Photo via Sotheby's Photo via Sotheby's

Barnebys has looked forward to Sotheby's Impressionist, Modernist and Surrealist art auctions for quite some time. The wait was over last Wednesday and the London auctions ended up setting several new records.

Sotheby's estimated that the 52 lots from the Impressionist and Modern Art catalogues would net between $184-249 million. However, the entire sale ended up bringing in $259 million. The Surrealist Art auction included 23 works of art whereof 16 were sold. What all of this adds up to is that Sotheby's sold art for more than a total of $280 million, which sets a new record for the London auction house.

One of the auction highlights was Odalisque au fauteuil noir, a Henri Matisse piece from 1942 with an estimate of $13,5- $18 million but ended up selling for $23.8 million. The highest price from the Surrealist section was the René Magritte painting L'Explication, which fetched $5.6 million.

CLAUDE MONET (1840 - 1926). LE GRAND CANAL IN VENICE, 1908. Sold at auction for $35.6 million. CLAUDE MONET (1840 - 1926). LE GRAND CANAL IN VENICE, 1908. Sold at auction for $35.6 million.

The auction's main highlights were five Claude Monet paintings, which Barnebys have previously written about. The pieces ended up selling for a combined $83.7 million. Monet's Le Grand Canal in Venice from 1908 was first sold at auction in 1989, fetching $11.5 million. In 2005 the piece went up on the auction block again, this time selling for $12.9 million. Last Wednesday, ten years later, the painting sold for no less than $35.6 million! Who said art wasn't a good investment?

 

Sotheby's will host their Contemporary Art Auction on February 10, which includes lots from an important Swedish collection.

 

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