IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Monet painting fetches $20.1 million

The first day of the Christie’s auction brought in $128.2 million
/ Source: The Associated Press

A painting from Claude Monet’s series on London’s House of Parliament has sold at auction for $20.1 million.

“London, the Parliament, Effects of Sun in the Fog,” painted in 1904, was purchased by Samir Traboulsi, a Lebanese financier, at Christie’s on Wednesday night. The impressionist work, which depicts orange and red light piercing London’s fog, had been in the same family, that of Monet’s dealer, Paul Durand-Ruel, for 100 years. Its presale estimate had been $12 to $18 million.

The sale of impressionist and modern art brought a total of $128.2 million in the first of a two-day auction at Christie’s. The final prices include a commission of 19.5 percent of the first $100,000 and 12 percent of the rest. Presale estimates do not reflect commissions.

Beginning Thursday evening, Sotheby’s also was offering impressionist and modern works.

Expected highlights of that two-day sale included a painting from Gauguin’s second Tahitian period, “Maternite (II).” The painting, the property of an unidentified private collector, depicts a woman breast-feeding a newborn as two attendants hover nearby. Sotheby’s said it “represents a peak in the artist’s career,” and was estimated to sell for $40 million to $50 million.

Sotheby’s also was offering six works from the current collection of Hester Diamond, including a Kandinsky and a Mondrian, each expected to bring in more than $20 million.

Another highlight from the Diamond collection is “The Kiss” by Constantin Brancusi, the only version of this iconic work remaining in private hands. The limestone sculpture, circa 1908, is the second version of the theme executed by the artist. Measuring just under a foot high, its estimate was $8 million to $12 million.

At the Wednesday Christie’s auction, Joan Miro’s “Caress of the Stars,” painted in 1938 during the Spanish civil war, sold for $11.7 million.

It was one of 17 works from the collection of Nathan Halpern, a television impresario who died in April and who purchased the work from Miro’s dealer following the liberation of Paris in 1944. The total Halpern collection brought $25.2 million.

Also at Christie’s, Vincent van Gogh’s “Bridge at Trinquetaille,” estimated at $12 million to $18 million, sold for $11.2 million.

Paul Cezanne’s “Portrait de Femme,” circa 1900, fetched $10 million. It is part of an important series of portraits the artist made during the last 15 years of his life, depicting peasants and working class people.

“Femme Fatale,” painted by Kees van Dongen in 1905 and formerly in the collection of Ingrid Bergman, sold for $5.9 million.