not upload the PDF file regarding with documents and photos of Certificate of Authenticity and Provenance. ============= 1. RESEARCH & ESSAY: Born in Guangzhou on November, 13 1913, Lee Man Fong perpetuated ‘A Flock of Seven Peace Doves’ on this artistic painting art. He was one of the famous court painters in the era of President Soekarno, and highly talented in creating paintings on animals such as these doves. The present work is painted in vibrant and colorful imagery that shows the blended traditional Chinese ink format and western art style. The artist was a force in the modern art world beyond his peers of his period in the middle 20th century. The portrait of seven doves depicted on this piece is executed in exquisitely and perfectly composition, and the pigment layers are applied densely thereby it stands out from a surface glaring a great sense of verisimilitude. =============== The subject is depicted colorfully alive, vividly realistic and capable of evoking intense emotions despite some parts of an ancient tree with its twigs and mountainside rocks, trunk and root tree elements depicted in the background in slightly simple narrative. The artist developed this aesthetic work by successfully integrating the Chinese and Western styles that was influenced by European artists. While the doves and mountainous rocks are painted in realistic images in European style, but the gnarled trunks of the trees and foliage around the charming group of doves are set in the Chinese expressionistic style or ‘xieyi’ style. ‘Xieyi’ style frequently resembles Chinese ink and brush technique in oil. It is painted in featuring the bold strokes and freehand style commonly dedicated to the Chinese classical literati's painting style belonging to the Chinese Ink Wash. Lee brings the audiences to the nuances of landscape beauty by featuring a dove flying far away over the blue sky while six doves perch atop a steep cliff and rocks in frolic representing a peace and love symbol. As a universally recognized symbol of peace and love, the dove is the precise antithetical symbol to war, violence and sorrow. Further, the number of eight doves on his work of art represents a great sacred message of abundant wealth in pursuing the economic life and external benefits within a peaceful life. =============== In 1946, Lee was commissioned by Dutch viceroy, Hubertus van Mook, to paint a portrait of van Mook’s wife. Amazed by the portrait he painted, van Mook personally recommended Lee for a Malino scholarship in studying European art to Holland in 1946 for several years. When spending the scholarship from the Dutch government, he also traveled around the Europe countries to delve in a new technique of painting art in Holland, and experienced at firsthand Western art museums1). It is obvious that Dutch artists such as Rembrandt (1606 – 1669 AD) played the important role in his work, notably with the analysis of light and shadows, as well as staged scenes to accentuate the visual narrative painted oil on board. Lee’s study of the original works of European masters such as Rembrandt van Rijn and Vincent van Gogh were reflected in his works of the period, such as Man with a Pipe (1949) and The Ballerina (1950), which featured dramatically spot-lit subjects, vigorous brushwork and rich colors2). =============== In 1952, Lee Man Fong returned to Jakarta – Indonesia and his artistic technique development had reached a level of maturity hitherto unseen3). In 1964 he was appointed by first President of Republic of Indonesia, Soekarno, as a palace painter. It shows that his brushworks are applied with a particular aim in his mind, connected with the suggestion of texture, light and shape. Thus, his brushstroke varies in accordance with that aim. By capturing the Europe painting technique, through on the current work of art, Lee successfully blended Western art technique with Chinese painting art format and expressed a tendency to create the atmospheric effect prevalently in traditional Chinese art style painted ink on paper. =============== Lee Man Fong’s works with “Doves” subjects appear regularly at auction and command high prices in specialist sales of 20th century in Hong Kong and Singapore. Lee’s works with “doves” subjects are predominantly painted on panel or boards. For example, the larger piece (size 85.50 x 121 cm) with “Peace Conference” subject (size: 85.50 x 121 cm) signed with ‘M.F. Lee” and painted oil on canvas, was sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 4th April 2011, lot. 349. The piece was then sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, HKCEC Grand Hall, 26 May 2013, lot. 3358, sold HK$3,390,000 or equivalent to US$ 438,798, initially estimated between HK$1,400,000 - HK$1,800,000 or equivalent to US$ 190,000 - US$230,000 (see fig. 1). Lee’s work entitled to “Peace Doves” depicting eight doves signed “M.F. Lee” at lower right (size 70 x 100 cm), and painted oil on panel was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 28th May 2017, lot. 331 (see fig. 2). See the similar subject and composition but with smaller size, entitled to “Peace and Prosperity” (61 x 91 cm) that is painted oil on Masonite, was sold at Borobudur Singapore, 21st November 2010, lot. 250, for S$109,800, initially estimated between $S 61,538 – 92,308 (see fig. 3). =============== Citation: 1. Lim, R. (1981, July 15). An artist's life. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG. =============== 2. Lim, R. (1981, July 15). An artist's life. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Ministry of Community Development and the National Museum, Singapore. (1987). Lee Man Fong 1987. Singapore: The Ministry. (Call no.: RART 759.95957 LEE). =============== 3. Sabapathy, T. K. (1988, April 11). Painter gave new life to old forms. The Straits Times, p. 27. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.


