Responding to the ever-growing demand for quality works in this field, Sotheby’s New York Classical Chinese Paintings Department is dedicated to providing our global clients a market alternative outside of Asia. The September sale consists of 83 diversified works from the Ming and Qing dynasties, as well as a few modern and contemporary works that were executed clearly in the classical manner. Among the noteworthy highlights is an album by the most influential artist of his time, Dong Qichang (1555-1636), of Running Script Transcription of an Epitaph, written for Minister Chen Xinyi (lot 47). The eight-leaf album, well kept in its original 1850s mountings, was appraised by its then famed collector Kong Guangtao as “…genuinely stately and thoughtful in spirit, so fluid and elegant as if executed with divine power”. Equally enticing is the Thatched Hut in Autumnal Mountains (Lot 23), by Dong Bangda (1699-1769), whose works were admired and highly praised by Emperor Qianlong. The grandly composed landscape executed on silk conveys such free, refined brushwork that makes it conspicuous among Dong’s repertoire. One other rare and impressive piece is the Seated Portrait of a Prince in Casual Wear (Lot 40), of which while the painter remains anonymous, the extremely finely and gracefully portrayed sitter was no doubt from the imperial lineage.