Christie’s sale sets records for Matisse, Signac, Pissarro

NEW YORK – A 1937 painting by Henri Matisse sold for $33.6 million at Christie’s Nov. 6 sale of Impressionist and modern art. The price, which set a new world auction record for the artist, includes a buyer’s premium of 25 percent on the first $20,000, 20 percent up to $500,000 and 12 percent thereafter. The auction total was $394.9 million.

matisse.jpgL’Odalisque, harmonie bleue, “is portrayed in delicate colors and accentuates Matisse’s femme-fleur idea, the woman as the epitome of beauty, sensuality and fertility,” according to the Christie’s catalog. The picture was bought from Matisse’s dealer by the family that offered it in the sale.

Amedeo Modigliani’s Portrait du sculpteur Oscar Miestchaninoff, 1916, reached $30.8 million, the second-highest price of the auction. Modigliani’s Jeune fille assise en chemise, which portrays one of the sitters that the artist worked with in the south of France, realized $16.8 million.

Pablo Picasso’s Femme accroupie au costume turc (Jacqueline), painted in 1955, achieved $30.8 million. His 1968 Homme a la Pipe brought $16.8 million and a Dora Maar portrait sold for $16.3 million. Picasso’s study of an apple, done in 1918, fetched $825,000.

Paul Signac’s Cassis. Cap Canaille sold for $14 million, breaking last year’s record set by Christie’s. The painting was a centerpiece in the Signac retrospective exhibition held at the Metropolitan Museum in New York in 2001.

Les Quatre Saisons, 1872/73, a cycle of four landscapes by Camille Pissarro, reached $14.6 million. Les Quatre Saisons was the first major commission Pissarro received. The cycle was dispersed but reunited in 1901 and had remained together ever since.

Paul Cezanne’s portrait of the painter’s gardener Vallier realized $17. 4 million.

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