Xu Beihong painting sets sales record

Updated: 2011-12-08 15:35

(China Daily)

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Xu Beihong painting sets sales record

An auction in Beijing sold a Xu Beihong painting for 266.8 million yuan ($42 million) on Monday, smashing previous world records for the "father of modern Chinese painting".

The traditional Chinese painting, which portrays three farmers cultivating their land with an ox, achieved the highest-ever bid after a fierce bidding war that started at 150 million yuan. It's considered Xu's magnum opus.

The previous top price for a work by Xu, who died in 1953 and is best known for his ink paintings of horses, was 171 million yuan.

The painting, which measures 150-cm-by-250-cm, was completed in 1951.

It was initially given as a gift to Guo Moruo, a Chinese literary and cultural celebrity and close friend of Xu. It was later purchased by a collector, who commissioned the sale to the Poly Auction House.

In December 2010, another work by Xu, depicting a group of southwestern Chinese residents drawing water from a river, sold for 171 million yuan - the world record for the sale of modern Chinese paintings and calligraphy then.

China Daily - Xinhua