Ink-wash painting fetches $3 mln at auction

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Xu Beihong's ink-wash painting fetches 23 million yuan at auction

One ink-wash painting created by late Chinese painter Xu Beihong, one of the pioneers in China's modern art history, was sold for 23 million yuan (US$3.68 million) on the first day of a two-day auction during the weekend at Shanghai Marriott Hotel City.

Rongbaozhai, a 300-year-old art dealership based in Beijing, raised nearly 323 million yuan for its spring auction in Shanghai, following its successful debut auction in the city last autumn with a total amount of 810 million yuan.

Xu's painting featuring his signature subjects of horses was coveted by several bidders in competition on Saturday.

Another of Xu's horse paintings was sold for 5.5 million yuan.

"Everyone knows that Xu is an expert in painting running horses, but many paintings in the market are fakes or his practice pieces. For example, the 5.5 million yuan work is one of his practice works, so the price gap of these paintings is huge," said Zheng Qixin, a staff member at Rongbaozhai.

The Beijing auction house is famous for weeding out fakes.

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