Over the course of 50 years, Kao Ling-mei and his wife assembled what’s recognized as the world’s most comprehensive collection of paintings by Zhang Daqian (1899-1983, one of China’s best known artists of the 20th century. The 25 works that Sotheby’s will auction on May 31st have never appeared on the market before, and are expected to sell for some $16.7m.
The Chinese master, also known as a pre-eminent forger, began as a traditionalist and like Picasso, to whom he was often compared, gradually moved toward abstraction. The selection of works tracks this evolution, as well as his decades-long friendship with the Kao Ling-mei family. The top seller is expected to be his 1948 work, “Children Playing Under A Pomegranate Tree,” which carries an estimate of $1.9m-$2.6m.
Read more at Sotheby’s.