Portrait of John Leighton Stuart by Chiang Chao-he in 1938
Brochure of Chiang Chao-he published in 1940
Seeking the portraits of 40 American officials and soldiers done in Beijing back in 1946
Mr. Jiang Zhaohe painted portraits in Beijing back in 1946 for some 40 American officials and soldiers. According to Jiang’s memory, one of the protraits was done at the Nanyuan Airport. An American pilot really wanted Jiang to do him a portrait right before a flying task to Tianjin. While Jiang was getting ready, the pilot flew to Tianjin and back. Jiang then did the drawing while the pilot had his cap and uniform on.
Some years ago, another portrait of an Amercian done at that time appeared at an auction in Beijing. This work was mounted and on the shaft was written: “DAVE CARSON, March 14 1946, by Chiang Chaohe”
We can tell from this script that the portraits were done around the time of May 1946. Chiang Chaohe is Jiang Zhaohe. A.R.C official rank could be identified on the collars of the portrait. A military emblem can also be spotted on the collars of the shirt and on the uniform. No information was found regarding this official’s background and the origin of the portrait. Who were the other Americans of the 40 portraits and where are the portraits? We have no clue, but only have to assume that they might be in the States and at the collectors’ homes. There is one thing in common for all the portraits in that they were Chinese water color portraits and all done using Chinese paint brushes. It was said that one portrait had been seen in one family’s living room in Boston. The owner claimed it was his father that was in the portrait and they are all proud of him for his achievements on the Chinese battlefield. They also felt lucky in having such a painting. However, this glimpse of light did not help us to find them. We really hope to find a reproduction of this portrait and put it in the brochure.
Here is an old photograph recording Jiang in the process of a commission for an American in Beijing between 1938 and 1948.
This is another portrait which also has a written inscription: “Mr. Elton in February 1927”. It was done in Beijing in 1938, not in 1946.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we hope to receive some of your help by spreading the word and searching for these works.
One American bank used this work on the cover page of their greeting cards.
Seventy years ago, American people were already familiar with Jiang Zhaohe. 2014 will be the 110th anniversary of the birth of JIANG. It is truly our hope that information regarding these 40 works scattered across the States can be found. We would really appreciate it if you could pass the word around on reading this message from our website. If you and your friends discover a portrait done by Jiang Zhaohe hanging on your home wall, or if you have collected an old picture of any of Jiang’s portraits, we really look forward to hearing from you.
Album leaf; ink on paper
© Honolulu Academy of Arts
Thanks for FAO providing the photo of "THE DELUGE" painted by Jiang Zhaohe(Chiang Chao-he)