Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ancient Chinese painting auctioned for nearly $60M




Ancient Chinese painting auctioned for nearly $60M

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A section of the painting entitled Wood and Rock by Song Dynasty pre-eminent scholar Su Shi (1037-1101) is shown during a media preview of Christie’s Hong Kong Autumn Sale in Hong Kong on August 30. PHILIP FONG/AFP

Ancient Chinese painting auctioned for nearly $60M

A NEARLY 1,000-year-old ink painting by one of China’s greatest literati masters Su Shi fetched $59.5 million at auction, Christie’s said on Monday.

The auction house has described the Song Dynasty artwork created by Su as “one of the world’s rarest Chinese paintings”.

Entitled Wood and Rock, the ink-on-paper handscroll depicts a dragon-like old tree with withered branches and a sharp rock resting at its root.

The painting was the most expensive item ever sold in Christie’s Asia, it said.

Su Shi, also known as Su Dongpo, is one of the most important cultural figures in Chinese history and was an esteemed scholar, poet, prose-writer, painter, calligrapher and statesman.

The 185.5cm-long scroll is inscribed with calligraphy and the poems of four important literati of the 11th century in China, and also exhibits the seals of 41 collectors.

“The number of the works securely attributed to him are very few, probably only two or three. They are extremely rare,” Jonathan Stone, deputy chairman for Christie’s Asian art department, said in an earlier preview.

In 2010, “Dizhuming”, a Chinese calligraphy scroll by Huang Tingjian – Su Shi’s student – sold for $64 million at Poly Auction in Beijing.

Hong Kong’s auction houses have seen frenzied bidding among Asian buyers in recent years, with sales of diamonds, paintings and ancient ceramics shattering world records.

A 10-metre-long triptych entitled Juin-Octobre 1985 by Zao Wou-Ki – one of the 20th century’s most prominent Chinese painters – fetched $65 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in September.

MOST VIEWED

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that

  • Man in quarantine dies of ‘overdose’

    The Ministry of Health on Thursday said a Cambodian migrant worker who died while being isolated at a quarantine centre in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district may have died from syncope or overdose of tablets. In a statement, the ministry said the 21-year-old

  • Ministry set to reopen 20 schools in August

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will allow 20 high-safety-standards schools to reopen next month despite new cases of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha wrote in a Telegram message on Wednesday that the schools are in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang.