The Defining British Art Evening Sale, part of Christie’s 250th anniversary celebrations, realised £99,479,500, with 87 per cent sold by lot and 83 percent sold by value. The range of exceptional works offered, many previously sold through Christie’s, provided a journey through three centuries of British art. The sale set seven world records, and continuing global demand was demonstrated by bidders from 32 countries across four continents.
The sale was led by Henry Moore’s 1951 sculpture Reclining Figure: Festival, which sold for £24,722,500, the highest price ever achieved for a work by the artist and a record for a British sculpture. Francis Bacon's Version No. 2 of Lying Figure with Hypodermic Syringe, one of the great works from arguably the artist's finest period, realised £20,242,500. View on the Stour Near Dedham, John Constable’s full-scale, six-foot sketch, sold for £14,082,500 – the second-highest price for a work by the artist at auction. An extraordinary early work by Bridget Riley, Untitled (Diagonal Curve), set an auction world record for the artist.
Eight world auction records established in Defining British Art Evening Sale including works by Henry Moore, Lynn Chadwick, and Frederic, Lord Leighton
Commissioned for the 1951 Festival of Britain, the iconic sculpture realised £99,479,500 — becoming one of eight works to set a world auction record
A video tour of our curated Evening Sale on 30 June
Art critic Alastair Sooke and Christie’s specialist Peter Brown discuss Golden Hours by Sir Frederic Leighton
Art critic Alistair Sooke explains why the artist was ‘transfixed’ by her beauty
Commissioned for the Festival of Britain, one of the great masterpieces of Moore’s oeuvre
Anniversary sale that totals £99.5 million
Rare Henry Moore leads Christie’s 250th anniversary sale, Defining British Art
Defining British Art: A preview
‘Passionate and ravishing’
Lucian Freud’s 1945 drawing of Pauline Tennant
Henry Moore’s Reclining Figure: Festival to headline
Sold by Christie’s, a unique array of masterpieces which show how far British art has come
How infatuation with arresting beauty inspired Reynolds, Leighton, Rossetti and Freud
The full-scale six-foot sketch for View on the Stour Near Dedham
Painted at defining moments in their careers, highlights from the Defining British Art sale
The Defining British Art Loan Exhibition is a highlight of Christie’s 250th anniversary celebrations. On view from 17 June to 15 July at King Street, the exhibition showcases works by some of the greatest British artists, alongside masterpieces by international artists inspired by visits to Britain.
30 June 2016, 7pm
London, King Street
17 – 30 June 2016
8 King Street
London SW1Y 6QT
+44 (0) 20 7389 2548
17 June – 15 July 2016
8 King Street
London SW1Y 6QT
+44 (0) 20 7389 2565
Christie’s 250th Anniversary
2016 marks Christie’s 250th anniversary, and this historic year will be celebrated with a series of events and exhibitions. As the world’s leading art business, Christie’s has long been acknowledged as a tastemaker, continually innovating its auction calendar and curating sales to foster new collecting trends and perspectives on the art market.
20th Century at Christie’s
Explore our week of 20th century auctions, which sees Modern British & Irish Art offered alongside pieces by Impressionist, modern and post-war and contemporary artists. With estimates ranging from £10,000 to £1,000,000, these sales present exciting opportunities for both emerging and established collectors to acquire works by groundbreaking artists from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Classic Week at Christie's
A richly diverse week of sales running 5–13 July, Classic Week features captivating early antiquities, Old Master works, and exquisite furniture and decorative art. This is rare chance to view Roman marble figures dating from 2400 B.C.; drawings and prints by Rembrandt, Turner and Caravaggio; and the exquisite workmanship of extraordinary cabinetmakers