A combined total of £136,874,598 was realised at the Impressionist & Modern Art evening sale and Art of the Surreal which launched 20th Century at Christie’s in London last night. The top lot was Paul Gauguin’s Te Fare (La maison) which made £20,325,000. René Magritte’s La corde sensible set a new world record at auction for the artist of £14,441,348. The evening saw an electric start with lively bidding for Portrait de Lluis Alemany, a work dating from the very beginning of Picasso’s career (£773,000), and continued with Berthe Morisot’s Femme en noir or Avant le théâtre which achieved £2,045,000 against a pre-sale estimate of £600,000-800,000 and Femme et enfant au balcon also by Morisot, which more than doubled its high estimate to realise £4,085,000.
The nine further works from the personal collection of Barbara Lambrecht, including paintings by Kees van Dongen, Raoul Dufy, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Félix Vallotton, each sold above estimate with the group totalling £15,945,000 to date. All proceeds are to benefit the Rubens Prize Collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art Siegen. There was sell through rates of 92% by lot and 96% by value and registered bidders from 39 countries across five continents demonstrate continued global interest from buyers with notable bidding from Asia.