Moore, Miro sell for record sums

Moore, Miro sell for record sums

LONDON - Agence France-Presse
Moore, Miro sell for record sums

A Van Gogh painting owned by Elizabeth Taylor went for 10.1 million British pounds. AFP Photo

Works by British sculptor Henry Moore and Spanish painter Joan Miro sold for record prices at a Christie’s sale that also saw a Van Gogh owned by Elizabeth Taylor fetch over £10 million.

The Moore sculpture, an abstract bronze cast of a reclining woman called “Reclining Figure: Festival,” sold for £19 million, more than three times the £5.5 million estimate.

Christie’s said the work, which was commissioned for the Festival of Britain in 1951, was “one of the most outstanding examples of the reclining figure in the whole of (Moore’s) prodigious oeuvre.”
The highest price previously set for a Moore work was just £4.3 million, for a 1957 bronze cast called “Draped Reclining Woman,” sold in London four years ago, a Christie’s spokeswoman said.

The record-breaking Miro sale, a 1925 canvas named “Painting Poem” went under the hammer for £16.8 million again soaring over the pre-sale estimate of up to £9 million.

“It is the finest work from a groundbreaking series of paintings,” said Olivier Camu, Deputy Chairman in Impressionist Art Department at Christie’s.

“Widely considered the most important of all of Miro’s work, the “Poem Paintings” instigated a whole new way of working that Miro would follow for the rest of his life and was to significantly influence Pablo Picasso.”

The London auction house also saw three paintings owned by the late Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor, including one by Vincent Van Gogh, sell for a total of £13.9 million.

Van Gogh’s “View of the Asylum and Chapel of Saint-Remy,” which had been bought for Taylor by her art dealer father in 1963, went for £10.1 million.

A self-portrait of French Impressionist Edgar Degas and a landscape by Claude Pissarro, also owned by the star, sold for £713,250 and £2,953,250 respectively.

“The exceptional results for these three masterpieces by Van Gogh, Degas and Pissarro are further evidence of Elizabeth Taylor’s skill and sophistication as a collector,” said Marc Porter, chairman of Christie’s Americas.

The British-American star had amassed an extraordinary collection of jewellery and couture as well as art by the time she died last March aged 79.