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    Sanyu - Potted Chrysanthemums. Oil on masonite.

    Sanyu – Potted Chrysanthemums. Oil on masonite.

    A seminal 1950’s masterpiece by the modern Chinese master Sanyu (1901-1966) comues up at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong on April 5.  Considered a museum quality masterpiece Potted Chyrsanthemums belongs to the artists celebrated Potted Flower series.  It was picked by Sanyu for the Jansonne Triennial Art Exhibition in France in 1958. His paintings are highly prized for their rarity and this one is on the market for the first time since its exhibition appearance over half a century ago.  It is expected to make more than $1.5 million US. The work is more than twice the size of its sister painting sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in October 2012 for US$3.96 million.

    One of the first generation of Chinese artists to live in France Sanyu travelled to Paris in 1921 and remained there for the rest of his life.   Sylvie Chen, Head of 20th Century Chinese Art Department, said: “Back in 1992 when collectors started noticing the beauty and prominence of modern Chinese oil paintings, I organised the first solo exhibition for Sanyu at Dimensions Art Gallery in Taipei, which came with the production of an exhibition catalogue – the first ever publication on Sanyu’s works. The exhibition showcased only ten works by Sanyu but was enough to give a glimpse of the essence of Sanyu’s oeuvre for his entire artistic life, so much so that many collectors started acquiring the artist’s works. Over the course of 20 years, Sanyu is now recognised as an esteemed artist in the history of Chinese art, while his works are highly sought-after by connoisseurs.”

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