A portrait by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec sold for $22.4 million Tuesday at a Christie’s sale of Impressionist and Modern paintings and sculptures, the highest auction price ever paid for a work by the artist.
“‘The Laundress,” which depicts a red-haired young woman staring out a window, was sold to an anonymous phone bidder. The work, dated 1886-87, had belonged to Chicago collectors Neison and Bette Harris.
The sale marked the beginning of the two-week fall auction season. It brought in $160.9 million. Five of the 63 pieces did not sell, including the Matisse still life “The Daisies,” which had been estimated at $10 million to $15 million.
Several pieces sold for far more than the auction house estimate, including an early still life by Paul Cezanne. French dealer Marc Blondeau landed “Apples and Cake” for $10.3 million, more than double the expected price.
Picasso’s 1939 “Bust of a Woman,” which depicts the artist’s mistress Dora Maar, also sparked a bidding war, surpassing its $5 million presale estimate to sell for $6.7 million.
A 1907 Monet “Waterlilies” painting sold for $14 million.