Christies sale of Impressionist & Modern Art, held at their King Street London rooms, which took place on Tuesday 18 June, attracted bidders from around the world and realised a total of £64,076,575 / $100,407,993. The auction was a runaway success, selling 87% by value and 84% by lot. It didn’t quite match Sotheby’s outstanding Impressionist and Modern London sale which realised over £165,000,000 including commission.
The sale was led by Kandinsky’s Studie zu Improvisation 3, a true masterpiece by the artist from a pivotal moment in his career, which achieved £13,501,875 / $21,157,438 (previously sold at Christie’s New York in 2008 for $16,882,500). This was followed by a rare and exceptional portrait of Paul Guillaume by Modigliani which sold for £6,781,875 / $10,627,198. Further paintings by Monet and Picasso exceeded expectations, with the former’s Sainte-Adressemore than doubling its low estimate. The sculpture section of the sale was led by Rodin’s Eve après le péché which more than quadrupled its low estimate to achieve £2,861,875. The Collection of Simone and Jean Tiroche in the Evening Sale was 100% sold and realised £5,419,000 / $8,491,573.
In total, 18 works of art sold for over £1 million and two artist records were set, for a work by Eugène Boudin and a painting by Constantin Brancusi.
These exceptional results demonstrate the strength of the market for Impressionist and Modern art and Christie’s continued success matching international buyers with exceptional works of art. WASSILY KANDINSKY (1866–1944) Studie zu Improvisation 3 signed and dated ‘KANDINSKY 1910’ (lower right) oil and gouache on cardboard in the artist’s painted frame 17 5/8 x 25 1/2 in. (44.7 x 64.7 cm.) Painted in 1909 Sold for £13,501,875 / $21,157,438.