A record price for a Chinese painting was set yesterday when a Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) handscroll was auctioned off in Beijing for 79.52 million yuan ($10.7 million).
Du Wei, a spokesman for the China Guardian Art Auction Co Ltd, which staged the auction, said: "This is the highest price ever achieved for a Chinese painting."
The Red Cliff Handscroll by Qiu Ying (1494-1552), an artist from Suzhou in Jiangsu Province, came from a private collector on the mainland.
The price included a 12-percent commission fee.
Bidding started at 50 million yuan before hitting the record price.
The previous record for an ancient Chinese painting was set in 2002, when a handscroll by Emperor Huizong (1101-26) of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) was sold in Beijing for 25.3 million yuan.
Qiu was a master of gongbi, a meticulous brush technique requiring precise detail.
He left just 40 pieces of art, most of which are now in museum collections.
Liu Kai, the manager of the Chinese painting department of the auction house, said the artist created three handscrolls of the Red Cliff, which lies beside the Yangtze River in Hubei Province.
All were once owned by the Qing imperial family, with the other two now in collections at the Shanghai Museum and Liaoning Museum in Shenyang, Liaoning Province.
Seals of collectors on the third handscroll indicate it was kept by Zhang Xiuyu, one of the greatest art sponsors at the time.
Source: China Daily