Van Gogh painting fetches $66 mn at New York auction
NEW YORK - Agence France-Presse
Employees of Sotheby's auction house pose with French artist Vincent van Gogh's L'Allee des Alyscamps painted in 1888. AFP PhotoA Vincent Van Gogh painting fetched more than $66 million at a New York auction on May 5, the most paid for a work by the Dutch post-impressionist artist since 1998.
According to the Sotheby's auction firm, Van Gogh's "Les Alyscamps," which depicts a stand of autumnal trees, had been expected to go for around $40 million but ultimately an Asian collector paid $66.3 million after an intense bidding war between five potential buyers.
Also reaching the pricing stratosphere was a "Water Lilies" painting by French impressionist Claude Monet, which sold for $54 million, smashing Sotheby's valuation of between $30 million and $45 million.
The most ever paid for a Van Gogh was in 1990, when his "Portrait of Dr Gachet" sold for $82.5 million in New York. Adjusted to today's dollars, that's about $153 million.
Of the six Monet works offered at auction, "Le Palais Ducal," painted in Venice in 1908, went under the hammer for $23.1 million, more than its estimated $15 million to $20 million.
And his "Bassin aux nympheas, les rosiers" sold for $20.4 million. The two other Monet paintings found no buyer.
May 5 sale of impressionist and contemporary works marks the start of auction season in the Big Apple.
Pablo Picasso's colorful "The Women of Algiers (Version 0)," depicting a scene from a harem, will be up for grabs when Christie's puts it on the auction block May 11.
The artwork has been valued at $140 million.
Also expected to break a record was Alberto Giacometti's "Man Pointing" sculpture, expected to sell for $130 million.
The world record for a painting sold at auction is $142.4 million for Francis Bacon's "Three Studies of Lucian Freud," which was snapped up in New York in 2013.
Giacometti holds the record for "Walking Man I," which sold for $104.3 million in 2010.