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  • 3 March 2017

RESULTS: 20th Century at Christie’s achieves total to date of £161,929,636 / $200,923,354 / €189,443,774

Auction record achieved for René Magritte’s La Corde Sensible which realised £14,441,348 / $17,936,155 / €16,896,378  

Personal collection of Barbara Lambrecht 100% sold for a total of £20,112,100 / $24,950,059 / € 23,531,157

Berthe Morisot, Femme et enfant au balcon (1874, price realised: £4,085,000 / $5,073,570 / €4,779,450), Le Corbusier, Nature morte et figure (£3,301,000 / $4,099,842, €3,862,170 and René Magritte, La Corde Sensible (14,441,348 / $25,243,650 / €23,780,250)

London  20th Century at Christie’s opened to high energy in the salerooms resulting in a total to date of £161,929,636 / $200,923,354 / €189,443,774 for the Impressionist & Modern sales that took place at Christie’s from 28 February to 3 March 2017. A world record price at auction was achieved for René Magritte’s La corde sensible, once in the collection of the esteemed art collector and patron Edward James, which sold for £14,441,348 / $17,936,155 / €16,896,378. Works from prestigious collections including the Personal Collection of Barbara Lambrecht, the Heidi Weber Museum Collection, the family of Max Ernst and the Art Institute of Chicago inspired spirited bidding. The Personal Collection of Barbara Lambrecht Sold to Benefit the Rubens Prize Collection in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Siegen was 100% sold and realised a total of £20,112,100 / $24,950,059 /  €23,531,157. With outstanding overall sell through rates of 82% by lot and 94% by value, the launch of the 2017 season confirmed that the global market is confident, buoyant, and continually developing with significant participation from Asia.

The top work of the week was Paul Gauguin’s, Te Fare (La maison) which achieved £20,325,000 / $25,243,650 / €23,780,250. The forty works offered from the Personal Collection of Barbara Lambrecht across four sales: Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale; Art of the Surreal; Impressionist & Modern Art Works on Paper and Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale demonstrated the breadth of appeal for works across category and price point. Important works by Le Corbusier from the Heidi Weber Museum Collection saw collectors from Europe, America and Asia pursue three oil paintings and four works on paper by the artist and was led by Nature morte et figure (£3,301,000 / $4,099,842 / €3,862,170). As well as the record achieved for the Magritte, four additional paintings by the artist totalled £27,161,348 / $33,734,395 / €31,778,778. Henri Hayden’s Fille assise au bouquet de fleurs also sold for a record price of £425,000 / $527,850 / €497,250 with three further records in the Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale: Achille Laugé, La route (£809,000 / $999,115 / €946,530, Ossip Zadkine, Tête de jeune garcon (£797,000 / $984,295 / €932,490 and Arnold Topp, Die Sonne ist gross und gefallen (£509,000 / £628,615 / €595,530), and three in the Impressionist & Modern Art Sale, South Kensington: Émile Chambon, L'indiscret (£65,000 / $79,690 / €75,595); Gabriel Alix, Panthère (£9,375 / $11,494 / €10,903) and Giulio D'Anna, Paesaggio siciliano e Aerei (£100,000 / $122,600 / €116,300).

Further highlights include Paul Delvaux’s Le village des sirènes (£3,077,000 / $3,821,634 / €3,600,090), sold by the Art Institute of Chicago, Yves Tanguy’s La lumière, la solitude (£1,565,000 / $1,943,730 / €1,831,050), and Portrait érotique voilè by Max Ernst, sold by the artist’s family (£2,285,000 / $2,837,970 / €2,673,450).

Sale totals to date

Impressionist & Modern Art and Art of the Surreal Evening Sale     

£136,874,598     $169,998,251    €160,143,280

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale                                               

£16,584,225       $20,481,518       €19,403,542

Impressionist & Modern Works on Paper                                         

£6,485,375         $8,009,438         €7,587,888

Impressionist & Modern Art Sale, South Kensington                        

£1,985,438         $2,434,147        €2,309,064

Combined total to date                                                                       

£161,929,636     $200,923,354    €189,443,774

Further information

20th Century at Christie’s continues next week with the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction on 7 March, the Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Auction on 8 March and Handpicked: 100 Artists Selected by the Saatchi Gallery. The online-only sale Picasso Ceramics remains open for bidding until 7 March.

Five things to know about Magritte

  1. René Magritte was born in Lessines in Belgium in 1898
  2. Magritte first met his wife, Georgette Berger, in 1913 when he was just 15 years old. They didn’t marry until 1922.
  3. In 1989 a Belgian astronomer discovered a main-belt asteroid and named it after Magritte.
  4. The Beatles’ record company Apple Corps’s logo is inspired by the 1966 painting Le Jeu de Mourre.
  5. In 2009 thieves stole Magritte’s Olympia from a museum but apparently they could not sell the work as it was too famous. They returned it in 2012.

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