Stunning results of Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Sale

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. La blanchisseuse. Circa 1886–1887. Estimate $20–25 million. Sold for $22,416,000.

Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Sale took place at the Rockefeller Center in New York on November 1. The important sale totaled stunning $160,931,200. The greatest success of the auction was a painting «The Laundress», («La blanchisseuse», circa 1886–1887) by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The moving portrait of a local woman gazing out a window estimated at $20–25 million, set a new world record for the painter fetching $22,416,000. The previous record for Toulouse-Lautrec was $14,522,500, set in 1997.

Unfortunately, Henri Matisse’s «Marguerites», which at $10 million to $15 million carried the highest estimate after the Toulouse-Lautrec, failed to sell as bidding topped off at $8.8 million. A pair of Monets also went down, drawing no bids beyond $3.2 million after pre-sale estimates of $4 million to $6 million.

Christie’s honorary chairman and the sale’s auctioneer, Christopher Burge, said the total for the auction was the biggest since 1990. The sale’s total fell just about in the middle of the pre-sale estimates, with a healthy 58 of the 63 lots on offer finding buyers.

Other highlights included Monet’s «Water Lilies» («Nymphéas»),one of the artist’s seminal works painted in 1907 which fetched $14,016,000, just under its high estimate of $15 million.
But in some respects the star of the night was Paul Cezanne’s still life, «Apples and cakes» («Pommes et gateaux»), which soared to $10,320,000, or more than twice its high estimate of $4.5 million, making it the sale’s third-most-expensive work.

Works by Pablo Picasso, which landed three of the top 10 lots, and Joan Miro also achieved strong prices, with Picasso’s «Sylvette on a green armchair» («Sylvette au fauteuil vert») selling for $8,080,000 (estimate $4 million to $6 million), while Miro’s «Red sun devouring a spider» («Le soleil rouge ronge l’araignée») went for $7,744,000, just under its high estimate of $8 million.

Published in: on November 3, 2005 at 11:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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