Zhang Daqian's Peach Blossom Spring sets new world record

Zhang Daqian's Peach Blossom Spring has set a new world record for a Chinese painting, in a sale at Sotheby's Hong Kong on April 5.

The enormous scroll is well over two metres tall and displays a transcendent scene painted as a tribute to an imagined landscape.

Zhang Daqian record
Peach Blossom Spring was painted at Daqian's home in Tapei, Taiwan

It soared past an estimate of $8.3m to realise $34.9m, an increase of 320.4%.

The work serves as a spectacular indication as to how much the Chinese art market has expanded in recent years, having last sold for the then record sum of $241,064 in 1987.

It's achieved a staggering rise of 14,378% on that last sale price, equivalent to growth of 18.7% per annum.

Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) is considered the pre-eminent modern master of Chinese ink painting and was also one of the greatest forgers of all time.

His ability to synthesise Chinese painters of the past was unparalleled.

The inscription alongside the work is a poem and a short description of spring at Moye Jingshe, his home in Taiwan: "The plum blossoms grow exuberantly at Moye Jingshe.

"Friends who have seen them were full of praise and admiration, and described it as Paradise.

"They said that ever since I moved here, neighbours have settled in and grew flowers."

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