Snuff jar dating
The master of this school is Yiru Jushi that began to paint around 1805 on 18th century bottles.
The quality of the painting isn’t very high but the calligraphy is very nice and we can understand that scholars made these snuff bottles, not always signed, attributed to the Lingnan school.
Gan Xuanwen is another painter of this school that signed his bottles and made paintings with few colors and calligraphies.
The snuff bottles of this school, made to contain tobacco, are rare and expansive.
The first famous painter of this school is Zhou Leyuan that painted from 1880-1881 onwards. He paints in the Chinese traditional style and his calligraphies are natural and typical.
Afterwards, numerous painters copied him and signed from his name but the quality never equaled his skill and his way of writing.
The first recorded inside painted snuff bottles are from the late 18th century.
Indeed, we can read in the auction catalogue of the Bertin sale found by Clément Blanc et Laurence Blanc Werlé that Louis the sixteenth minister that collected Asian art, owned an inside painted cristal bottle.
He then kept shaking the bottles until the interior surface became rough enough for ink and pigments to adhere to it.
Some scholars, seals carvers became inside snuff bottles painters.
We think that these artists could paint themselves for ten to fifteen years maximum and managed afterwards a workshop.
He represented the great political and military figures. We can often see on his bottles the subject on one side and calligraphies from ancient texts on the other side.
In the second part of his career, Ma Shaoxuan probably founded a workshop with which he painted until 1932.