Pissaro work fetches record price
12:40am Thursday 6th February 2014 in © Press Association 2014
A painting by Camille Pissarro sold for £19.9 million tonight - almost five times the previous record for a single work by the impressionist artist.
Boulevard Montmartre, Matinee De Printemps was described by Sotheby's in London as "one of the greatest impressionist works to come to auction in a decade".
Sotheby's said the 32.1 million dollar sale price was more than four times the seven million dollars paid in 2009 for Le Pont Boieldieu Et La Gare D'Orleans Rouen, Soleil.
The previous record for a piece by Pissarro was 14.6 million dollars paid for a quartet of works entitled Les Quatre Saisons in 2007.
It was the first time that Boulevard Montmartre, Matinee De Printemps had been sold at auction.
The painting was originally owned by Max Silberberg, a Jewish industrialist based in Breslau, who assembled one of the finest pre-war collections of 19th and 20th Century art in Germany, including works by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Cezanne and van Gogh.
He was forced to sell his entire collection by the Nazis and later d ied in the Holocaust.
Sotheby's said the painting, which was restituted in 2000 to Mr Silberberg's family, had been estimated to sell for between £7-10 million.
Helena Newman, chairwoman of Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art Department Europe, said the richly painted canvas and elegant composition were desirable, but the painting's appeal was enhanced by having been part of a collection as important as Mr Silberberg's.
A painting by Vincent van Gogh sold for £16.9 million at tonight's auction, the highest price paid for one of the artist's works at an auction in London in the past 25 years.
L'Homme Est En Mer, created after van Gogh admitted himself to an asylum after cutting off his ear, attracted seven competing bidders.
The auction also included the sale of 37 works from the private collection of gallerist Jan Krugier who died in 2008.
One of the pieces, Pablo Picasso's Composition Au Minotaure , sold for £10.4 million, four times its pre-sale estimate of £1.8-2.5 million.