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First ever portrait of Prince Charles by Chinese artist to be auctioned at Sotheby's
HRH The Prince of Wales with Myriam Ullens and Yan Pei-Ming’s Portrait. Photo: Paul Burns. Copyright: Clarence House.
LONDON.- Sotheby's today revealed the first ever portrait of HRH the Prince of Wales by a Chinese artist. The portrait, by the renowned contemporary painter, Yan Pei-Ming, is estimated to raise £200,000-300,000 for charity at a Gala Evening and Auction at Sotheby’s on Wednesday 16th October 2013 during Frieze week. Funds raised will be split between The Prince’s Drawing School and the Mimi Foundation; a charity founded in 2004 by influential collector and supporter of young Chinese artists, Myriam Ullens, after her own experience with cancer. The charity operates wellness centres for patients across Switzerland, France and Belgium, and aims to expand its activities across Europe. The Prince's Drawing School was founded by The Prince of Wales and aims to raise the standard and profile of drawing through teaching and practise. It is one of only a few institutions in the world offering in-depth, quality tuition for those who wish to develop their observational drawing skills.

Born in Shanghai in 1960, Yan Pei-Ming has gained international recognition for his large-sized, monochromatic portraits. His subjects, which range from historical figures, political leaders, and celebrities to anonymous soldiers, prisoners, orphans, as well as the artist himself, are typically presented face-on, with bold and expressive brushwork. The Prince of Wales did not sit for the portrait; instead it was painted using photographs to obtain the likeness. The artist’s fluid yet precise technique and his use of shallow pictorial space combine to create iconic, monumental, and psychologically charged works. Yan Pei-Ming’s works are represented in museum collections worldwide, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and the Shanghai Art Museum.

Yan Pei-Ming said: “The genre of portraiture is paramount in my work. The portrait reveals the feeling of our time. It is a look into the human who I want to express as timeless, universal, eternal, through the use of black and white. Prince Charles represents one of the greatest dynasties in Europe and, at the same time, through him, the pictorial, the written, the expression becomes the very subject of the painting.”

The portrait will be offered alongside 38 other major new and important works donated by some of the world’s leading contemporary artists including Antony Gormley, Tracey Emin, Andreas Gursky, Sterling Ruby, Liu Xiaodong, Ryan Trecartin, Farhad Moshiri, Yang Shaobin, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Zhan Wang, who have pledged their support for those who are living through the challenges of cancer treatment by offering works, many created specially for the occasion. Proceeds from the sale are expected to raise in excess of £1 million.

Myriam Ullens, Founder, The Mimi Foundation, said; “Having worked with Yan Pei Ming for many years, this portrait represents the culmination of his career so far. I’m delighted that such a fantastic collaboration has been realized in honour and support of those fighting cancer.”

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