On June 24, Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale realized the second highest total for any sale ever held in London – $282.1 million. Thus, the auction house has decisively overtaken Christie’s that realized “just” $113 million the day before. This Sotheby’s sale was led by Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Gertrud Loew (1902). It was sold for $38.9 million that exceeded the estimate by more than $10.5 million! So beautiful Gertrud Loew (Gertha Baruch von Felsőványi) now will gladden the eye of one of the famous private art collectors. But do not worry: the portrait will be presented at the major exhibition at Neue Galerie New York next fall.
The canvas art work by Kazimir Malevich Suprematism, 18th Construction depicting green, black, yellow, and two shades of blue rectangles was sold for $33.6 million that exceeded the lower-bound estimate by $2.2 million, but did not reach its upper bound of $47.1 million. Malevich completed this work in 1915 – the year that eventually marked the beginning of the Suprematism period in his work, as well as in the history of fine art. Another highlight of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale was a small painting by Edouard Manet A Bar at the Folies–Bergère (Le Bar aux Folies-Bergère) – the first version of his famous barmaid. It was sold for $26.6 million. Special mention also deserves Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece Two characters (Reading) (Deux Personnages (La Lecture)) that brought Sotheby’s auctioneers $25.2 million.