Antiques Corner by Patrick Van de Vorst

Oil on canvas painting by Zao Wou-Ki
Oil on canvas painting by Zao Wou-Ki

THIS week we value an oil on canvas painting by Zao Wou-Ki.

Zao was a School of Paris painter in oils and watercolour, as well as a lithographer and etcher.

He was born in Peking and studied from 1935 1940 at the School of Fine Arts in Hangchow, where he was taught both traditional Chinese and modern Western styles.

Zao was influenced largely by reproductions in books of late-19th and 20th-century European art, and painted pictures inspired by Picasso and Matisse.

He made delicate landscapes of Venice, Amsterdam, and Paris, in a Klee-like style for several years, then began about 1953 to paint mysterious semi-abstract pictures closer to the Chinese landscape tradition, such as this piece.

Zao Wou-Ki’s paintings are highly attractive and this, together with the strength of the Chinese market, have made him the Asia’s top-selling living artist at auction.

Since this painting features the main publication on the artist, there is little to question in terms of authenticity.

Our specialists valued the painting at £1m to £1.5m.