Paul Cezanne’s “Les Pommes” sold for $41.6 million at Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Sale which totaled $230 million, just shy of its $235 million high estimate. The top lot, Cezanne’s “Les Pommes”, a still life by Cézanne from 1889-90 was expected to bring $25 million to $35 million.
When auction began three bidders pushed up prices, before it sold to a telephone bidder for $37 million, or $41.6 million with fees. This painting is followed by Amedeo Modigliani’s famed portrait “L’Amazone,” which went for $25.9 million.
This two works are from the collection of philanthropists Alex and Elisabeth Lewyt and will fund a foundation set up in their honor, with a focus on animal welfare and their other favored causes.
Madonna’s “Trois Femmes a la Table Rouge,” a Cubist work painted by Fernand Leger in 1921, sold for $7.2 million, exceeding its estimate of $5-7 milliion.
The first of the big spring auctions began Tuesday night at Sotheby’s, and among crowd of visitors were seen the rapper L L Cool J and the New York businessman Donald L. Bryant Jr. All eyes were on the front row, as members of the Nahmad family — the dynasty of dealers with galleries in the Carlyle Hotel in New York and on Cork Street in London — sat in their usual places.
Jeune Fille Endormie by Pablo PicassoPablo Picasso’s painting Jeune Fille Endormie, showing Marie-Therese snoozing on her folded arms, is estimated to fetch £9 million ($15 million) to £12 million ($20 million) at Christie’s International. An anonymous American donor has given a Picasso canvas to the University of Sydney on the condition the school use proceeds from the painting’s sale to fund scientific research.
Jeune fille endormie, painted in 1935, shows Marie-Therese Walter asleep on her arms. It was bought by Walter P Chrysler, founder of the motor company, and was shown at a Picasso retrospective at MoMa in 1939 and an exhibition of works from the Chrysler collection in 1941. It has changed hands just once since and not been seen in public. Giovanna Bertazzoni, head of impressionist and modern art at Christie’s London, called it an absolute jewel of a painting by one of the great artistic geniuses of western art.
Pablo Picasso’s Painting “La Lecture”
A Pablo Picasso painting, La Lecture fetched £25.2 million ($40.7 million) at a Sotheby’s auction on Tuesday. La Lecture, which shows the artist’s 17-year-old mistress Marie-Therese Walter snoozing in an armchair, went for double the estimate at sale in London last night.
It was a far from frenzied evening. Bidding for La Lecture opened at £9m and crawled slowly upwards, comfortably exceeding a pre-sale estimate of between £12m and 18m. Sotheby’s said the bidder was anonymous and announced themselves pleased with the result. There were at least seven bidders from all around the world and it was consistent with the interest we had before the sale – it is a widely admired and much appreciated painting, said Helena Newman, European chairman of Sotheby’s impressionist and modern art.
Henri Matisse Nu de Dos (Bronze Back IV)
A lifesize Henri Matisse sculpture of a woman has broken the auction prize for the artist after selling for $48.8million (£30.2m) at Christie’sImpressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale in New York City. A bidding war sent the price of the bronze relief sculpture Nu de dos, 4 état (Back IV), well above its pre-sale estimate of up to $35 million.
The sculpture of a woman leaning on a wall as seen from behind is from Matisse’s Back series of life-size relief sculptures. Matisse is said to have created a series of four of the bronze reliefs from 1908 to 1931. The singular pattern of the works is a woman leaning against a wall seen from behind.