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How Chinese artists went around at the Sotheby’s auction of Pablo Picasso

Over the past decades, China has rapidly burst into all spheres of human life. Fine art was no exception. So, in 2011, at the Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong, for the first time, Chinese artist Zhang Datsyan (1899–1983) became the most expensive master of the world, moving Pablo Picasso himself from the pedestal, who for many years ranked first in the art rating.

Almost thirty six million then went under the hammer a two-meter-long scroll picture – “Peach-colored Spring”, written a year before the artist’s death. This amount was a record for works of Chinese painting. And summing up the sales for the year, it turned out that it was Datsyan who, in summary, became the most expensive painter and brought the greatest profit to auction houses.

For comparison, for the whole of 2011, Zhang Datsyan’s paintings were sold for more than $ 505 million, and the Spaniard’s figure was “only” 312 million. However, in fairness it should be noted that Picasso had held the leadership for 13 years (with the exception of 2007).

But that’s not all … That year was a triumph for Chinese painting. According to the results of the calculations, another Chinese painter, Qi Baishi, came second. Trading houses earned more than $ 445 million from the sale of his work.
The three leaders were completed by the American Andy Warhol, taking the third step of the pedestal with a mark of almost 325 million dollars, left Picasso behind.

Analyzing such a success of Chinese artists, experts came to the conclusion that rich people and collectors of China prefer to invest in painting their own country. This is confirmed by the fact that a lot of work, including Peach Spring, was bought up by a Chinese billionaire and philanthropist Liu Yitsyan, who in the past was a taxi driver who made a dizzying career as a financier. In Shanghai, the philanthropist has two private galleries, which he added with a new acquisition.

In 2016, China was again recognized as the leader of the global art market. Thus, he “declared himself as a superpower in the art market.”

… And some interesting facts about the world art trades leader Zhang Datsyan

The most famous Chinese painter in the world for almost a century has been
Zhang Daqian. His works are highly valued by both leading galleries and private collectors. Experts from art consider this master the last of the followers who wrote in the best traditions of Chinese painting. His works deserve both attention, and respect, and admiration, as not every master could bypass his painting of the unsurpassed Picasso, who has been holding the rating for many years.

And so, Zhang Datsyan was born in Sichuan at the turn of the century, in 1899. Since childhood, he was brought up in a creative family, and under the guidance of the mother of older brothers and sisters, he learned to draw well. The family lived in poverty and he, helping his elders, earned his living by rewriting the verses of a caligraphy. In adolescence, first-class copied various masterpieces. It’s funny that after many years, Zhang’s paintings became so popular that he himself began to copy. In 21 years after the death of the bride went to the monks, but disappointment in Buddhism forced the artist to leave the temple.
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And then he became interested in wall paintings in Dunhuang, read a lot about them, tried to master the technique, which became a turning point in his work. His desire to study the masterpieces of the past radically changed the life of Datsyan, he became a collector of antiquity, an avid connoisseur. And his collectible printing colophons, which were an invariable attribute of the scrolls, can be seen in many works stored around the world.

In 1926 he organized the first solo exhibition, consisting of 100 works. At this time, he meets his future wife, Li Qiujun, who became his muse.

In his painting, the Chinese artist achieved great mastery, having developed his own handwriting, which was entirely based on traditional Chinese art. His creative energy was irrepressible, the artist could write up to five hundred works in a year. And if you consider that he lived a very long life – in 83 years, then you can imagine what legacy remained after.

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