A painting by an artist known as the ‘Chinese Picasso’ has become the fourth highest lot sold by Salisbury auctioneers, Woolley and Wallis, and the second highest price achieved by the major salerooms during Asian Art week.
Grand View of Chao Mountain by Zhang Da Qian (1899-1983) sold on Tuesday 21st May for a premium inclusive £2,641,000 – beating the artist’s previous UK sale record by over £2m.
The large scroll painting, painted in Da Qian’s signature ink-splash technique, was consigned by a private English owner from Berkshire, whose father had been gifted the painting by Da Qian himself over afternoon tea in Hong Kong, where he worked during the 1960s. Such direct provenance only added to the artwork’s allure and seven telephone bidders fought against three determined bidders in the room to secure it. The successful buyer, a dealer from mainland China, was in the room when the hammer came down at £2.3m.
Head of Chinese Paintings, Freya Yuan-Richards, was delighted with the result. “Despite the proven popularity of Da Qian’s work, the record price in the UK was comparatively low, so we’re really pleased to be able to break that record and up it considerably. Very few English auction houses are able to offer specialism on contemporary Chinese art and so for us to have this success so soon after the sale of the Northern Girl [which sold for £1.75m in November 2018] is really great news.”