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  1. ITV Report

Painting by "Chinese Picasso" sells for £2.64m in Salisbury

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A painting by an artist known as the "Chinese Picasso" has sold for a record amount at an auction in Salisbury.

Grand View of Chao Mountain by Zhang Da Qian sold for £2.64m (including buyer's premium) when it went under the hammer at auctioneer's Woolley and Wallis.

Da Qian (1899-1983) was a contemporary artist of Pablo Picasso and in 2011, became the most expensive artist in the world.

The record amount for his work previously sold at auction in the UK was £218,000.

Grand View of Chao Mountain by Zhang Da Qian

Despite his prolific output, Zhang Da Qian's paintings are highly sought after by collectors, and those that feature his splashed-ink technique, like this scroll, are particularly desirable. Several exhibitions have been organised in the East to celebrate the bicentenary of his birth, and this is all adding to his status as one of the top artists from the last century."

– Freya Yuan-Richards, Head of Chinese Paintings, Woolley and Wallis
  • Watch moment it sells at auction

The painting had been part of a private collection in Berkshire.

Seven phone bidders battled against three Chinese bidders in the room, with one phone bidder opening the bidding at £500,000 - five times the painting's starting price.

The scroll has become the auctioneer's 11th lot of over a million pounds, out of just 15 sold outside of London in the UK.

  • Who is Zhang Da Qian?

Zhang Da Qian (1899-1983) was a traditionalist at the start of his career, once known as an excellent forger of ancient Chinese paintings, deceiving several other learned painters and academics and claiming in later life that a treasure in a famous collection was, in fact, his own work.

Da Qian was at one time producing some 500 paintings a year and met Picasso at an exhibition in France in 1956; one that was extensively marketed as a meeting between East and West.

He travelled extensively across Japan, India, Europe and South America.

It was in Brazil that he learnt to combine elements of American abstract expressionism with classical Chinese brush painting to create his unique modernist style; a style that he used to produce sweeping stylised landscapes of treacherous bare rock and dramatic waterfalls, broken by hints of emerging vegetation and delicate prunus blossom.