San Francisco museum receives gift of Chinese artist's masterpieces

Three artworks of renowned traditional Chinese painter Zhang Daqian have recently been donated to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the museum said on Tuesday.

The three artworks comprises a painting of Bamboo and two framed landscapes, namely "Thatched cottages at cloudy mountains" and "Traveling on remote mountains."

The paintings, created by the artist during his sojourn in California in the 1970s, come from the family of Yao Ke, a long-time friend of Zhang and a well-known scholar and writer.

One of the paintings, "Traveling on remote mountains," which features a depiction of Half Dome in California's Yosemite National Park, is currently on display at the museum.

"Zhang was the first Chinese artist to creatively employ traditional ink in rendering the natural wonders of California," said Zhang Fan, curator of Chinese art at the museum.

"The graceful integration of an American landmark into a Chinese-style composition showcases how inspired the artist was by the grand landscapes here," he said, adding that "this painting is a treasure with local resonance that will wow our visitors for generations."

Zhang, also known as Chang Dai-chien, is one of the most well-known Chinese artists of the 20th century.

The museum said it now has the largest collection of Zhang's works outside Asia. Most paintings of the collection are currently on display in an exhibition "Chang Dai-chien: Painting from Heart to Hand" at the museum, which will run until April 26.

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