New York – The May sales series of Impressionist and Modern Art at Christie’s New York totaled $360,029,725/ £238,430,281/ €279,092,810, concluding two remarkable days of sales that yielded a new world record for the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction. On Tuesday evening, Christie’s sold Pablo Picasso’s 1932 masterpiece, Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust from the Collection of Mrs. Sidney F. Brody for a record $106.5 million.
Wednesday’s Works on Paper and Day sales also yielded positive results, totaling $24,481,725/ £16,213,063 / €18,978,081, with 84% of lots sold and 81% sold by value. The top lot was the sale’s cover image, Paul Klee’s Reifendes Wachstum (Ripening Growth), a watercolor and collage work from 1921 which sold for $1,142,500/£756,622 / €885,658. With the results of Tuesday’s Evening Sale, at which nine works sold over the $10 million mark, the May sales in this category realized a combined total of $360 million, finishing well above the series low estimate of $283 million.
In addition, Christie’s is pleased to report a near-perfect record for the sale of the Brody collection, including an additional 52 items offered in Wednesday’s Impressionist and Modern Works on Paper sale. All but one lot in the total Brody collection of 79 lots was sold, bringing the final tally to $225,899,900/ £149,093,934/ €173,942,923 with sell-through rates of 99% by lot and 99% by value.
“Today’s sales saw a continuation of the spirited bidding that drove the Brody Picasso to a new record for any artwork sold at auction. At a total of $225.9 million, the Collection of Mrs. Sidney F. Brody stands as the most valuable single-owner collection offered at Christie’s New York to date. We have been honored to present this magnificent collection of Modern Art to the public as an exceptional example of American collecting at its most intelligent and refined,” said Conor Jordan, Head of the Impressionist and Modern Art at Christie’s New York.
As it was previously announced, portions of the proceeds from the sale of Brody collection will be donated the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, CA, where the late Mrs. Brody was a guiding patron. The proceeds will be used to support the Huntington’s goals of encouraging research, and promoting education, arts, humanities and botanical sciences.
Top ten price lists for the Evening Sales, Day and Works on Paper sales are available online at
Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had auction sales in 2019 that totalled £4.5 billion / $5.8 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.
Alongside regular sales online, Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.