Pot of gold struck in underrated artist

Central Station | 20 Dec 2017

A still-life by the Chinese artist Sanyu sold for a record 8.8 million euros (HK$81.2 million) in Paris, an auction house said.

The oil painting of a pot of flowers set a new European record for the artist, who died in 1966, having spent most of his life in the French capital.

Painted in 1930, the canvas was lost for decades before reappearing in the 1970s near the City of Light.

Sanyu, born Chang Yu in Nanchong in 1901, was talent-spotted by renowned dealer Henri-Pierre Roche, who also championed Picasso, Brancusi and Man Ray.

Roche bought 111 of Sanyu's paintings - nearly a third of his total output. However, the artist never attained the fame of his peers during his lifetime.

Aguttes auction house, which handled the sale, also sold two works by Sanyu in 2015 for US$4.08 million (HK$31.8 million) each, then a record.

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