Published: July 4, 2000
LONDON, ENGLAND – Christie’s sales in London realized a total of $69,925,196 June 28. Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Art achieved $46,190,947, selling 87 percent by lot and 95 percent by value. The sale of Twentieth Century art realized $23,734,248, selling 84 percent by lot and 77 percent by value. Fifteen works of art sold for over $1 million.
A work by Paul Cezanne (1839-1906), dating from circa 1895 and entitled “Still Life with Fruit and Pot of Ginger,” sold for $18,191,936, the top lot of the event. The work had never before been offered at auction.
Further highlights of Christie’s evening sale of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Art included two important works by Claude Monet. “Paysage de printemps (Giverny),” 1854, realized $6,618,836 and “Le Pont Japonais,” 1918-24, sold for $4,304,216. The superb “L’homme a la tulipe (Portrait de Jean Metzinger)” by Robert Delaunay realized $2,981,576. Arguably the most important in a series of portraits executed by Delaunay of his close friend, the work was chosen by the artist to be included in the famous “Salon d’Automne” exhibition of 1906.
Buyer activity in the sale of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Art was 53 percent from Europe (of which 26 percent were British), 43.48 percent from the Americas and 4.35 percent from Asia.
“Study for Portrait (Man Screaming), 1952,” by Francis Bacon (1909-1992), one of the most powerful examples from an important series of portrait heads painted in the early 1950s, led the evening sale of Twentieth Century Art which totaled $23,734,248. Bidding in the sale overall was 64 percent from Europe (28 percent British), 28 percent from the Americas and eight percent from Asia.
Recently rediscovered in a private collection, “Study for Portrait (Man Screaming)” by Francis Bacon sold for $4,469,546, was formerly only known to collectors from a black and white photograph published in the artist’s catalogue raisonne.
Further highlights of the sale included “Les Promeneuses” by Paul Delvaux, a nocturnal landscape painted in April 1947, that sold for $3,146,906. “Mobile au plomb” by Alexander Calder, one of the first moving sculptures that the artist made, realized $1,196,012. Executed in 1931, it is one of the artist’s first abstract works, belonging to an important period of artistic breakthrough that produced many of Calder’s most beautiful sculptures.
Two artist records were established for Laslo Moholy-Nagy, whose work “AXI” sold for $1,080,281 and for Lucio Fontana, whose “Concetta spaziale, All’alba Venezia era tutta d’argento,” 1961, realized £685,750.
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