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Top 10 most sought-after Chinese painters in 2012

By Lu Na (

13:29, April 01, 2013


The so-called Chinese brush arts such as calligraphy, Chinese painting and contemporary arts, have always been in the mainstream of the art market. In 2012, the business volume for the brush arts reached US$5.07 billion, accounting for 59.93 percent of the total.

France-based global leader in art market information Artprice listed a top ten of the most valuable Chinese painters in 2012 on the Chinese art auction market (excluding commission). Although the painters on the list have passed away, their legacies remain.

The turnover of these ten artists reached a massive US$1.5 billion, accounting for 29.44 percent of the China's pure arts market (including Chinese painting and calligraphy, oil painting and contemporary arts), which constitute the leaders of China's high-end art market.

Top 10: Wu Guanzhong 吴冠中

Auction Revenue: US$62.19 million

Wu Guanzhong (1919-2010), born in Yixing of Jiangsu Province, was a prominent contemporary Chinese artist and art educator. He was the first living Chinese artist to have a solo show at the British Museum in 1992. He was skilled at painting various subjects including landscapes, waterscapes, figures, animals and plants.

His works reached their peak in 2011, one year after his death when two of his works went for almost one hundred million yuan one after another. However, his work took a small dive on the high-end art market in 2012. The highest-selling one was "Hong Kong Central," fetching US$2.76 million at Beijing Tranthy International Auction Co., Ltd.

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