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    Egon Schiele's world record painting entitled Houses with Laundry (Suburb II). (Click on image to enlarge).

    There was a world auction record for Egon Schiele at Sotheby’s on June 22. His Häuser mit bunter Wäsche (Vorstadt II) / Houses with Laundry (Suburb II) made £24,681,250, almost double the previous auction record for the Austrian artist.

    The painting, sold by the Leopold Museum in Vienna, was bought by an anonymous telephone bidder.  Executed in 1914 at the height of Egon Schiele’s short career (he died in 1918 at the age of just 28), the painting is one of the most impressive of the artist’s few monumental cityscapes and is loosely based on motifs drawn from Krumau, the town known to have inspired some of his greatest works. It was this town in Southern Bohemia in which Schiele’s mother was born, and to which Schiele and his lover Valerie (Wally) Neuzil moved in 1911 in order to escape what they perceived as the claustrophobic atmosphere of Vienna.

    Overall, the sale achieved £96,968,000, within the pre-sale estimate of £77 to £111 million. It was  91.4% sold by lot and 98.4% by value. Records were also set for Marc Chagall’s Au-Dessus de la ville, which made £1,833,250, a record for a work on paper by the artist  and Tamara de Lempicka’s  La Dormeuse of 1930 which made  £4,073,250/$6,617,809, a US dollar record for the artist.

    The June Impressionist & Modern Art sale at Sotheby’s made £14,622,250, bringing the total for the June series to £111,590,250.

    See post for May 5.

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