With an oil painting piece by late Chinese painter Chen Yifei priced at some US$ one million at an auction in Shanghai Thursday, Chinese oil paintings come of age in art auctions.
Chen's oil piece Water Village in Morning Sun Rays was valued between US$750,000 to one million at Shanghai's auction house.
The painting was one of the Village Zhou Zhuang serial magnum opuses that brought Chen fame, and Chen's own favorite in the series.
The superb work is expected to have the highest price of all Chen's paintings. Previously, Chen's masterpiece Sunny Days was auctioned off at the stunning price of some US$530,000 in Beijing in May, compared to the highest price of 162,000 dollars for another of his works when he was alive.
Chen, a native of Zhenhai city in east China's Zhejiang Province, died of illness in Shanghai in April at the age of 59. He had held several exhibitions in Washington D.C., New York and Tokyo. His landscape paintings, featuring the geography south of the Yangtze River, are widely collected.
Another work, Lin Zexu Inspecting Macao, a Chinese award winning oil piece made by Associate Professor Guo Beiping, has been priced at between 200,000 and 325,000 dollars in the Shanghai auction. The painting portrays the grand scene of the imperial envoy inspecting Macao to ban opium in 1939.
There will be more than 300 oil paintings by Chinese contemporary artists on sale at the auction.
(Xinhua News Agency November 11, 2005)