The Top 10 Most Expensive Chinese Artists of 2015

Sanyu is sometimes referred to as the Chinese Matisse.

 

 

PanTianshou

Pan Tianshou

As the year winds down, we take a look at the most expensive Chinese artists of 2015 based on their performance at auction. All of the artists painted and they span a wide range of time periods, from the Ming period to the contemporary. While some were influenced by ancient landscape painters at least one took notes from Matisse. Using data drawn from the artnet Price Database, artnet News has compiled the Most Expensive Chinese Artist of 2015.

1. Pan Tianshou (1897-1971)
Painter, educator, and theorist Pan Tianshou was trained in traditional Chinese painting and is considered one of the most important Chinese painters of the 20th century. He tops the list with a painting that sold at China Guardian on May 17 for $45,036,261 (279,450,000 CNY). At auction this year, he also had two other paintings that fetched $14,621,627 (93, 250 000 CNY) and $10,830,834 (69,000,000 CNY), respectively.

Fu Baoshi. Image: Courtesy of Sotheby's

Fu Baoshi.
Image: Courtesy of Sotheby’s

2. Fu Baoshi (1904-1965)
Fu Baoshi is considered the original figure painter and landscape artist of China’s modern period. Having been trained in China and Japan, Fu developed a new style of painting that incorporated the styles and techniques of both China and Japan. On November 15, a Fu Baoshi painting sold at auction for $12,545,717 (79,925,000 CNY).

Li Keran, Wan Shan Hong Bian (Thousands of Hills in A Crimsoned View). Image: via http://luxedb.com

Li Keran, Wan Shan Hong Bian (Thousands of Hills in A Crimsoned View).
Image: via http://luxedb.com

3. Li Keran (1907- 1989)
Li Keran developed an individual style of landscape painting that was based on the techniques of both ancient and contemporary masters. This past year the highest prices that his works fetched at auction were $28,882,226 (184,000,000 CNY) and $20,386,784 (126,500,000 CNY).

Wanluan_Thatched_Hall_by_Dong_Qichang

Dong Qichang, Wanluan Thatched Hall (1597).
Image: via Wikipedia

4. Dong Qichang (1555-1663)
Mostly known for his writings on Chinese paintings, Dong Qichang is considered one of the most prolific artists of the Ming period. At the November 15 Auction at China Guardian, a painting by Dong Qichang sold for $10,830,834 (69,000,000 CNY).

Wu Changshuo, Album with Ink Paintings and Calligraphy, (1920s).Image: Auctionata

Wu Changshuo, Album with Ink Paintings and Calligraphy, (1920s).
Image: Auctionata

5. Wu Changshuo (1844-1927)
Wu Changshuo was a Chinese seal carver, painter, and calligrapher. However, he spent most of his time studying seal engraving, writing several important manuals on it. A painting of his fetched $6,859,528 (43,700,000 CNY) at China Guardian on November 15.

zheng-zhong-ca-1612-1648-china-various-turqoise-landscapes-wi-4747061

Zheng Zhong, various turqoise landscapes with matching inscriptions.
Image: via China Guardian Auctions

6. Zheng Zhong (1612-1648)
One of the oldest artists on the list, Zheng Zhong, is known for his prominent blue and green landscapes. On May 17, a Zhong painting fetched $7,413,376 (46,000,000 CNY) at China Guardian.

sanyu

Sanyu, Nude (1950s).
Image: via Christie’s

7. Sanyu (1901- 1966)
Sanyu is considered an early leader of Chinese modern art and is sometimes referred to as the Chinese Matisse.  On May 30th at the Asian 20th Century & Contemporary Art evening sale at Christie’s Hong Kong, Sanyu’s Chrysanthemums in a Glass Vase (1950’s)  fetched 10, 560, 392 USD ( 81, 880, 000 HKD)  At another sale in November, at Christies Hong Kong another Sanyu painting, Vase of Chrysanthemums on a Yellow Table,  fetched 5, 940, 108 USD ( 46, 040, 000 HKD)

wuGuanzhong

Wu Guanzhong, Parrot Haven (1998).
Image: via Wikipedia

8. Wu Guanzhong (1919-2010)
One of the most known contemporary Chinese painters, Wu Guanzhong paints in a style reminiscent of the Impressionists. His painting Plum Blossoms (1973)  fetched $8,622,068 (66,840,000 HKD) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong at the Modern and Contemporary Asian Art evening sale on April 4 while Peach Blossoms (1973) fetched $5,733,971 (44,440,000 HKD) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on October 4.

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Zao Wou-Ki, 10.1.68 (1968).
Image: via Sotheby’s

9. Zao Wou-Ki (1921-2013)
Zao Wou-Ki is an internationally renowned abstract artist. This past year his painting 07.04.61 (1961) fetched $7,177,317 (55,640,000 HKD) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Modern and Contemporary Asian Art evening sale, and Sans Titre (1951-1952) fetched $5,362,096 (41,560,000) at Christie’s Hong Kong, Asian 20th Century & Contemporary Art evening sale on November 28.

budding lotus

Zhang Daqian Budding Lotus (1975).
Image: via Sotheby’s

10. Zhang Daqian (1899-1983)
Zhang Daqian is known as a Guouhua, Impressionist and Expressionist painter. His work, Riding in the Autumn Countryside (1950) fetched $6,599,076 (51,160,000 HKD) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong during their Fine and Chinese Paintings Sale on April 6. Daqian had another work sell at the same auction for   $5,732,270 (44,440,000 HKD).


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