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

  • Breaking: US House passes 'Cambodia Democracy Act'

    The US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on Monday, passed the “HR 526 Cambodia Democracy Act”, also known as the Cambodia Democracy Act of 2019. If signed off by the president, the bill will allow two major sets of action to be taken against high-ranking Cambodian

  • Shanxi wins bid to build sections of new Siem Reap airport

    Shanxi Mechanization Construction Group recently won the bid to build two sections of the new Siem Reap Angkor International Airport project in Cambodia for 290 million yuan ($42.16 million). The existing Angkor International Airport in Siem Reap, 5km from the famous ancient temple complex and world tourism

  • ‘Zero-dollar’ tours under fire

    Minister of Tourism Thong Khon has blamed “zero-dollar” tour operators for the decrease in foreign tourists to Angkor Archaeological Park in the first half of this year and has called for action against them. Angkor Archaeological Park received 1.24 million foreign visitors in the first half

  • Breaking: Rubbish found packed inside 83 containers at S'ville port

    Eighty-three containers packed with rubbish were broken open at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port by joint authorities on Tuesday. The origin of the containers has yet to be ascertained, Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said. Pheaktra, who is also the ministry’s secretary of state, said