A British artist working in Beijing at the time of the Japanese invasion records the scenes and the people
International Orders & Military Collectibles | A83m | Live auction | 577 Lots
Description31 completed drawings from a series of 32 (No. 3 is missing) with accompanying typewritten descriptions and six pages of sketches by Francis Cyril Rose (British artist, 1909 - 1979). Most drawings measuring 424 x 346 mm, numbered in pencil. Accompanying descriptions on white cotton fibre paper, watermarked 'Macadam Bond Rag Content'. Four pages of sketches on thin white tracing paper (251 x 204 mm) and two on coarse brown tracing paper (245 x 176 mm and 355 x 238 mm). Descriptions numbered to match the respective drawings. Paperclip stains on top left corners of most drawings and descriptions, one drawing and related description with slight damage from having been glued together. All drawings show minor signs of wear along their edges, but remain in overall good condition. Housed in a large black cardboard folder (455 x 356 mm), quarter bound with faded grey cloth. It is labelled on the inside of the cover as made by Erwin M. Riebe Co. Artists' Materials in New York. On the front cover of the folder the artist has painted 'China 19371 War I Francis Rose I Peking' in a large cursive hand.
The sketches depict Empress Dowager Tzu-Hsi ('the Old Buddha'老佛爷 慈禧) and other Chinese monarchs, as well as 'Chinese acrobats with toys'. The finished drawings depict events Rose witnessed in Beijing during the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937. Three of the drawings are reproduced in his bizarre memoir “Saying Life”, 1961. At the time of drawing, Rose had been half way through a tour of the Far East, and was staying as a guest with Madame Wellington Koo （黄蕙兰， 顾维钧的夫人), wife of the Chinese ambassador to France. A fine drawing (no. 2) shows Madame Wellington Koo wearing a dress. Rose: 'Madame Wellington Koo was a very beautiful woman and dresses extremely well and always in Chinese clothes... '
Very rare drawings of the Japanese invasion in Beijing in 1937.
Condition: II - Questions about the lot?