Chinese Paintings – Classical

Notable Sale Records in Auction


Sotheby’s Fine Classical Chinese Paintings Department offers high quality works of Chinese painting and calligraphy, encompassing a variety of styles from the 12th through 19th centuries. These fine works emphasize the importance of classical artistic styles, underlining the connection between poetry, calligraphy, painting, and the artist’s seal.

The expertise of our specialists is widely recognized throughout the globe, and therefore our team has been entrusted with the sale of many rare and important works.

Classical Chinese Paintings auctions are held in Hong Kong usually during April and October. Since the debut of Fine Classical Chinese Paintings in Hong Kong in 2015, the auctions of Classical Chinese paintings have witnessed milestones year upon year, with sale results typically exceeding high estimates by more 150%. Recent events underscoring some of Sotheby's achievements include the 2020 Autumn Sales Series, which saw the record-breaking sale of Ren Renfa's painted scroll Five Drunken Princes Returning on Horseback. The painting achieved HK$306.6 million (US$39.6 million) and set the top price for any Chinese ink painting sold by Sotheby's Hong Kong. In that month, Sotheby’s Hong Kong also presented The Kangxi Emperor's Southern Inspection Tour, Scroll VI, a moment of historical importance; it marked the first time the entire work was exhibited as a whole in more than a century since the painting had been cut into sections after it lost from the Imperial Palace.

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If you wish to enquire about the possibility of offering a work in one of Sotheby's Chinese Paintings – Classical sales, please click here.

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