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    Thursday, March 30th, 2017

    Pablo Picasso, Femme assise, robe bleue UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $45,047,500

    Femme assise, robe bleue by Pablo Picasso will be a highlight at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale in New York on May 15.  Painted on Picasso’s birthday on October 25, 1939 it is a searing portrait of Picasso’s lover, Dora Maar. This was just after the beginning of World War II.  Filled with the unique character, distortions and tension that mark Picasso’s greatest portraits of Dora there is at the same time a tender sensuality in the organic, curvaceous forms of the face which provides some insight into their relationship. This picture was formerly owned by G. David Thompson, to whom the great curator and art historian Alfred H. Barr, Jr. referred as, ‘one of the great collectors of the art of our time. It is estimated at $35,000,000-50,000,000.

    Giovanna Bertazzoni, Deputy Chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art, remarked: “We are bringing Femme assise, robe bleue to the market at a time when the demand for Picasso’s portraits of one of his greatest subjects, Dora Maar, is at an all-time high. The canvas is a powerful example of Picasso’s creative imagination and the passion which Dora inspired in him.”

    Francis Outred, Chairman and Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, EMERI said: “Femme assise, robe bleue is a timeless icon of artist and muse which speaks to collectors across the centuries and continents.  Coming from a major European collection, the picture holds within it an incredible story.  It originally belonged to Picasso’s dealer, Paul Rosenberg but was confiscated in 1940 soon after its creation.  Later in the War it was intended to be transported to Germany but was famously intercepted and captured by members of the French Resistance, an event immortalised, albeit in fictional form, in the 1966 movie The Train, starring Burt Lancaster and Jeanne Moreau. In real life, one of the people who helped to sabotage the National Socialists’ attempt to remove countless artworks from France towards the end of the war was in fact Alexandre Rosenberg. The son of Paul Rosenberg, he had enlisted with the Free French Forces after the invasion of France in 1940.  The painting was subsequently owned by the Pittsburgh steel magnate and legendary collector, George David Thompson, from whose collection many works now grace the walls of museums in the United States and Europe.  We fully expect the romance and power of this painting and its remarkable story to capture the hearts and minds of our global collectors of masterpieces from Old Masters to Contemporary, this May.”


    Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

    Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) – Bauerngarten painted in 1907

    Gustav Klimt’s Bauerngarten sold for £47.9 million at Sotheby’s in London tonight. The third highest price for any work of art ever sold at auction in Europe was achieved at a sale which scored the highest total of £195 million for any auction ever staged in London.  At the Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist art evening sales five lots sold for over £10 million.

    The Klimt was a record for a landscape by the artist. Four bidders competed for the luminous flower garden. Bauerngarten was painted in 1907 during the golden period of Klimt’s career.

    It was a highlight of the critically acclaimed ‘Painting the Modern Garden’ exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London last year and at at auction for the first time in over two decades.

    Picasso’s Plante de Tomates, painted just days before the liberation of Paris in 1944, sold for £17 million. This is a record for a still life by the artist. The total achieved for eight works by Picasso over the course of the evening was £54.7 million. Two other works by Picasso exceeded £10 million – Femme nu assise (£13.6 million) and  Femme assise dans un fauteuil sur fond blanc (£12 million).  Modigliani’s Portrait of Baranowski made £16 million and a Tahiti painting by Gauguin sold for £8.3 million.

    Helena Newman, Global Co-Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Department & Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, said:
    Tonight’s outstanding result is a new benchmark for London sales as much as it is a statement on the momentum of the global art market in 2017. The success of tonight’s sale lies in reading the market to know what buyers are looking for, and Sotheby’s having been entrusted by our clients with extraordinary works. This, combined with the pent up market demand for works of such extraordinary calibre, propelled global buying in our saleroom – particularly from Asia –  and it was wonderful to experience on the rostrum.”

    Amedeo Modigliani
    PORTRAIT DE BARANOWSKI sold for £16 million

    Ernst Ludwig Kirchner – Vier Akte under Baumen (Four nudes under trees) sold for £5.4 million.

    Paul Gauguin – Te Arii Vahine sold for £8.3 million


    Tuesday, December 20th, 2016
    The most expensive lot at Sotheby's in 2016 was Picasso's Femme Assise

    The most expensive lot at Sotheby’s in 2016 was Picasso’s Femme Assise

    A heady list of art and diamonds make up Sotheby’s top ten lots in 2016.  Picasso, Modigliani, Munch, Twombly, Bacon, Daqian, Richter and Gentileschi in that order accounted for the top art works, a blue diamond and a pink diamond made up the balance.

