Many probably have not heard about Chinese artist, Li Keran. If we tell that his painting Landscape in Red sold for $46 million, the vast majority will remember this Chinese prominent artist. His painting Wan Shan Hong Bian (Thousands of Hills in A Crimsoned View) fetched a stunning 293.25 million yuan ($46 million), a record for the artist, on June 3, at Poly International Auction’s spring sales.
Painted in 1964, by Li Keran (1907-1989), this modern Chinese painting was inspired by a poem (Qin Yuan Chun – Changsha) written by Communist leader Mao Zedong in 1925 ( verse: I see thousands of hills in crimsoned view, the woods piling up in deep dye).
Li Keran painted seven versions of Wan Shan Hong Bian of different sizes between 1961 and 1964. Three of them are in the National Art Museum of China, Chinese Painting Academy and Rongbaozhai, one remains with the Li family, and the remaining two are in the possession of collectors in Taiwan. This version that was sold at auction is actually largest, with measures 1.31 meters long and 0.84 meters wide and according to the auction house it came to auction from overseas.
Expensive painting was purchased by domestic entrepreneur who began buying art two years ago.
Beijing Poly Executive Director, Zhao Xu, commented, “The sale tonight shows a stable Chinese art market, which keeps attracting newcomers to auction houses. The high price of Li’s painting will definitely leverage the market of 20th-century Chinese painting.”