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Zhang Daqian_Shimmering Lake and Mountain Colours (1)

Shimmering Lake and Mountain Colours (1949)
By Zhang Daqian
Ink and colour on paper; hanging scroll
Size: 118 x 52.5 cm
Estimated price: $2.05-2.56 million

At the end of this month, Sotheby’s Hong Kong will be offering a single-owner collection of works by the renowned Chinese artist Zhang Daqian. Regarded as “the greatest Chinese artist of the last 500 years”, Zhang Daqian overtook Picasso’s position in 2011 as the world’s top selling artist at auction.

Born less than a decade apart, Zhang and Picasso first met in 1956, when they struck up a friendship which was to last for the rest of their lives. Both artists were gregarious characters, fond of good food, drink and conversation, often sharing their expertise and ideas about painting. When Zhang learned that Picasso had been experimenting with Chinese painting techniques, Zhang presented his friend with his own set of Chinese brushes.

The Mei Yun Tang Collection of Zhang Daqian’s work was assembled by Kao Ling-Mei, a close friend of the artist. In the late 1950s, the two men collaborated on a major publication that explored Zhang’s art practice, illustrating many of the seminal works that are featured in the sale. This auction is sure to attract a lot of interest. When 25 works by Zhang from the Mei Yun Tang Collection were offered by Sotheby’s in 2011, the sale made over $87 million – a record for a single-artist sale of Chinese paintings.

Sotheby’s Hong Kong’s sale of the Mei Yun Tang Collection will be held on May 27, 2013.

For further information, please visit www.sothebys.com.

First published in the Adbuzzzz Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on May 12, 2013.