Impressionist and ModernArt Sale Totals $125.5 M

Tonight, Sotheby’s achieved an excellent result with an offering of Impressionist and Modern works in which all top lots sold at or above pre-sale estimates. Highlighting the sale was a masterpiece by Gustav Klimt, Landhaus am Attersee, which sold for $29,128,000, a record for the artist at auction. Painted in 1914, during the summer he spent with the family of his muse, Emilie Flöge, on the south shore of the Attersee, the painting had been estimated to sell for $18/25 million. Overall, the sale totaled $125,519,200, well within the pre-sale estimate of $111.4/155.3 million. Twenty paintings sold for over $1 million and eight for over $5 million.

David Norman, Co-Chairman of Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Department Worldwide, said: “Tonight’s sale reflected both a greater confidence among sellers to offer important works on the market and the consistent demand for outstanding quality among buyers. This resulted in strong, and in some cases, extraordinary prices across the spectrum of the Impressionist and Modern works. The bidding was dominated by American private collectors, but there was European and some Asian competition as well.”

Speaking of the sublime Gustav Klimt sold tonight, Charles Moffett, Co-Chairman of Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Department Worldwide, commented, “It was an honor to sell a work of such quality, from this date in such pristine condition. Landhaus am Attersee is as fresh as the day it came out of the artist’s studio, and that spurred the intense competition resulting in the record price tonight.”

The second highest price of the evening was Claude Monet’s Nymphéas from 1908, one of the forty-eight examples that Monet himself selected to include in the landmark 1909 exhibition of his first Water Lilies series, which sold for $10,424,000.

As many as six bidders competed for Vincent van Gogh’s La Moisson en Provence, an exquisite panoramic view of the landscape outside Arles, conceived in pen, ink and watercolor which sold for $10,424,000. Executed in 1888, this work had been estimated to sell for $7/9 million.

Pablo Picasso’s Nu couché, from The Bill Blass Collection, sparked an intense bidding battle in the salesroom tonight, finally selling for $9,752,000, far surpassing the high estimate of $7 million. Executed on canvas with black chalk, this work is from the remarkable group of images depicting a sleeping Marie-Thérèse Walter created by the artist in 1932.

Another highlight of the evening was Alexej von Jawlensky’s 1910 masterpiece, Schokko (Schokko mit Tellerhut), which sold for an outstanding $8,296,000, establishing a record for the artist at auction. One of the finest portraits by the artist ever to appear for sale, the painting was sought after by as many as five bidders in the room and on the phone, driving the price above the high estimate of $7 million.

Alberto Giacometti’s Grande femme debout IV, among the largest and most beautiful of the artist’s celebrated interpretations of female figures, sold tonight for $9,640,000. One of a series of four monumental female figures that Giacometti created for an outdoor sculptural installation in Chase Manhattan Plaza, the sculpture had been estimated for sell for $8/10 million.

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Published in: on November 7, 2003 at 9:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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