[intro]Victorian Artist Sparks Fire of Desire in Mid-East and Hong Kong Collectors[/intro]
How did that $35-million Alma-Tadema painting get bid to ten times the low estimate? Colin Gleadell says the competition was slugged out between two bidders with no previously discernible connection to Victorian art
[E]ven the experts were confounded when one bidder from Hong Kong and another from the Middle East slugged it out until it sold for $36 million (£22 million) to a third, deeply anonymous bidder.
Though born in Holland, Alma-Tadema is considered British, and is now, once again, among the highest-priced British artists, third only to Turner (£29 million) and Bacon (£26.6 million for a single canvas, though triptychs have made more) in the auction records.
In the context of last week’s sales, Moses made more than a large Monet water lilies painting ($24.7 million) or a record-breaking cubist painting by Juan Gris ($28.6 million).