Beijing is the political seat of China, but it's the buzzing cultural capital, too. Anchored by the Forbidden City, epicentre of the nation’s artistic flowering, Beijing continues to thrive, its diverse art scene poised for future growth. Witness the legion of artists who works here, the countless galleries spreading out across the city, the thriving 798 Art Zone, the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art.

To this list add Sotheby's Beijing Art Week 2013, the upcoming series of events that builds on Sotheby's successful Hong Kong 40th Anniversary sales and that will happen at China World Summit Wing during the height of the city's art sales season. Read below for a quick lineup of offerings:

Zeng Fanzhi, Untitled No. 8

Modern & Contemporary Chinese Art Auction
1 December

The culmination of Sotheby’s Beijing Art Week will be a major auction of Modern & Contemporary Chinese Art, featuring 144 works by the artists who are most coveted today, including Zao Wou-Ki and Zeng Fanzhi. The sale is led by Zao Wou-Ki's Abstraction (estimate RMB35-45,000,000), a seminal 1958 work currently in the collection of the esteemed Art Institute of Chicago. Following the recent record-breaking sale of Zeng Fanzhi’s The Last Supper (HK$180.4 million) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, making it the most expensive work of Contemporary Asian Art ever sold at auction, and concurrent with Zeng's first French retrospective at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the artist’s Untitled No. 8 will be offered in the Modern & Contemporary Chinese Art sale (estimate RMB5-7,000,000). Other contemporary highlights include Yang Feiyun's Little Actress (estimate RMB 8-12,000,000) and Li Guijun's 140 Art Studio (estimate RMB6-10,000,000), two Chinese Realist works executed in 1985.

Zao Wou-Ki, Abstraction.

Modern Masters: From Rembrandt to Picasso, Representation of the Figure in Western Art
28 November to 1 December
This third installation of Sotheby's Modern Masters selling exhibitions, which bring masterpieces of Western art to an Asian audience, focuses on depictions of the human figure. The exhibition brings together masterpieces from four centuries, including a rare Rembrandt portrait from a private collection, several Renoir paintings and a 1960s Picasso painting of a musketeer.

Rembrandt’s Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimbo will be shown alongside Picasso’s Le Peintre.

Age of Elegance: European Paintings, Furniture and Works of Art from the 19th Century,
28 November to 1 December
The inaugural Age of Elegance exhibition, held in Hong Kong in 2012, marked Sotheby's first offering of European decorative arts in Asia. The tradition continues with this Beijing offering of superb pieces that capture the myriad styles and unsurpassed craftsmanship of Europe’s finest artisans.

A Louis XVI Style Gilt Bronze Three Piece Clock Garniture

Sotheby’s Diamonds
28 November to 1 December
More than 30 pieces from Sotheby's collection of important stones and contemporary designer settings will be on display, including a fancy intense yellow diamond necklace centred on an 80.69-carat stone.

Sotheby's Diamonds' Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond Necklace with an 80.69-carat stone.

To round out the week, Sotheby’s will present two highlight exhibitions, Important Old Master Paintings from New York, a preview of a January sale that includes several Dutch Golden Age works, and Antique Jewellery with Royal Provenance from S. J. Phillips London.

Sotheby's Institute of Art will also be offering an educational programme to encourage art appreciation, with lectures by Sotheby's specialists in the areas of Chinese antiquities, jadeite, 19th-century European decorative art and Impressionist and Modern art.

Watch 'Sotheby’s Beijing Art Week 2013,' a video highlighting all the events surrounding the auction.