Carol Vogel gives the rundown on last night’s “lackluster” Impressionist and Modern evening sale at Sotheby’s London. The $165.2 million sale did fall within its estimate of $148.4 million to $217.5 million, and the most highly anticipated lot, a self-portrait by Manet did achieve a new record for the artist ($33 million), but the tone of Vogel’s article indicates that the sale (and the Manet) failed to wow.
She notes that there was only bidder chasing the Manet and quotes dealer Richard Feigen who suggests that the Manet failed to go over estimate because it may be over the heads of many members of the art-buying public:
“The Manet put a damper on the evening,” said Richard L. Feigen, another New York dealer, adding that the painting was not well suited to being sold at auction. “It was a great picture, but he’s not an auction artist,” Mr. Feigen said; the work was too intellectual to have the commercial appeal of paintings and sculptures by Picasso, Giacometti and Modigliani that have brought record-breaking prices over the last few months.
A Lackluster Art Auction in London (The New York Times)