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    Munch’s The Scream made $119.9, the highest ever price for a work of art at auction.

    THE high end of the international art market powered ahead in 2012. Impressionist, modern, postwar and contemporary art sales in London and New York brought in $3.8 billion compared with $3 billion in 2011. Postwar and contemporary art sales were extraordinary, and accounted for $2.3 billion worth of sales.

    Louis le Brocquy’s Procession of Lilies sold for 320,000.

    Sotheby’s, which has had a good 2012, set the record for the highest ever price for a work of art at auction when Munch’s The Scream sold for $119.9 million in May. Sotheby’s achieved the highest ever price for a drawing with Raphael’s Head of a Young Apostle which sold for £29.7 million in London in December and a new record price for a work by a living artist with Gerhard Richter’s Abstrakts Bild (809-4) which sold for £21.3 million. The second most expensive artwork sold in 2012 was Mark Rothko’s “Orange, Red, Yellow” which made $86.9 million at Christie’s in New York in May.
    Recession has been a feature of the market for Irish art. The most expensive Irish work sold in Ireland was Louis le Brocquy’s Procession of Lilies which made 320,000 at James Adam in September. In England a Shakespearean themed work by Cork born Daniel Maclise (1806-1870) – The Wrestling Scene from “As You Like It” – made £337,250 at Christie’s last week. (See post on for November 28, 2012).

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