Again the London Impressionist and Modern sales set new records for sales volumes and the coverage is light and dutiful. Here is a valuable and reliable market that is increasingly treated as a curtain-raiser to the main Contemporary art event. But the news last night was very good. Jan Krugier’s personal collection of works on paper and few other objects lit the crowd up and drew very strong bids. Judd Tully remarked that each lot seemed to have a minimum of five bidders.
Katya Kazakina tracked some prices:
Vincent Van Gogh’s 1889 painting, “L’Homme Est en Mer (The Man Is at Sea)” fetched 16.9 million pounds, more than doubling the high estimate of 8 million pounds. Painted at the Saint-Remy asylum, it depicts a young woman cradling a child.
The work was previously sold for $7.15 million at Sotheby’s in New York in 1989. The anonymous consignor bought the piece in 1993 for an undisclosed price, Sotheby’s said.
Tully was keeping score last night too:
Henri Matisse’s color-charged portrait “Bolero violet,” from Valentine’s Day 1937, brought £9,145,500 ($14,933,736) (est. £6.5-8.5/$10.48-13.7 million). It last sold in May 1990 at Christie’s New York for $2,530,000.
Vincent van Gogh’s “View from the Window of Vincent’s Studio,” a pen and ink and pencil on paper from 1883 that made £962,500 ($1,570,126) (est. £150-200,000/$242,000-323,000). Krugier acquired it at Sotheby’s London in 1987 for £57,200.
At Sotheby’s London, Another Record Night for Imp/Mod Sales (Blouin Artinfo)