Ink painting by Chinese master Qi Baishi sells for record S$190 million

Chinese artist Qi Baishi's Twelve Landscape Screens, group of 12 panels painted in 1925, at an auction in Beijing on Dec 17, 2017.
Chinese artist Qi Baishi's Twelve Landscape Screens, group of 12 panels painted in 1925, at an auction in Beijing on Dec 17, 2017.PHOTO: CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

BEIJING (AFP) - A set of ink-brush paintings by Chinese artist Qi Baishi has sold for 931.5 million yuan (S$190 million or US$144 million), breaking all records for Chinese paintings, a Beijing auction house said on Monday (Dec 18).

The group of 12 panels painted in 1925 were sold at auction on Sunday night, Beijing Poly International Auction said in a statement.

The self-taught painter (1864-1957) became the first Chinese artist to surpass the US$100 million mark for one piece, the auction house said.

The work, entitled Twelve Landscape Screens, depicts mountains, villages and trees in bloom, with soft blue, grey, brown and pink tones.

The 12 panels measure 1.8m by 47cm. The buyer's identity has not been revealed.

Qi Baishi was one of the world's most valued Chinese artists last year, according to a ranking published earlier this year by Artprice.

The value of his work by auction turnover came in third behind his compatriot Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) and Spaniard Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) in 2016.

In 2011 one of his works, an eagle on a pine branch, sold for US$55 million in Beijing.