Art: Buoyant Buddhist

The Chinese have a pious habit of copying their old masters' paintings and signing the masters' names to their copies —out of respect. That practice makes a muddle of most Chinese art collections.

Last week, for perhaps the first time in history, Manhattan gallerygoers saw a private collection of Chinese masters they could be sure of. The paintings dated from the 8th to the 18th Centuries; each of them had been traced all the way back and authenticated by one of the few living connoisseurs who really can: a Shanghai collector named Chang Ts'ung-yu.

Among the best pictures in the show was a...

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