Qi Baishi painting album sells for $18m

By Lin Qi ( ) Updated: 2015-12-07 10:31:35

Qi Baishi painting album sells for $18m

Qi Baishi's ink painting album. [Photo provided to China Daily]

An ink painting album of modern artist Qi Baishi (1864-1957) fetched 115 million yuan ($18m) at a Beijing auction on Sunday night.

The album includes 18 painting leaves that are testaments of Qi's mastery of traditional Chinese painting style of flowers and birds.

In each piece Qi pairs a plant or an article, such as oil lamp, with a small animal, mostly insects. He portrays the plants with carefree strokes while giving meticulous attention to details when painting the tiny insects.

The album had graced the VIP room of Rongbaozhai, the time-honored shop of calligraphy and Chinese painting, since the 1950s. It was later sold to a Hong Kong collector and was in his hands for a decade before appearing for auction on Sunday.

A mountain-and-water landscape of ink master Li Keran sold 70.15 million yuan. The painting depicts the sublime scenery of snow-capped Kunlun Mountain in Northwest China. It drew inspiration from Chairman Mao Zedong's poem titled Nian Nu Jiao• Kunlun.

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