7 Erotic Studies of a 19th Century Chinese Master Painter
21 februari 2022 
13 min. read

7 Erotic Studies of a 19th Century Chinese Master Painter

These impressive ink studies have been put down at lightning speed on absorbent paper. The seemingly casual, calligraphic brushwork is very striking. Various corrections have been made in the sketch, or in additional insets. We also see small notes to indicate the colors. It was never the intention to keep study sheets like this.

Opium Scale

Here too we encounter the well-known theme of the 'unfaithful husband' (Fig.6). In this variant, he is waiting for a beating with an opium scale. The representation of the woman pretending to be asleep is also a frequent.theme (Fig.5). Impudent is the image in which a lady is excited by the sight of two bunnies and immediately wants to wake the man who has fallen asleep above his book (Fig.4).

Chinese ink drawing eroticFig.1.

Chinese ink drawing erotic detailFig.1a.

Chinese ink drawing erotic studyFig.2.

Chinese ink drawing erotic study detailFig.2a.

Chinese ink drawing erotic study detailFig.3.

Chinese ink drawing erotic bedsceneFig.3a.

Chinese ink drawing erotic rabbitsFig.4.

Chinese ink drawing erotic sofaFig.5.

Chinese ink drawing erotic sleeping beautyFig.5a.

Chinese ink drawing erotic caught in the actFig.6.

Chinese ink drawing erotic caught in the act detailFig.6a.

Chinese ink drawing erotic caught in the actFig.6b.

Chinese erotic sketch studyFig.7.

Emperor Xuanzong

This large sketch (Fig.7) shows a scene after the example of a painting from the Ming dynasty in which the Tang style is imitated. This is most likely a lusty courtship between Emperor Xuanzong and his favorite concubine, the voluptuous Yang Guifei. She is assisted by three of her servants. The emperor is supported by a fourth girl. Smooth, powerful brushstrokes suggest the pleats in her robes. With his astonishing technique, the artist only needs a few lines to indicate the facial expressions.

Chinese erotic sketch study detailFig.7a.


Click HERE for an article on a scroll depicting some wonderful examples of Shanghai decadence in the 1920s....!!

Source: 'Liefde en Lentebloesems' by Ferdinand Bertholet

What do you consider the most important erotic art ever produced? Leave your reaction in the comment box below...!!

About the author
Marijn is the founder of shungagallery.com. With more than 20 years of experience within the sensual and erotic art of shunga he is an authority in the genre. During this time he served many customers with complementing their art collection.
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