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Friday, January 15, 2010

Top Art Auction Results in 2009

Although 2009 witnessed a strong contraction in economy and the art market wasn't immune to that fact, it still proved that investing in art continues to be one of the favourite options during uncertain times.
Art collectors continued to seize opportunities and demanding for rare works of high quality.
In February 2009, the collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, offered by Christie's (France) and Bergé & Associates, realised 373.9 million Euro ($483.8 million), setting a world record for the most valuable private collection sold at auction and highest total for an auction in Europe.
The aution also set several records for impressionist and modern art, 20th century decorative arts, sculpture, silver and artworks.
Between February 21st and Feb. 23rd, over 1500 people gathered at the Grand Palais (Paris) for each of the sales, held in the largest built salesroom in Christie's history.
The painting "Les Coucous, Tapis Bleu et Rose" (1911) by Henri Matisse achieved the highest mark, selling for 35.9 million Euro ($46.4 million), the highest value paid for a work by the artist at auction.
Collectors had the chance to acquire works from famous artists, such as Piet Mondrian, Fernand Léger, Marcel Duchamp, Jacques-Louis David and Ingres, who's work set a new auction world record for the artist.
Wooden sculptures by Constantin Brancusi aslso achieved a world record for the artist in an auction.
The Museé d'Orsay acquired "Au Conservative" by James Ensor and "Les Lilas" by Edouard Villard, while the Centre Georges Pompidou bought "Il Ritornante" by Giorgio de Chirico.
The sales of silver, miniatures and Objets de Vertu realised a total of 19.8 million Euro ($25.7 million), with the highest value being achieved by the Osterade cup (1649), a silver-gilt quadruple cup sold for 853,000 Euro ($1.1 million).
Originally from the collection of Suzanne Talbot, the Dragon's armchair (circa 1917-19) by Eileen Gray, sold for 21.9 million Euro ($28.9 million) and set an auction world record for any work of 20th century decorative art.
Rare antiquities made part of the lots, which included asian and islamic art, with a bronze heads of a rabitt and a rat, made for Emperor Qianhong's Zodiac Fountain in the Summer Palace (China), selling for 15.8 million Euro ($20.3 million) each.
The proceeds from this auction are to benefit the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation and a new foundation that will be established for scientific research and fight against AIDS.
In December 2009, an Old Masters and 19th Century Art auction at Christie's (London), achieved the greatest ever value for an auction of Old Masters, realising a total of £68.4 million (75.5 million Euro/$112.4 million).
The star of the auction was "Head of a Muse", a study drawn by Raphael for a figure in Parnassus, one of the four frescoes (considered to be Raphael's greatest masterpiece) commissioned by Pope Julius II for the Stanza della Segnatura, in the Vatican.
Head of a Muse refers to the third muse to the right of Apollo and is one of the muses surrounding him in the Parnassus fresco.
It was sold for £29.2 million (€32.2 million/$47.9 million).
A painting by Rembrandt, "Portrait of a man, half-lenght, with his arms akimbo" (previously called "Portrait of an Admiral" ) featuring a man in a daring pose and with a mesmerising use of light and shade, achieving the same standard of Rembrandt's best late works, was acquired for £20.2 million (€22.3 million/$33.2 million). The work had been unseen by the public for almost 40 years.
Saint John the Evangelist (circa 1627-29), a baroque oil painting on canvas by Domenico Zampieri (Il Domenichino), probably painted for Cardinal Benedetto Giustianiani or his younger brother, Marchese Vincenzo Giustainiani, was bought for £9.2 million (€10.2 million/$15.2 million).
The painting is a reinterpretation of Domenico's pendentive fresco of St. John the Evangelist in Sant'Andrea della Vale, Rome.
The artist is the author of "Last Communion of St. Jerome" (Vatican), considered one of the greatest works ever painted.
The Old Masters and 19th Century Art Auction set records for Raphael, Rembrant and Domenico.

This article was written with the help of documentation, kindly provided by Matthew Paton (Christie's)
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1 comment:

Penny Auction Online said...

I am an auction lover. So every news related to the auction makes me very happy. Thanks for keeping us updated.