Chinese ink masterpiece sells for $28m

By Lin Qi ( ) Updated: 2015-11-16 10:35:02

Chinese ink masterpiece sells for $28m

Thousands of Hills in a Crimsoned View, by Li Keran. [Photo/]

Ink master Li Keran (1907-89)'s 1964 painting, Wan Shan Hong Bian (Thousands of Hills in a Crimsoned View), fetched 184 million yuan ($28.7 million) at a Beijing sale on Monday night.

The piece triggered a heated bidding race between three bidders who participated in China Guardian's "Grand View" night sale of Chinese paintings.

Li was inspired by a famous verse, "I see thousands of hills in crimsoned view, the woods piling up in deep dye", from Chairman Mao's poem Qin Yuan Chun – Changsha in 1925. He created seven paintings under the same title of different sizes between 1961 and 1964.

The group of paintings show off Li's extraordinary handling of brushstrokes and variations of red, as well as a skillful play of light and shade. They stand as refined testaments to Li's exploration of modernizing ink painting traditions since the 1950s till his death.


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