’Eagle Standing on Pine Tree’ by Qi Baishi
’Eagle Standing on Pine Tree’ by Qi Baishi is a painting by the renowned Chinese artist Qi Baishi.
The work, full title ‘Eagle Standing on Pine Tree with Four-character Couplet in Seal Script’, was painted in 1946. It consists of a painting measuring 266cm by 100cm, and a pair of calligraphy scrolls each measuring 264.5cm by 65.8cm.
The black-and-white painting depicts an eagle stood proudly in a pine tree, and was completed by Qi Baishi at the age of 86. It is believed to be one of the largest works ever produced by the artist, and was later presented to the Chinese leader General Chiang Kai-shek for his 60th birthday in 1947.
About the artist
Qi Baishi (1864 – 1957) is regarded as one of the most influential modern Chinese artists of all time. Elected the president of the Association of Chinese Artists in 1957, Baishi was a self-taught painter who focused his works on many natural subjects such as animals, plants, vegetables and landscapes.
Today Baishi’s work is amongst the most sought after by Chinese collectors, with paintings regularly selling for record prices.
On May 21 2011, the painting was sold at auction through the Chinese auction house China Guardian at a sale in Beijing.
It was sold to an anonymous collector for a price of 425.5 million yuan (US$65 million), making it the second-most expensive Chinese artwork ever sold at auction. It was also the most valuable artwork sold at auction in 2011.
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