Sotheby’s evening sale of Impressionist, Modern & Surrealist Art achieved £163.5 million, the highest-ever total for any auction held by Sotheby’s in London. The top lot of the evening was Camille Pissarro’s restituted masterwork Le Boulevard Montmartre, matinée de printemps (1897), which sold for £19,682,500, a new record for the artist at auction. Vincent Van Gogh’s L'Homme est en mer (1889) soared to £16,882,500, double the high estimate and the highest price for painting by the artist sold at auction in London in 25 years.
Works from the private collection of Jan Krugier soared above expectations with records set for works on paper by Picasso, Giacometti and Bonnard. A highlight of the collection was Pablo Picasso’s Composition (Composition au minotaure) sold for £10,386,500, a record price for a work on paper by the artist at auction.
Sotheby’s Impressionist, Modern & Surrealist Art Evening Sale offers an exceptional variety of paintings, sculptures and works on paper by the greatest artists of the late 19th and 20th centuries. Leading the sale is Pissarro’s extraordinary Le Boulevard Montmartre, matinée de printemps, which belongs to the most celebrated series of urban scenes produced by the artist and is undoubtedly one of the finest Impressionist paintings to appear at auction for many years. A further highlight is Boléro violet, which was painted by Matisse in 1937 and exemplifies the mastery of form and colour for which he is renowned.
We are also especially honoured to be offering in this sale a selection of the finest works from the private collection of the Late Jan Krugier. Celebrated in a series of exhibitions across Europe, Krugier’s collection of drawings and watercolours are a wonderful illustration of his exquisite eye and passionate love of art. The rich variety of the group, which spans the art of the late 18th century to the 1950s, is characterised by wonderful works such as drawings from Goya’s private albums, Picasso’sComposition (Composition au Minotaure) and Giacometti’s iconic sculptureHomme traversant une place par un matin de soleil.
There is a number of outstanding works by Marc Chagall coming from private collections including the magnificent Violoncelliste and the vibrantCirque au village. There are also several masterworks of German Expressionism by Wassily Kandinsky, Alexej von Jawlensky and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Surrealist art is strongly represented by several works by Magritte, including the enchanting Le beau monde, and Miró’s poeticPeinture from 1926. Other remarkable examples include Buste à tiroir by Salvador Dalí and a suite of pen and ink drawings by Delvaux which were created for his friend, the poet Claude Spaak.