Christies’ has set a world record with a portrait of Alberto Giacometti’s brother Diego, achieving $33m, a record for one of the artist’s paintings. This week’s auctions of Impressionist and Modern Art have realised a running tally of $258 million, with the Works on Paper and Day Sales completing the series today. Bidders from more than 35 different countries have participated in the live auctions this week, including particularly strong interest from buyers in Mainland China.
On Tuesday evening, bidders at the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale competed for major works by the giants of the era, including Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Wassily Kandinsky, driving prices above estimates in several cases. The top lot of the sale was Alberto Giacometti’s 1954 portrait, Diego en chemise écossaise, which sold for $32,645,000 and set a new world auction record for a painting by the artist. Top prices were also achieved for Kandinsky’s Schwarz und Violett, 1923 which realized $12,597,000, as well as van Gogh’s rare work on paper, La maison de Vincent à Arles, 1888, which incited a five-minute bidding war and sold for $5,485,000, well above its estimate of $2.5-3.5 million. All four works in the sale by Henry Moore performed well, with the monumental bronze Reclining Figure, 1969-1970 achieving $6,101,000. A record for a work on paper by Moore was set forWoman Knitting, 1949 which totaled $1,325,000.
Earlier on Tuesday, Christie’s completed the two-day sale of A Dialogue Through Art: Works from the Jan Krugier Collection, which achieved $113,732,000. The connoisseur’s collection was led by Picasso’s Claude et Paloma, 1950, a whimsical, large-scale painting of the artist’s own children that sold to a Mainland Chinese buyer for $28,165,000. The sale also saw strong results for works by Giacometti and Joan Miró.