The 20th November sale of 19th Century European Paintings at Sotheby’s London brought a strong total of £8,286,900, within the pre-sale estimate of £6.7 - 9.8 million.
The sale was led by Joaquín Sorolla’s Pescadores valencianos (Valencian Fishermen), which sold to a European Foundation for £3,737,250, establishing a record for the artist at auction in sterling.
Aside from the Sorolla, a number of other key works in the sale achieved prices well above their estimates. Danish artist Peder Severin Krøyer’s Marie Krøyer and Anna Ancher on the Beach at Skagen sold for £493,250, eclipsing its pre-sale estimate of £150,000 - 250,000 and establishing the second highest price for the artist at auction. In addition, a painting by Gustave Courbet never before offered on the market – Le Ruisseau de Plaisir-Fontaine, dans la vallée du Puits Noir, painted in 1864 – sold for £481,250, above the high estimate of £200,000 - 300,000. Sunset over Lake Ruovesi, a celebration of Finnish identity and the brief Nordic summer by Akseli Gallen-Kallela soared above its pre-sale estimate of £90,000 - 120,000 to achieve £325,000, the second highest price for a work by the artist at auction. A record for a gouache by the artist at auction was established when Nils Dardel’s Young Man in Black, Young Girl in White sold for £445,000 against an estimate of £400,000 - 600,000.