Van Gogh Sells for US$81.3m, Just Shy of Auction Record

BY KATYA KAZAKINA / Pic Source  CHRISTIES

A canvas by Vincent van Gogh fetched US$81.3 million (RM339.59 million) in an auction at Christie’s on Nov 13, just short of a record sale price for the artist.

The 1889 painting, “Laboureur dans un champ”, was sold by the estate of billionaire couple Nancy Lee Bass and Perry R Bass. It had been estimated to bring in US$50 million at Christie’s evening sale of Impressionist and modern art in New York. Rebecca Wei, president of Christie’s Asia, placed the winning bid on behalf of a client.

The record for a Van Gogh painting was set in 1990 with the US$82.5 million sale of “Por- trait du Dr Gachet”, according to the Artnet database of auction prices.

“Laboureur dans un champ” was created during the artist’s one-year stay at the insane asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole, according to presentation on Christie’s website.

Earlier during the sale, Fernand Leger’s 1913 Cubist composition, “Contraste de formes”, fetched US$70.1 million, an auction record for the French artist whose previous high was US$39.2 million, according to Artnet. Prices include an auction house commission; esti- mates don’t.

The Van Gogh led Christie’s US$479.3 mil- lion sale that surpassed the auction house’s high presale target and posted a 95% increase from a similar event a year ago. Asian collec- tors were active. Pablo Picasso’s portrait of his

second wife Jacqueline Roque inspired a bidding war from collectors based in Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia and Dubai, Christie’s said. — Bloomberg