Zhang Daqian's Shitao lotus makes $965,000 at Sotheby's New York

Zhang Daqian's Lotus after Shitao (1943) realised $965,000 at Sotheby's Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy auction in New York on September 18.

Daqian calligraphy
Zhang Daqian is considered one of the greatest forgers of the 20th century

The inscription reads: "A blossom and a leaf: the meaning of [the Buddha's] arrival from the West:

"Did Dadi know this or not then?

"I wish to move and live amidst the flowers,

"But worry that my mundane thoughts would disturb the waters."

Daqian (1899-1983) is among the best known Chinese artists of the 20th century. He was also a master forger with an uncanny ability to ape the styles of artists from history.

It's estimated that a significant proportion of Chinese paintings in museum collections around the world are in fact his own work.

In the case of the present lot he has worked in the style of Shitao (1642-1707), a prominent Qing dynasty artist.

Recently a set of hanging scrolls by Daqian depicting flowering lotuses sold for $10.4m. His auction record stands at $24.6m, set for Lotus and Mandarin Ducks at Sotheby's New York in 2011.

The sale took place as part of New York's Asian Art Week, which also featured sales of Chinese ceramics and contemporary Indian art.

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