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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Auction Records Set Including Monet, Giacometti, Rodin and Miro

NEW YORK – The evening sale of Impressionist and Modern Art at Christie’s New York totaled $277,276,000/£140,749,239/€178,887,742, Christie’s third highest result ever for the category. The auction featured particularly strong results for both 19th and 20th century paintings and sculpture created by some of the leading masters of art history. The sale was 82% sold by value, 76% sold by lot.

“We saw very strong prices in many areas this evening as the global market responded positively, and we are pleased with the overall result for the sale. Christie’s set new auction records for major masters, and it was particularly gratifying to note sculpture continued its ascent in the marketplace, and now commands prices equivalent to great pictures,” said Marc Porter, President of Christie’s Americas.

A new world auction record was set for a rare and luminous Claude Monet masterpiece of high Impressionist style from 1873 when Pont du chemin de fer à Argenteuil sold for $41.48 million. One of the greatest Impressionist pictures left in private hands, it contained all the trademark themes of Monet’s early work of the 1870s. The auction also featured Nymphéas, a 1908 canvas that dates to Monet’s most creative and productive period of his late career that sold for $11,689,000.

Sculpture had an exceptional evening at Christie’s with two of the greatest masters of the period setting new auction records, one conceived in the 1880s, the other cast in the 1960s. Eve, grand modèle-version sans rocher by Auguste Rodin marks one of the great turning points in modern sculpture and was initially conceived in the 1880s for The Gates of Hell and sold for $18,969,000, doubling the previous record for this revolutionary sculptor. The celebrated modern master Alberto Giacometti also had a superlative night, with the monumental nine-foot high bronze Grande femme debout II, 1959/60 realizing $27,481,000, smashing the previous record for this legendary 20th century artist by $9 million. Executed in response to a commission for the new Chase Manhattan Bank headquarters and public plaza in New York. The sale featured an impressive group of Giacometti sculptures and paintings to appear at auction since Christie’s sale of the Lambert Collection in 1987, with five lots all selling for a total of $49.2 million.

Elsewhere in the sale, a new world auction record was set for Joan Miró when La Caresse des étoiles realized $17.1 million. Miró painted the work in 1938 during the Spanish Civil War and although appalled by the war, he filled it with elements conveying hope and optimism.