LONDON - On an evening that saw many extraordinary works by Impressionist and Modern masters go under the hammer, it was Gustav Klimt’s 1902 Bildnis Gertrud Loew that took centre stage, reaching £24.8 million (US$38.1 million) following a lively bidding war. The sum helped propel the night’s total to £178.6 million (US$282 million). Klimt fans take heart: the painting will appear in a major exhibition to be held next fall at the Neue Galerie in New York.
Further bolstering the evening’s tremendous total was the £21.4 million (US$33 million) realised by Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematism, 18th Construction a true masterwork recently restituted to the artist’s family. Completed in 1915, the year that Malevich began his Suprematist paintings, the painting represents a pivotal moment in the artist’s career as well as in the history of art.
KAZIMIR MALEVICH’S SUPREMATISM, 18TH CONSTRUCTION SOLD FOR £21,429,000.
Equally significant is Eduard Manet’s Le Bar aux Folies-Bergère, a precursor to the famed 1882 work of the same title that now hangs in the Courtauld Gallery in London and is considered the painter’s crowning achievement. The rare-to-market work sold for £17 million (US$26 million).
EDOUARD MANET’S LE BAR AUX FOLIES-BERGÈRE SOLD FOR £16,949,000.
A striking work by Pablo Picasso, Deux Personnages (La Lecture), brought £16.4 million (US$25.2 million). The depiction of two women reading belongs to the extraordinary group of works inspired by his adored mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter. Distinguished by their rich colouration, harmonic curves and sweeping arabesques, the Marie-Thérèse pictures are among the most admired and recognizable of Picasso’s paintings.
PABLO PICASSO’S DEUX PERSONNAGES (LA LECTURE) SOLD FOR £16,389,000.