    Picasso’s  Femme Assise, 1909 which sold for £43,269,000 ($63,631,391) in London in June topped the list.  Next came Amedeo Modigliani with Jeanne Hébuterne (Au Foulard), 1919 which sold for £38,509,000 ($56,631,335): Edvard Munch, Pikene på broen (Girls on the Bridge), 1902 which sold for $54,487,500: Cy Twombly, Untitled (New York City), 1968 sold for $36,650,000: Francis Bacon, Two Studies For A Self-Portrait, 1970 sold for $34,970,000: Zhang Daqian, Peach Blossom Spring, 1982 sold for HKD $270,680,000 (US$ 34,702,564) and Gerhard Richter, A.B., Still, 1986 sold for $33,987,500.
    Number eight on the list was the De Beers Millennium Jewel 4 which sold for HK$248,280,000 ($32,013,223). Ninth came the Unique Pink, a fancy vivid diamond ring which sold for CHF 30,826,000 (US$31,561,200) and Orazio Gentileschi, Danaë, 1621 which sold for $30,490,000 was tenth.


    Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

    Monet, Picasso and Kandinsky will lead Christie’s auction of Impressionist and Modern Art in New York on November 16.   The evening sale of 49 works by the major artists of the era is expected to achieve more than $200 million.

    Brooke Lampley, Christie’s Head of Impressionist and Modern Art, New York, remarked: “This sale constitutes an exceptional line-up of masterpieces and fresh to market gems perfectly suited to collectors’ taste. From Monet to Kandinsky, Cézanne to Matisse, and a great range of works by Picasso, all of the sought after artists of the period are well represented in this sale, with offerings at every price level.”

    Chaim Soutine - Le garçon d'etage ($6-9 million. Courtesy Christie's Images Lt.d, 2016.

    Chaim Soutine – Le garçon d’etage ($6-9 million. Courtesy Christie’s Images Lt.d, 2016.  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $6,519,500

    Claude Monet - Meule (Grainstack) Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2016

    Claude Monet – Meule (Grainstack) Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2016  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $81,447,500


    Tuesday, June 21st, 2016


    Pablo Picasso’s Cubist masterpiece Femme assise sold for £43.3 million at Sotheby’s in London tonight.  This is a new record price for any Cubist work at auction and the highest price for any work sold in London in over five years.

    Femme assise of 1909 came to the market tonight having remained in a private collection since 1973 when it was acquired for £340,000. The sale also saw a record for a portrait by Amedeo Modigliani, as Jeanne Hébuterne (au foulard) of 1919 mde £38.5 million, the second-highest price for a painting sold in London in over five years. The evening sale of  Impressionist & Modern Art at Sotheby’s totalled £103,280,000.

    The price paid for Femme Assise was the highest price in London since the sale of Alberto Giacometti’s Walking Man I at Sotheby’s London in 2010 for £65 million.

    (See posts on for June 5 and May 17, 2016 and World Sculpture Price Records)


    Tuesday, May 17th, 2016
    Picasso - Femme assise

    Picasso – Femme assise  UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR £43.3 MILLION

    Picasso’s Femme assise, hailed by Sotheby’s as the most important Cubist painting to come to auction in decades, will lead the Impressionist and Modern art sale at Sotheby’s in London on June 21. Painted in 1909 it is from the series that revolutionized Picasso’s working methods.

    It was painted in the summer of that year when Picasso travelled to the remote village of Horta de Ebro in his native Spain. The village was accessible only by mule.  Here he created a number of canvasses based on his love Fernande Olivier.  Femme assize is one of a small number of portraits from the series remaining in private hands.   Sotheby’s has not released an estimate for the work.

    Helena Newman, Global Co-Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Department, said: Cubism not only underpins Picasso’s entire creative output but also marks a defining moment in Modern Art.  Whilst major paintings from other key periods by Picasso have appeared on the market in recent years, it has been decades since a Cubist painting of this calibre has been offered at auction, since virtually all the significant works of this period are in international museums and institutions.  Femme assise, painted in 1909, is one of the artist’s greatest masterpieces to be sold in a generation.”


    Thursday, April 28th, 2016
    Picasso's silver plates.

