A sale of Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist paintings at Sotheby's on Wednesday night set the record for an auction staged in London, with Gustav Klimt's 'Bauerngarten' fetching £48 million.
Total sales at Sotheby’s totalled £194,753,500, a record for a London auction, with Picasso’s Plant de tomates also starring as it sold for £17m.
Klimt’s Bauerngarten was fought over by four bidders before the hammer fell at a price which is the third-highest for any painting ever sold at auction in Europe. Only Giacometti’s Walking Man I (which sold for £65,001,250 in 2010) and Rubens’ The Massacre of the Innocents (which went for £49,506,648 in 2002) have sold for more.
Bauerngarten is a 1907 landscape that had been in a private collection since 1994 and was most recently exhibited at the Royal Academy of Art London in the highly acclaimed ‘Painting the Modern Garden’ exhibition.
A further work by Klimt, Girl in the Foliage, also saw heated bidding as its price was pushed up to £4m, with the Gustav Klimt Vienna 1900 Foundation being the winning bidder.
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Eight Picasso paintings were sold during the course of the evening, fetching an aggregate of £54.7m, while Rene Magritte’s Souvenir de voyage and Le repas de noces sold for £3.4m and £2m respectively.
Other highlights included Amedeo Modigliani’s Portrait of Baranowski selling for £16m, and Alfred Sisley’s Effet de neige à Louveciennes going for £7.4m, a record for a Sisley.