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Article

Sarah E. Fraser

[Chang Ta-ch’ienChang Dai–chienzhaihao Dafengtang]

(b Neijiang, Sichuan Province, May 10, 1899; d Taipei, Apr 2, 1983).

Chinese painter, calligrapher, collector, and accomplished forger. Born Zhang Zhengquan, he was from an artistic family and began to paint under the tutelage of his mother, Zeng Youzhen (1860–1936). In 1917, after passing through Shanghai, he joined his elder brother Zhang Shanzi (1882–1940) in Kyoto, where he learned textile dyeing and weaving.

In 1919 Zhang returned to Shanghai and studied with the calligrapher Zeng Xi (1861–1930), who gave him the name Zhang Yuan, as well as with the painter Li Ruiqing (1867–1920), a specialist in Shitao-style landscapes (1642–1707). Both are credited with cultivating Zhang’s distinctive calligraphic hand. Zhang’s intentionally splayed characters, combined with awkward elements such as leans in unexpected directions, have origins in antiquarian studies (jinshi xue), an element central to Zeng and Li’s practice. Li deployed a seal script (zhuanshu) based on bronzes and stone stele. In December ...

Article

Kokan  

Japanese, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1747, in Edo (now Tokyo); died 1818, in Edo.

Painter, engraver.

Kokan, a pupil of Harunobu (1725?-1770), one of the great ukiyo-e masters, is infamous as one of the most brilliant forgers of his master’s work, openly admitting his wrongdoing in his autobiography ...

Article

Noémie Goldman and Kim Oosterlinck

Term for the return of lost or looted cultural objects to their country of origin, former owners, or their heirs. The loss of the object may happen in a variety of contexts (armed conflicts, war, colonialism, imperialism, or genocide), and the nature of the looted cultural objects may also vary, ranging from artworks, such as paintings and sculptures, to human remains, books, manuscripts, and religious artefacts. An essential part of the process of restitution is the seemingly unavoidable conflict around the transfer of the objects in question from the current to the former owners. Ownership disputes of this nature raise legal, ethical, and diplomatic issues. The heightened tensions in the process arise because the looting of cultural objects challenges, if not breaks down, relationships between peoples, territories, cultures, and heritages.

The history of plundering and art imperialism may be traced back to ancient times. Looting has been documented in many instances from the sack by the Romans of the Etruscan city of Veii in ...