'Chinese Picasso' painting sells for record £2.6m

Painting Image copyright Woolley and Wallis
Image caption The large scroll painting, Grand View of Chao Mountain was painted by 20th century artist Zhang Da Qian

A painting by an artist known as the "Chinese Picasso" has sold for a record £2.64m at auction.

Large scroll painting Grand View of Chao Mountain went for £2m more than the artist's highest previous UK sale.

Zhang Da Qian, a contemporary of Pablo Picasso, gifted the painting to the seller's father over afternoon tea in Hong Kong during the 1960s.

Auctioneer John Axford said: "We were all hoping it would make over half a million. The room was electric."

The painting by Da Qian, who lived from 1899 to 1983, had been put up for auction in Salisbury on Tuesday by the original owner's daughter from Berkshire.

A dealer from mainland China was the successful buyer out of three bidders in the room and seven on the telephone.

Image copyright Woolley and Wallis
Image caption Deputy chairman of Woolley and Wallis John Axford said the sale was "terrifically exciting".

Freya Yuan-Richards, head of Chinese paintings at auctioneers Woolley and Wallis, said she was not surprised by the scroll's popularity.

She added: "Despite his prolific output, Zhang Da Qian's paintings are highly sought after by collectors, and those that feature his splashed-ink technique, like this scroll, are particularly desirable."

The auctioneer's phone bidder opened the bidding at £500,000 - five times the painting's starting price.

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