LONDON - The Impressionist & Modern Art Evening sale in London realised £121.96 million on the strength of masterworks by Claude Monet, Piet Mondrian, Wassily Kandinsky and Pablo Picasso.
Three of the top four prices achieved in the sale were for canvases by Monet, whose Nymphéas, a 1906 painting from the artist’s famed water lily series, was the centre of a lengthy bidding war between two telephone bidders. The picture ultimately sold for £31.7 million ($54 million), making it the top lot of the evening. Monet’s La Seine à Argenteuil and Antibes, Vue du Plateau Notre-Dame also fetched strong prices, selling for £8.5 million ($14.6 million) and £7.9 million ($13.5 million) respectively.
Piet Mondrian’s 1927 canvas Composition with Red, Blue and Grey, sold for £15.2 million ($25.9 million) above its low estimate. The painting is a highly important example from the 1920s, a period during which Mondrian developed a formal vocabulary that sought to liberate painting from the domination of sensory reception.
A groundbreaking work by Wassily Kandinsky, Herbstlandschaft (Autumn Landscape) , sold for £5.6 million ($9.5 million). Painted in 1911, the vibrant composition of rich yellows, greens, purples and blues represents the artist’s achievement of near-abstraction. Another bright landscape, painted by Edvard Munch and bearing a stellar provenance easily topped its high estimate to bring more than £1 million ($1.8 million).
WASSILY KANDINSKY'S HERBSTLANDSCHAFT (AUTUMN LANDSCAPE) SOLD FOR £ 5,570,500.
Several masterful works by Picasso from across his varied oeuvre achieved strong prices including Portrait de Femme, painted in 1937, which sold for £5.3 million ($9.1 million) and L’Atelier, painted in 1962, which sold for £3.6 million ($6 million).