Kelly Crow lands the numbers:
The Picasso anchored Christie’s $335.5 million evening sale of Impressionist and modern art, a total that fell near the high end of its pre-sale estimate of between $262.7 million and $368.3 million, and more than tripled the total for its evening sale last May.
Judd Tully flags the evening’s other surprises:
Two other records were set apart from the 1932 Picasso, including Georges Braque’s late and stunning interior La Treille (1953-54), which had been bracketed at $3-5 million but snared $10,162,500. Then a rare-to-market Jean-Francois Raffaelli, the seedy 1881 Les buveurs d’absinthe (Les Declasses), sold to the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco for $2,994,500 against an estimate of $400-600,00. It last sold at Sotheby’s in May 1977 for $62,500.
Carol Vogel in The New York Times speculates on the buyer of the Picasso:
But it was the record-setting Picasso that captivated the audience. Before the sale, dealers said several prominent collectors were thought to be bidding on it, including Kenneth C. Griffin, chief executive of the Citadel Investment Group in Chicago; Leslie H. Wexner, the Columbus, Ohio, collector; Steven A. Cohen, the Connecticut hedge-fund billionaire; Joseph Lau, a Hong Kong collector; and Roman Abramovich, the Russian financier. But who took home the painting is a mystery for now.
Picasso Sets Auction Record (Wall Street Journal)
Picasso Carries Christie’s to a Record (ArtInfo.com)
At $106.5 Million, a Picasso Sets an Auction Record (New York Times)