In a picture taken on October 6, 2012, a woman inspects artwork by Chinese artist Qi Baishi entitled 'Landscapes' during a China Guardian auction preview in Hong Kong. China Guardian Auctions, China's oldest auction house, held a sale on October 7 of more than 300 Chinese paintings including modern masters that is expected to fetch about 24 million USD. (AFP/Dale de la Rey)
A set of ink-brush paintings by Chinese artist Qi Baishi has sold for $144 million, breaking all records for Chinese paintings, a Beijing auction house said Monday.
The group of 12 panels painted in 1925 were sold at auction on Sunday night for 931.5 million yuan, Beijing Poly International Auction said in a statement.
The self-taught painter (1864-1957) became the first Chinese artist to surpass the $100 million mark for one piece, the auction house said.
The work, entitled "Twelve Landscape Screens", depicts mountains, villages and trees in bloom, with soft blue, grey, brown and pink tones.
The 12 panels measure 1.8 meters by 47 cm. The buyer's identity has not been revealed.
Qi Baishi was one of the world's most valued Chinese artists last year, according to a ranking published earlier this year by Artprice.
The value of his work by auction turnover came in third behind his compatriot Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) and Spaniard Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) in 2016.
In 2011 one of his works, an eagle on a pine branch, sold for $55 million in Beijing.