Height : +/- 79.5 cm ===== Width : +/- 121 cm


2. PROVENANCE =============== PROVENANCE OF ARTWORK: Lo Wing Tjong (1851 – 1934) to Liem Guan Kwee (22th September 1901 – 25th March 1985) to Liem Syuhada (12th June 1927 – 22nd April 2000) to Current Owners (Descendants) The present painting was acquired directly from the artist on September 1977 in Jakarta by Liem Guan Kwee (22th September 1901 – 25th March 1987), a son of Lo Wing Tjong (1851 – 1934), a Diplomat and Chinese community leader in Batavia under Guangxu reign (1875 – 1908). He purchased it from the artist and met him. As Liem Guan Kwee was an art and antique dealer, he travelled around the nation and visited the renowned artists, like Lee Man Fong, to acquire the valuable artworks for his business and collection at that time. =============== In 2001, the present artwork was researched and authenticated by team of National Archaeology, Art and Culture Foundation in person deriving from Southeast Asia artworks, paintings and Chinese ceramics experts. The foundation itself was led by Professor Abu Ridho, an Asian art scholar and consultant, former curator of National Museum of Jakarta – Indonesia, and author of Chinese art books. The physical examination of this artwork and its authenticity is certified on an official letter of statement and agreement that was signed by professor and legalized by public notary ‘Royani, SH’, dated 8th April 2002. In 2004, the government of Republic of Indonesia recorded this legacy especially regarding with its authenticity, historical artwork and the ownership of property or legal rights. This artwork was appreciated and archived officially as a national cultural heritage object by Culture and Museum Agency of Government of Indonesia, Jakarta, number 863/-1-853.3, dated 14th April 2004. =============== In 2017, this artwork that had been researched by team of National Archaeology, Art and Culture Foundation and signed by Prof. Abu Ridho on Certificate of Authenticity, the present work was also re-researched by one of great grandsons, Faisal Hasan, who was graduated from Master of Art (MA) Program of LASALLE College of the Arts – Singapore with subject of Asian Art Histories. The great grandson re-examined and re-analyzed this artwork by more elaborate manner. This re-examination includes its technical or stylistic analysis, documentary research and comparison with similar artist or periods. All of them are relied on archives, art libraries and reputable art and antique commercial institutions or auction houses enabling to strongly establish its eligible quality and authenticity. =============== All documents and photos of its provenance and certificate of authenticity are included in separated page.

Answered within about 19 hours
May 28, 08:58 UTC
By George

Fair Market Value

$35,000 - $70,000 USD

Suggested Asking Price

$60,000 USD
What does this mean?

Dear Faisal,

Thank you for contacting Mearto with your appraisal inquiry again.

The presented object appears to be a painting oil on a masonite board with the measurements of 79,5 x 121 cm. This painting depicts seven doves sitting or flying around a rock with leaves in the background to the right. This painting has the title: A Flock of Seven Peace Doves. It appears to get made, signed, and has the seal by Lee Man Fong (1913 – 1988). It comes from an private collection.
Comparable objects were recently offered and sold on the international auction market. 
This piece is in good condition and there is no severe damage visible in the images provided.
A fair market estimation for an authentified artwork by Lee Man Fong would be between 35.000 to 70.000 USD.
This estimate is based on actual recent past recorded auction sales of comparable items. Retail "asking prices" can be higher and may vary.

An artwork of such high potential value requires further authentication research. This estimate is provided on the condition of authenticity.

With kind regards, 


This is a conditional appraisal, which means that we have not verified the authenticity of this item. Click here to learn more about the authentication resources that Mearto offers.

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