The sale of Fine Chinese Paintings achieved a total of HK$414.8 million / US$53.2 million, more than doubling the pre-sale estimate (approximately HK$170 million / US$21.8 million*).
The sale was 97.2% sold by lot and 97.1% sold by value. The two top lots are Zhang Daqian’s Swiss Peaks; Calligraphy in Xingshu (Est: HK$8 - 12 million / US$1 - 1.5 million*), and Fu Baoshi’s Lady at the Pavilion (Est: HK$6 - 8 million / US$770,000 - 1 million*), each fetching HK$23 million / US$3 million.
With many works from prestigious private collections, this autumn sale features a number of exquisite paintings. One of the highlights is a wide selection of lotus paintings including Lin Fengmian’s White Lotus, Lotus Pond (fifth above) by Xie Zhiliu to celebrate the marriage of Yu Youren’s eldest son Yu Wangde, and, most notably, the Budding Lotus by Zhang Daqian (fourth above). A favourite subject for the artist, this particular painting from a private European collection is inspired by Daqian’s visits to Kamakura, a Japanese beauty spot famed for lotus blossom.
Hu Yefo excelled in both figurative and landscape painting, but given its rarity, the latter, which were mostly modelled after Qiu Ying and Song-dynasty artists, is highly sought after. The Wu Gorge, which showcases Hu’s signature style in its minute detail and vivid use of colour, is the best landscape painting ever produced by the artist. Fu Baoshi admired celebrated landscape painter Shitao, and Landscape after Shitao (first above) painted in 1942 is Fu’s best representative work from the Jingangpo period with its fresh and unparalleled composition. Another star lot are a group of Lin Fengmian’s works dated to the 1960s from a North American private collection with original mounting by the artist himself and Lin’s pen signatures on the back of the paintings.
Auction Room 1, Hall 3, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (New Wing)