The Market's Hottest Artists

By Ben Steverman - 2012-10-16T15:46:39Z

Photograph by AFP via Getty Images

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2. Qi Baishi

Change since 2000: +5,534%

Qi Baishi is considered 20th century China's most popular painter. Born a peasant in 1864, he painted in a traditional Chinese style -- often images of small animals such as mice or shrimp -- despite having no formal training. He died in 1957. This month a series of Qi Baishi paintings were the top lot in a five-day, $263-million auction in Hong Kong dominated by Chinese mainland buyers.

Top sale price: $65.5 million for "Eagle Standing on Pine Tree" (left) in May 2011.