Three paintings from the Hollywood star Liz Taylor’s collection have sold for nearly £14million at auction. The three works, by some of the biggest names in art history – Van Gogh, Edgar Degas and Claude Pissarro – fetched an incredible £13,787,750 at a Christie’s sale – smashing the paltry pre-sale estimate of £6.2million.
Unsurprising, the highest-selling artwork of the three was the Vue de l’Asile et de la Chapelle de Saint-Remy by Vincent Van Gogh, selling to an anonymous telephone bidder for £10,121,250 – over two thirds of the overall total. The painting was made in 1889, and depicts the asylum for the insane where the artist finished out his life. Liz Taylor’s father, the art dealer Francis Taylor, had purchased the painting on her behalf at auction in 1963 for £92,000. She had then had it displayed in the living room of her Bel Air home until her death last March. She was 79.
The other two paintings – an early self-portrait by Edgar Degas and a sizeable landscape Pommiers a Eragny by Pissarro– went for £713,250 and £2,953,250 respectively.
Marc Porter, a spokesperson for Christie’s, explained that ‘The exceptional results for these three masterpieces by Van Gogh, Degas and Pissarro are further evidence of Elizabeth Taylor’s sophistication as a collector’: ‘As the crown jewel of her art collection, we are delighted with the price achieved for Van Gogh’s Vue de l’asile, a profoundly beautiful work from one of the creative high points of the artist’s career.’
Most impressively, this brings the auction total of the Liz Taylor collection to over $183 million, with Christie’s auction house saying that all of the 1,817 lots offered sold at auctions in New York and London, some at 50 times their pre-sale estimates.
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