Henry Moore's 'Reclining Figure: Festival, 1951' at Sotheby's
February 9, 2012, source: Christie's / Sotheby's
At Christie's, the top price was paid for "Reclining Figure: Festival, 1951", by Henry Moore (1898-1986) which realised £19,081,250 / $30,148,375 / €22,935,663– a world record price for the artist at auction. In 1949, the year after Moore was awarded the international prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale, he was commissioned by the Arts Council to create a sculpture for the 1951 Festival of Britain; the sculpture sold at this evening’s auction is this work. Its importance lies not only in the significance of the commission itself but also it functions as a ‘key’ to this period of Moore’s work. It was acquired by an anonymous telephone bidder after a 5 minute bidding battle.
"Painting-Poem (“le corps de ma brune puisque je l’aime comme ma chatte habillée en vert salade comme de la grêle c’est pareil”"), 1925, by Joan Miró (1893-1983) sold for £16,841,250 / $26,609,175 / €20,243,183 – a world record price for the artist at auction (estimate: £6-9 million). "Le livre", 1914-1915, by Juan Gris (1887-1927) sold for £10,345,250 / $16,345,495 / €12,434,991.
Three works of art from the storied Collection of Elizabeth Taylor fetched a combined £13,787,750 ($21,784,645 /€16,572,876). "Vue de l’asile et de la Chappelle de Saint-Rémy", by Vincent van Gogh fetched the top price of the group at £10,121,250 ($15,991,575 /€12,165,743).
At Sotheby's,The top price of the sale was achieved for Claude Monet’s previously unseen painting of 1885 "L’Entreé de Giverny en Hiver", which sold in a four-way bidding battle to a buyer in the room for £8,217,250 / $13,072,001 / €9,841,818 (est. £4.5-6.5 million) – an auction record for a snowscape by the artist.