Zhang Daqians (1899-1983) Aachensee Lake, which was derived from
his trip to Austria in his later years, is sold for 100.8 million
yuan ($14.76 million). Provided to China Daily
BEIJING - Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) became one of the countrys most expensive modern artists when his large-scale Aachensee Lake fetched 100.8 million yuan ($14.76 million) at China Guardians Spring Auction on Monday night.
The price is more than six times the presale estimate.
Zhangs 1968 painting was derived from his trip in Austria. The landscape blends the languages of Western abstract art with Chinese literati painting. It is widely acknowledged as a signature piece of Zhangs splash ink-with-watercolor art in his late years.
This painting woos art collectors with a fresh touch of modern Chinese ink-and-water art and unparalleled charm, said Guo Tong, manager of Guardians modern and contemporary Chinese painting and calligraphy department.
The artists meticulous gongbi, or brush painting, titled Dwelling Among Pines in Summer, was sold for 28 million yuan on the same day.
According to artprice.com, a French art market information provider, Zhang ranked 11th on its Top 500 Artists 2009 in terms of auction turnover, up from 51st position in 2008.
Last year, Zhang sold 393 lots of artwork at auctions, with a top price of 1.87 million yuan.
Many see Zhangs rise as an example of the spectacular appearances of early 20th century masters in auction houses since 2004.
In April, Sothebys Hong Kong sold Fu Baoshi (1904-65)s Chess Playing for HK38.74 million ($4.97 million).
Also at Guardians spring sale, a Various Subjects and Calligraphy Leaf by four modern masters snatched 40.32 million yuan. Pan Tianshous (1897-1971) finger painting of An Eagle on Rock brought 28 million yuan. Shi Lu (1919-82), a prominent figure of the Changan school, fetched 31.92 million yuan, a personal new record, for his large hanging scroll Majestic Mountain.
Ancient Chinese painting and calligraphy took center stage at last years autumn auctions, Guo Tong said.
The breakthrough achieved by Aachensee Lake will certainly bring the modern Chinese art market up to a new level this spring.