Auction of Impressionist and Modern Art Sets Record for Fernand Leger

. May 8, 2008

NEW YORK, NY – Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale set a world record for a work of art by Fernand Leger when his painting Etude Pour La Feme en Bleu sold for 39,241,000 USD. The 4-foot-tall blue-and-white “Etude pour `La Femme en Bleu”’ surpassed Leger’s $22.4 million record set five years ago at Christie’s International in New York. Léger’s heroic Femme en bleu is one of the grandes dames of Cubism. This spectacular image is one the movement’s most enduring achievements and a milestone on the path to abstraction. Created on the eve of the First World War, it captures the watershed moment when Léger pushed beyond figuration, a radical gesture which would find full expression in his celebrated Contrastes de formes of 1913.

Girls on a Bridge, one of Edvard Munch’s most widely popular and acclaimed motifs, was painted during one of the most turbulent periods of his life. The rich symbolism of this picture relates to Munch’s Frieze of Life, which takes the stages of a young woman’s development from puberty to maturity as one of its themes. Sotheby’s sold this painting for 30,841,000 USD, higher than the expected range of 24,000,000—28,000,000 USD.

Environs de Gardanne by Paul Cezanne, which the artist began in 1885 and probably finished in 1892, dates from the height of this important era and is an example of the stylistic traits that have come to define the artist’s best work. This painting sold for 10,457,000 USD.

Pablo Picasso’s La Grue sold for 19,193,000 USD. Picasso created this assemblage from a shovel, a piece of twisted wicker, two forks, a gas spigot, screw nuts and a spike.

Category: Auction News

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