Yuan Yao's Cantilevered Road set to lead Sotheby's Chinese art sale

The Cantilevered Road to Shu (1743) by Yuan Yao is to headline a sale of Chinese painting and calligraphy at Sotheby's New York on March 20 with a $2m-3m estimate.

Yuan Yao was an artist active during the Qing dynasty (1644-1912) and the nephew of Yuan Jiang, a painter who served the royal court during the Yong Zheng era.

Yuan Yao Cantilevered Shu
The Cantilevered Road to Shu is executed on a single large piece of silk

The work is executed in ink on a large piece of silk by a single hand, which is unusual as generally assistants were employed for fine detailing. It displays masterly composition and use of perspective.

A Bit of Everything by Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), a set of 14 small studies, is estimated to make $400,000-500,000.

Both a talented artist and a supremely gifted forger, Zhang Daqian is regarded as one of the greatest Chinese artists of the 20th century.

While his original work regularly auctions for eight figure sums, his forgeries are considered virtually undetectable and have been purchased by some of the world's most important museums.

Examples of Daqian's work have performed well at recent auctions, with a series of four flowering lotus scrolls achieving $10.4m in May 2013. His record was set at $24.6m for Lotus and Mandarin Ducks at Sotheby's in 2011.

Bada Shanren's Rock, Bamboo and Ducks is valued at $380,000-480,000.

Active during the Ming period (1368-1644), Shanren's work is easily identifiable as a result of his unique brush technique. In September last year, his Studio of Autumn Mountain made $2.4m at Sotheby's.

Also taking place as part of New York's Asia Week is the sale of Min Feingle, the world's most valuable Chinese archaic bronze.

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