Xu Boyang holds the painting that he declared was painted by his father.Photos: Southern Weekly
An oil painting by a famous Chinese artist that sold at auction for millions of yuan may in fact be a fake after a group of graduates from the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) said the work was inked by a classmate of theirs in 1983.
The masterpiece, auctioned by Beijing Jiuge International Auction Company in June last year for 72.8 million yuan ($11.25 million), was thought to have been painted by Chinese artist Xu Beihong (1895-1953) who made his fame from shuimohua or Chinese ink paintings and was regarded as a pioneer of oil paintings depicting with Chinese themes.
The disputed painting represents a naked woman believed to be Xu's wife, Jiang Biwei, in the 1920s.
The authenticity of the picture had been confirmed by Xu's eldest son, Xu Boyang, through a written endorsement in September 2007.
However, 10 CAFA graduates declared Thursday that the work was actually painted by one of their classmates in May 1983, as an assignment, according to Southern Weekly. They added the model was a girl from Jiangsu Province.
Claiming that nearly 20 students had attended that class, the graduates attached five of their works drawn for the same assignment to an open letter. According to the report, the paintings resembled the auctioned piece.