Bloomberg’s James Tarmy wonders why Tamara de Lempicka’s portrait of a man, Guido Sommi, is priced so much lower than her private market?
The Sommi portrait hung in a private collection for more than 40 years; now it’s coming to Sotheby’s New York, carrying an estimate of $4 million to $6 million. While that range places the work firmly within Lempicka’s top 10 prices at auction, it’s well below her record, which was achieved five years ago when a smaller, later painting sold for $8.5 million at Sotheby’s in New York.
The Sommi portrait’s estimate is, moreover, a pittance compared to what Lempicka’s art has reportedly sold for on the private market. “There have been Lempickas that have traded for as high as $15 million and even $20 million,” said [dealer James] Carona, who said he’s sold five major works by Lempicka and would sell more if he could find any.
Why Modern Art Portraits of Men Sell for Less Than Those of Women (Bloomberg)