Monet water lily painting sells at Christie’s for $43.8 million

By Daniel S Levine,

The flurry of fall New York art auctions started Wednesday, with Christie’s opening with a bang. The auction house sold a Claude Monet water lily painting for $43.8 million.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Monet’s 1905 Water Lilies was sold to an anonymous American buyer. It had been donated to the Hackley School in Tarrytown, NY by banger Herb Allen’s family.

The Los Angeles Times notes that Christie’s also sold an important work by Wassily Kandinsky titled Studie für Improvisation 8 from 1909. The piece sold for $23 million to a European collector. The Volkart Foundation put the piece up for sale.

This broke the record for a Kandinsky piece. The previous record was held by his Fugue, which sold for $20.9 million in 1990.

Pablo Picasso’s Head of a Woman went for $13 million, while Joan Miro’s Painting (Woman, Newspaper, Dog) sold for $13.7 million.

Unlike other big auctions this year, Christie’s was left disappointed, since 21 lots went unsold. The auction house predicted to sell a total of $209.2 million worth of art, but fell short.

The biggest unsold item was likely Picasso’s Coq sculpture, which Christie’s hoped to sell for $10 million, but there were no bids.

Sotheby’s is hosting an auction on Thursday, with works by Impressionists and modern artists as the focus.

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