Paintings by Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris and Rene Magritte helped Christie’s International sell 177 million pounds ($289 million) of Impressionist, modern and Surrealist art yesterday, the highest tally ever for a London auction.
Pablo Picasso met Francoise Gilot, then a 21-year-old painter, in a Paris restaurant in 1943 during the Nazi occupation, and the two became lovers. While artists such as Max Ernst fled Paris for the U.S., Picasso hung tough even though the Germans prohibited his art from being shown.
A $40.4 million Gustav Klimt painting underpinned a rebound in art auctions last night as Sotheby’s sold $200 million of Impressionist and modern works in New York, beating a sale the previous day by Christie’s International.
The beautiful, sad-looking Olga Kokhlova, a dancer with Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, sits with her right arm draped over the back of a chair, a partially open fan in her lap. The dark floral patterns of her dress and the upholstery stand out against the flat background of pale gold.