Christie’s 19th Century European Art sales take place in London (King Street and South Kensington), New York, Amsterdam, and Paris. The enduring popularity and collectability of 19th Century European Art internationally is due to its diverse styles and schools, variety of price points, technical virtuosity and appealing subject matter.
Christie’s holds the world record price at auction for any continental European painting in this category, achieved with the sale of Théodore Géricault’s Portrait of Elisabeth and Alfred de Dreux (€9,025,000) at the landmark auction of the Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé Collection in Paris in February 2009. Masterpieces in this market have consistently performed beyond expectations, especially among the Barbizon, Orientalist, Romantic, Academic and Symbolist schools. During the June 2012 London sale, Eugene Delacroix’s study for his Apollo ceiling in the Louvre, Apollo slays Python, realised £361,250, a world record price for an oil sketch by the artist. Most recently, our May 2013 sale saw a world record set for Franz von Stuck’s work Hercules and the Hydra, selling for £505,875.
Sales of 19th Century European Art at Christie’s are also notable for their ability to achieve new price levels for artists traditionally prized at a national level, by bringing them to the attention of an international audience. William Bouguereau’s Pietà sold for $2,770,500 in New York, June 2010—the second highest price for the artist after the $3,526,000 record established by Christie’s in 2000. Recently, two auction record were set in the April 2012 auction in New York; Rue Royale, Paris a street scene by Louis Marie de Schryver which sold for $662,500 and a still life bouquet of flowers by Arnoldus Bloemers which went for $218,500. Typically, 19th Century European Painting sales attract buyers from over 20 countries representing at least five continents with global collectors increasingly coming from Asia, Russia and the Middle East.
In addition to our auctions, Christie's Private Sales allow one the flexibility and discretion to buy or sell works of art outside the auction framework. Our specialists work with buyers and sellers alike offering their experience, expertise and unique global reach to quickly identify either the work of art or the potential buyer.