Oil painter Zhou Chunya topped the Hurun Art List with sales of his auctioned works hitting 75 million US dollars in 2012, according to the Hurun Report released Wednesday in Beijing.
Zhou, 58, is the youngest artist ever to top the list.
The value of Zhou's work has more than doubled from last year when he ranked eighth, according to the report, best known for its annual Hurun China Rich List.
As many as 222 of Zhou's paintings were sold in 2012. The most expensive one was a 1994 piece with stones as its theme, which was auctioned for 29.9 million yuan (4.79 million US dollars).
Oil Painter Zeng Fanzhi, 49, came in second with 73 million US dollars in sales last year.
Renowned Chinese ink painter and calligrapher Fan Zeng, 75, took third place with 69 million US dollars in sales at public auctions last year.
The total turnover of the top 100 list fell 21 percent from last year to 1.2 billion US dollars. The threshold for artists making the top 100 fell 11 percent from last year to 2.4 million US dollars.
The average age of the artists is 66, three years older than last year. The youngest is 37-year-old Chinese ink painter and calligrapher Ren Zhong, whose work ranked 51st with 7 million US dollars in sales in 2012.
The list also includes six female artists, more than any previous year, including 91-year-old Chen Peiqiu who had an annual turnover of 22.4 million US dollars last year and is ranked 11th.
Established as a research unit in 1999 by British accountant Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun Report Inc. has grown into a leading luxury publishing group based in Shanghai. It has four luxury magazines, the Hurun Research Institute and a business events division targeting China's entrepreneurs and high net worth individuals.