A Chinese ink painting, almost 1000 years old, of one of the greatest masters in Chinese literature, Su Shi, November 26, 2018 in Hong Kong Philip FONG
A thousand-year-old ink painting by one of the greatest Chinese masters Su Shi was awarded for 52.5 million euros (59.5 million dollars) at an auction in Hong Kong, announcing Christie's house on Monday.
This painting, the most expensive item ever sold in Asia by Christie, is "one of the rare Chinese paintings in the world," said the auction house.
Simply "Wood and Rock", this ink painting on paper depicts an old tree resembling a dragon with faded branches and a sharp stone resting on its roots.
The 185.5 cm long roll is decorated with Chinese calligraphics and poems of the 11th century and also carries the sails of 41 collectors.
Su Shi, also known as Su Dongpo, is one of the most important cultural figures in Chinese history. He was a famous intellectual, a poet, a painter, a calligrapher and a statesman.
"The amount of work that is definitely attributed to him is very small, probably two or three, and his work is extremely rare," said Jonathan Stone, vice president of Christie's Asian Arts Department.
In 2010, "Dizhuming", a roll of Chinese calligraphy by Huang Tingjian – a follower of Su Shi – was sold for 64 million dollars at an auction in Beijing.
In recent years, Asian buyers are very active in Hong Kong auctions and put their sights on diamonds, paintings and ancient ceramics that break all the records.
In September, a 10-meter abstract tithe titled "June-October 1985" by Zao Wou-Ki, one of the most prominent Chinese painters of the twentieth century, awarded 65 million dollars (57.3 million) in Honk Kong at Sotheby's auction houses.