Bouguereau Painting Auctioned at Christie’s in $11,749,750 Sale

. June 10, 2010

Christie’s New York sale of Old Masters & 19th Century Art featuring Select Works from the Salander-O’Reilly Galleries on June 9 achieved $11,749,750/£8,103,276/€9,791,458 with sell-through rates of 60% by lot, 78% by value.

The top lot of the sale was William Bouguereau’s Pietà, painted in 1876, which sold for $2,770,500/£1,910,690/€2,308,750 – the second highest price at auction for this artist. This exceptional painting was purchased by a new collector to the field and directly underbid by a collector of Old Master paintings.

Nicholas Hall, International Co-Head, and Ben Hall, Head of Department, for Old Masters & 19th Century Art commented: “The market for Old Masters and 19th Century Art continued to rebound this week at Christie’s, with our mid-season sale achieving an $11.7 million result that is nearly double that of last June’s sale. A spirited round of bidding preceded the sale of our top lot, Bouguereau’s 1876 masterpiece Pietà, which sold for $2.77 million – the 2nd highest price for this artist at auction. We are also pleased to have achieved the top price for an Old Master painting this season with the sale of Pieter Brueghel II’s Autumn for $866,500. The afternoon sale session devoted to select works from the Salander O’Reilly Galleries realized $2 million, with strong results for works from the studio of El Greco and the studio of Sir Anthony Van Dyck.”

James Hastie, Head of 19th Century Art further remarked, “We are delighted with the exceptional price achieved for Bouguereau’s Pietà,, a museum-quality work of great importance and rarity. It is important to note that the winning bidder for this work was a new collector to the field, while the direct underbidder was a prominent collector of Old Masters paintings. This further illustrates the trend of cross-buying in this field and underscores the appeal of our newly amalgamated category for Old Master & 19th Century Art at Christie’s. We now look forward to our major London Evening Sale in this category to be held July 6.”

Category: Fine Art

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