The Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale and the auction of The Art of the Surreal took place on the evening of 6 February at Christie’s London, realising £136,462,100/ $213,426,725/ €157,340,801 and selling 89% by lot and 94% by value. The auctions had a combined pre-sale estimate of £89.8 million to £132.8 million. The top price was paid for Jeanne Hébuterne (au chapeau), 1919, by Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) which sold for £26,921,250/ $42,104,835/ €31,040,201 (estimate: £16-22 million, pictured above). In total, 32 works of art sold for over £1 million / 42 for over $1 million, and five artist records were set: led by Berthe Morisot’s portrait which set a new record price for a female artist at auction; a record for a sculpture by Renè Magritte; and records for a work by Alberto Magnelli, Kay Sage and Óscar Domínguez.
Olivier Camu, Deputy Chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art, Christie’s: “Having held the inaugural standalone Dada and Surrealism sale in 1989 and established the first annual Art of the Surreal Sale in 2001, we are very proud that this pioneering movement of 20th century art now commands truly international attention, with our February sales eagerly awaited by collectors around the globe and across other collecting fields from Old Masters through to Contemporary art. This sale was the largest and strongest offering of Surrealist art ever offered at auction and the volume of bids reflected the enthusiasm for this sale format which is encouraging for the market and greatly rewarding for Christie’s. All 9 of the works by Magritte sold, with a new record set for a sculpture by the artist, beating the previous record set at Christie’s in 2009; the price for this work and Miró’s sculpture, which almost equalled the current record, highlights the strength of demand for sculptures in the field of Impressionist and Modern Art.”