The work "Meules", painted by Claude Monet in 1890 and part of the series "Almiares", marked a new record of the artist to sell for more than 110 million dollars (98.84 million euros) in an auction held at the New York headquarters of Sotheby's.
The piece, considered one of the icons of Impressionism, had been priced by the experts of the auction house at about 55 million dollars, a price that exceeded a few seconds after going on sale in the afternoon of Modern and Impressionist Art of Sotheby's for the spring season.
After a bid that lasted for more than eight minutes in which six bidders participated, "Meules" reached a hammer price of 97 million dollars, an amount that reaches up to 110.7 million dollars-twice the estimate – after adding taxes and commissions.
The 110 million is 44 times the price that reached the last time the piece went on sale at a Christie's auction held in New York in 1986, and also marks a record for any work of the Impressionist current.
This painting is one of the few in the series "Almiares" by Monet that have come out to auction this century and that is still private property, since of the 25 works that make it, a total of 17 are already in the hands of public institutions , including the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
"Meules" was initially acquired by the distinguished and wealthy Palmer family of Chicago, directly from Monet's representative in the 1890s.
Another of the protagonists of the auction was "Femme au chien", by Pablo Picasso, whose value was estimated between 25 and 30 million dollars, but sold for 54.9 million dollars after reaching a price of hammer of 48 million.
Painted in 1962, the work is a portrait of his dog Kaboul and his second wife, Jacqueline Roque, with whom he was married until the death of the artist in 1973, and is the work of Picasso after 1960 that has achieved the highest price in an auction.
Another piece of Spanish, "Mousquetaire a la pipe" (1968), barely met the expectations of Sotheby's experts, selling for 20.7 million dollars with taxes and commissions included.
It is one of the examples of a series of paintings in which Picasso used the figure of the musketeer, which allowed him to escape the limitations of the subjects portrayed in contemporary art while exploring past times.
Also marked at the auction of Sotheby's a record for the Uruguayan Joaquín Torres García, whose "Construction blank", with a value that was estimated between 3.5 and 4.5 million dollars, reached up to 3.4 million .
In addition, the "Nature morte à la chaise et aux glaïeuls" by Picasso, estimated to cost between 4 and 6 million dollars, was sold for about 4.6 million, while the sculpture "Personnage" by Joan Miró was purchased for 5.9 million dollars, within the 5 to 7 million provided by the staff of the auction house.
The biggest disappointment of the night was for the colossal "Young people of Bacchus", 6 meters long and 3.3 meters high and which is considered the most important work of the Frenchman William Bouguereau.
The work did not find a buyer when the bidding did not exceed 18 million dollars, although its value was between 25 and 35 million dollars, according to the appraisers. EFE
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