HONG KONG (AP) – A 700-year-old Chinese painted scroll from the Yuan Dynasty raised 306.6 million Hong Kong dollars ($ 41.8 million) at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong.
The 2 meter tall scroll entitled “Five Drunken Princes Returning on Horseback” is by Ren Renfa, a well-known Chinese artist and government official.
The painting depicts the princes on horses, along with four servants. One of the princes is Li Longji, who later became the longest reigning Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty.
The scroll is documented in imperial collections and bears a collection of seals, including those of several emperors. In 1922, the “Five Drunken Princes Returning on Horseback” role was transported from the Forbidden City by Pu Yi, the last emperor of China, after the fall of the Qing Dynasty.
The artwork was initially estimated to sell between about $ 10 million and $ 15.5 million. Many of Ren’s 21 paintings are kept in museums or belong to private collectors.
“This painting shows the story of the five drunken princes after they had a very happy time, then got drunk and went home,” said Sally Fong, a specialist in classical Chinese paintings at Sotheby’s. One of the five princes is the future emperor. In this painting we can see that he was depicted as the one who can endure drunkenness, to return home with the other drunken princes. “