After Sotheby’s sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in New York raised a total of $170.5 million on Tuesday, Christie’s continued the story with its successful sale on Wednesday, totaling $156 million. The most expensive two items sold at the auction were a Claude Monet oil on canvas, called “Les Peupliers”, and a Maurice de Vlaminck from 1905, called “Paysage de banlieue”. They each sold for $22.5 million, and this was a spectacular record for Vlaminck, whose last most expensive creation sold for “only” $10.8 million.
“Les Femmes d’Alger, version L” was a Picasso that fetched $21.4 million, even though it had been initially estimated to sell for $30 million. One piece of art that surpassed previous estimates was Maximilien Luce’s “Notre-Dame de Paris”, which had been expected to go for $2-3 million but which managed to find a bidder willing to shell out $4.226 million on it. Also in this “pleasant surprises” category was “La fenetre ouverte” by Matisse, which sold for $15.76 million, as opposed to the previous estimates of $10-$12 million.
Unsurprisingly, Christie’s officials declared themselves satisfied with the sale. Even though 18% of the items were not sold, the event was a success and “showed the continuing strength of a market for quality pictures”, according to Christopher Burge, Christie’s honorary chairman.