    Picasso’s silver plates.

    A set of 24 silver plates by Picasso will come up at Sotheby’s Boundless: Contemporary Art sale in Hong Kong on June 23. Picasso created a large volume of ceramics and crockery in numbered editions, but only crafted silver plates in 24 designs throughout his entire oeuvre.  This is the first time a complete set has appeared at any auction. It is estimated at $1.55-2.33 million. Conceived between 1956 and 1967, the plates were designed by Picasso together with French silversmith François Hugo, then cast by Hugo and his son Pierre Hugo on private request by individuals. All 20 editions of each plate have been sold out for years.


    Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

    An exceptional selection of 52 works will feature at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale in New York on May 12. Led by outstanding paintings by Monet, Picasso, and Modigliani, many of which have not been on the market for decades, the sale will feature several estates and private collections including The H.O. Havemeyer Collection, The Collection of Kenneth and Susan Kaiserman, The Ducommun Family Collection, and A Distinguished American Collection offering Frida Kahlo’s dream like love scene of Dos Desnudos en el bosque.

    Brooke Lampley, Christie’s Head of Impressionist and Modern Art, New York,  remarked: “This season we tailored our sale to meet current collector demand for iconic examples from the most celebrated artists of the period. The two Monets, Modigliani portrait, Picasso mousquetaire and Braque still life are all of unmatched quality and come with distinguished provenance.”

    Claude Monet (1840-1926) Le bassin aux nymphéas ($25-35 million). Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2016

    Claude Monet (1840-1926)
    Le bassin aux nymphéas ($25-35 million). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2016  UPDATE: SOLD FOR $27,045,000

    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Homme assis ($12-18 million). Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd, 2016

    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
    Homme assis ($12-18 million). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd, 2016  UPDATE: SOLD FOR $8,005,000

    Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) Jeune femme à la rose (Margherita) Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2016. ($12-18 million)

    Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920)
    Jeune femme à la rose (Margherita) Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2016. ($12-18 million)  UPDATE: SOLD FOR $12,765,000

    Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) Dos desnudos en el bosque (La tierra misma) ($8-12 million). Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2016.

    Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)
    Dos desnudos en el bosque (La tierra misma) ($8-12 million). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2016. UPDATE: SOLD FOR $8,005,000, A WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR ANY LATIN AMERICAN ARTIST


    Friday, March 25th, 2016

    An auction of important ceramics by Pablo Picasso takes place at Sotheby’s in London on April 5. There are over 200 ceramics, with estimates ranging from £1,000 – 1,500 to £80,000 – 120,000.  The focus of the sale is Picasso’s editioned ceramics and the Nina Miller Collection is highlighted by two unique ceramics Caractère

    Picasso - Caractère

    Picasso – Caractère  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    (£20,000 – 30,000) and Deux Poissons (£25,000 – 35,000).  Beginning with his first trip to Vallauris in the summer of 1946, Picasso remained enchanted by the freedom and expressive nature of the ceramic medium through the last 25 years of his life.  Taken by the idea that anyone could buy, use and decorate their homes with them he was persuaded to make numbered editions of some. There are 633 multiples, usually in editions of from 25 to 500.


    Picasso - Tripode, Gros oiseau

    Picasso – Tripode, Gros oiseau  UPDATE: TRIPODE SOLD FOR £191,000, GROS OISEAU FOR 3106,250

    Picasso - Deux Poissons

    Picasso – Deux Poissons  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £28,750


    Friday, February 5th, 2016
    Paul Delvaux - Le Miroir - sold for £7.3 million, an auction record.

    Paul Delvaux – Le Miroir – sold for £7.3 million, an auction record.

    Collectors were out in force as Sotheby’s recorded sales of £126.8 million in London this week.  The enduring appetite of collectors in a resilient global market was noted by Helena Newman, Global Co-Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Department.

    She said: The outstanding result of today’s ‘Picasso in Private’ auction drew the week of sales to a close on a high note, with prices soaring above high estimate. Looking at the results across our first sale series of 2016, we have seen solid demand and activity at each level of the market across as broad an international spectrum of participants as ever. We saw 5 works selling for over £7 million / $10 million through to 19 works that sold over £1 million / 26 over $1million, and extraordinary strength in sculpture and Surrealist art this week. With a remarkable 543 lots offered over the course of the week at a sell-through rate of 78%, the sale results reflect the enduring appetite of collectors in a resilient global market.”