Chinese painting sets record at Beijing auction

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Three Chinese classical paintings grossed 663 million yuan ($96 million) at a Beijing auction Sunday night.

Five Drunken Kings Return on Horses, by Ren Renfa [Photo provided to China Daily] 

The top lot is Five Drunken Kings Return on Horses by Ren Renfa, a prominent painter of horses and also a high-ranking official in charge of water controls in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).

The 2-meter-long color hand scroll fetched 303 million yuan, claiming the record for the highest paid Chinese artwork at auction this year.

The painting exemplifies Ren's master techniques of portraying animals and figures. It was cataloged in Shi Qu Bao Ji, an inventory of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)'s imperial collections.

It was later transported abroad and acquired by German-born collector Walter Hochstadter (1914-2007). After his death, the Hochstadter family sold it for HK$46 million at a Christie's auction in Hong Kong in 2009.

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