Beijing: A painting by contemporary Chinese artist Qi Baishi has been sold for 425.5 million yuan ($65 million), a record high for contemporary and modern Chinese paintings and calligraphy, Xinhua reported.
It was sold Sunday by Beijing-based China Guardian, an auction company specialising in the sale of Chinese art work of all varieties.
"Qi Baishi is the most influential artist in China`s contemporary and modern art history. This work, with its high price, marks a new era for the market of contemporary and modern Chinese artworks," said Guo Tong, general manager of the contemporary and modern Chinese painting and calligraphy department under China Guardian.
The painting`s auction price was, in the history of the Chinese mainland art market, second only to ancient calligrapher Huang Tingjian`s hand scroll "Pillar Ming" which was sold for 436.8 million yuan in 2009.
Qi`s work entitled "Eagle Standing on Pine Tree with Four-character Couplet in Seal Script", consists of a painting measuring 266 cm by 100 cm and a pair of calligraphy scrolls each measuring 264.5 cm by 65.8 cm. It is said to be Qi`s largest work.
Born in 1864 in central China`s Hunan Province, Qi died at the age of 93. Although he relished the portrayal of small things, such as birds, fish, fruit and vegetables, Qi was also known as an outstanding calligrapher.
The auctioned work, according to the signature on the scroll, was finished in 1946 when the painter was 86 years old.