Top 15 highest-selling artists in 2011

By Zhang Junmian
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, February 3, 2012
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  Xu Beihong  徐悲鸿


Xu Beihong [Xinhua]

 2011 Rank:5     Auction Revenue:US$221.33 million

2010 Rank:6     Auction Revenue:US$176.25 million

Xu Beihong(1895-1953), born in Yixing, Jiangsu Province, was acclaimed by critics as the father of modern Chinese painting. Xu was a master of styles, both with oils and Chinese inks. He fused western artistic perspectives and composition techniques with the traditional Chinese painting skills.

The artist began to learn painting and calligraphy when he was only 6 years old. He went to Tokyo, Japan to study arts in 1917. Later in 1919, he traveled to Paris, France to study at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. The overseas study experiences helped him to closely observe and imitate Western artistic techniques. Xu excelled in traditional Chinese painting, sketch drawing, and oil painting. His innovative and unique works were sought after by collectors at home and abroad. Xu was best-known for his animal paintings, especially his horses, which were done in splash-ink or brushwork.

According to Artprice, Xu's most expensive works are realist oil paintings from the 1920s and 1930s. Xu's "Cultivation on the Peaceful Land "(150cm x 250cm), a large-scaled ink-and-color on paper created in 1951, fetched US$36.68 million on Dec. 5, 2011 at Poly International Auction Co. in Beijing, a new record for the artist. The painting, considered the most important work completed in his later years, depicts the scene of three farmers cultivating their land.

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