Sotheby’s announces the unusual step of holding an off-season sale of Chinese paintings on May 31 with The Mei Yun Tang Collection of Paintings by Zhang Daqian:.
Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) was one of the mist prodigious and celebrated Chinese artists of the twentieth century. Renowned in China as a “modern Impressionist and Expressionist painter”, he immersed himself in the art of the West, forming a particularly close tie with Pablo Picasso, whom he met in 1953, and to whom he gifted a set of his own brushes, in the hope that these would enable Picasso to paint as finely as he.
This first ever off-season fine art sale by Sotheby’s Hong Kong features 25 prominent paintings from this monumental Collection, and is expected to fetch in excess of HK$130 million / US$ 16.7 million. The Mei Yun Tang Collection is internationally recognised as the most preeminent and comprehensive private collection of Zhang Daqian’s paintings, assembled by the late Mr. Kao Ling-mei and his wife Jan Yun-bor since 1940s. Not only does it comprise works of superb artistic value, the Mei Yun Tang Collection also chronicles the stylistic evolution of Zhang and stands as testament to the unwavering four-decade friendship between Zhang and the Kao’s.
All the works in this sale are offered on the market for the very first time. They are masterpieces from the 1940s to the 1960s comprising different subject matters and styles, ranging from the traditional styles of fine brush paintings in Zhang’s early years to the bold splashed ink and colour in his later oeuvre. These paintings encapsulate Zhang’s unparalleled artistic diversity, and this sale will represent a landmark in the auction history of modern Chinese painting.