By Culturekiosque Staff
LONDON, 4 FEBRUARY 2010 Last night at Sothebys in
London, Alberto Giacomettis life-size Lhomme qui marche I
(Walking Man I) sold for £65,001,250 / $104,327,006 /â‚¬74,185,983
becoming the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction. The sale of
that work was swiftly followed by that of Gustav Klimts Kirche in
Cassone, which made £26,921,250 / $43,208,606/ â‚¬30,725,246 a new
record price for a landscape by the artist. These two works headlined a
sale that realised a record-breaking total of £146,828,350 / $235,659,502
/ â‚¬167,575,324 - making it the highest value sale ever staged in London.
(Pre-sale estimate for the sale was £69,060,000 - 102,130,000).
Giacomettis Lhomme qui marche I (Walking Man
The expectant saleroom fell quiet as bidding opened at £12 million.
Some eight minutes later, after an agressive bidding battle between at
least ten prospective purchasers, the 1960 Giacometti
bronze sculpture the only life-time cast of this iconic subject ever
to have come to auction sold to an anonymous telephone bidder,
establishing a new record price not only for the artist, and for any piece
of sculpture ever sold at auction but also, and more importantly, taking
its place in history as the most expensive work of art ever sold at
auction, and eclipsing Pablo Picassos Garçon à la Pipe, which
sold for $104,168,000/ £58,052,830/ â‚¬85,949,017 at Sothebys New York in
Alberto Giacometti: Lhomme
qui marche I (Walking Man I),1960
Bronze. 183 x 26 x 95.5
cm (72 x 10 3/16 x 37 9/16 in.
Alberto Giacometti (1901 - 1966), the Swiss sculptor, was almost fifty
when he created the form of the human figure by which he is best known
tall and inconceivably thin male and female forms.
Commenting on the price achieved for the Giacometti, Helena Newman,
Vice Chairman of Sothebys Impressionist & Modern Art department
worldwide, said: "The price is a reflection of the extraordinary
importance of this exceptionally rare work, and the only life-time cast of
this iconic subject ever to have come to auction."
Formerly part of the corporate collection of Dresdner Bank AG, the
sculpture came into the possession of Commerzbank AG after the latters
takeover of Dresdner Bank in 2009. Commerzbank intends to use the sale
proceeds to strengthen the resources of its new Foundation Centre, and
also to provide funds to their partner museums for restoration work and
Gustav Klimts Kirche in Cassone (Church in
Also the subject of keen interest and excitement was Gustav
Klimts Kirche in Cassone a work charged with
historical significance, the painting attracted four bidders who together
took the final price to £26,921,250 / $43,208,606 / â‚¬30,725,246 well in
excess of the pre-sale estimate of £12-18 million and establishing a new
auction record for a landscape by the artist.
Gustav Klimt: Kirche in
Cassone (Church in Cassone)
Oil on canvas
Once part of one of an early collection of Klimts work that of the
Austro-Hungarian iron magnate and collector Victor Zuckerkandl and his
wife Paula - the work went missing in Vienna during the Nazi period and
only resurfaced decades later. It was offered for sale tonight pursuant to
an agreement between Georges Jorisch, the now 81-year old great nephew of
the original owner, and the European private collector in whose family the
painting had been for several years.
Other notable prices included an important still life by Paul Cézanne.
Paul Cézanne: Pichet et fruits sur une
Oil on canvas
Painted in 1893-4, when Cezannes mastery of the still life was at its
height, Pichet et fruits sur une table ranks among the finest
works by the artist ever to have come to auction. Once part of such
illustrious collections as those of Dr Albert C. Barnes, Chester A. Beatty
and Laurance S. Rockefeller, the painting sold for £11,801,250 /
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