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Second-highest Total Ever for a Sale in London: Sotheby's - Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale Auction Analysis

  • Sotheby's London
  • Sotheby's London
  • Sotheby's London
June 26, 2015

If you connect an evening sale at Sotheby’s and Impressionist and Modern art, you are bound to get some excellent results. Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale had the second-highest total for a sale in London, as it almost tripled the total of Christie’s London sale of Impressionist and Modern art – the biggest sale in London also took place at Sotheby’s, just a couple months ago – in February 2015. You cannot say that something like this wasn’t expected, as there were many masterpieces at Sotheby’s on June 24. Also, together with Post-War and Contemporary art, Impressionist and Modern art is the most appreciated and most sought for among art collectors, and there’s always an interest for those auctions. The other thing is that the high-end of the art market is pretty much doing better than ever, as blue-chip artworks are becoming more expensive every day. However, ArtNet had informed that there were eight lots that were guaranteed with irrevocable bids from third parties and did not receive any further bid, with the total value of 79 millions of British Pounds (just over $124 million).

The Story About Artwork: Gustav Klimt’s Bildnis Gertrud Loew (Gertha Felsőványi) (Portrait Of Gertrud Loew – Gertha Felsőványi), 1902

Gustav Klimt’s exquisite representations of women have led to him become the most celebrated painter of the female portrait of the early 20th Century. Bildnis Gertrud Loew, painted in 1902, is a beautiful and captivating work from a crucial period in the artist’s career. The symbolist treatment of the female portrait was to be one of Klimt’s definitive developments at the start of the 20th Century. The virginal purity of the tonalities and ethereal atmosphere evoked in Bildnis Gertrud Loew serve to elevate the work from its primary biographical purpose and engage with allegorical themes of youth and feminine purity. Toward the turn of the century Klimt began to employ a near monochromatic palette in his portraiture. This development drew his work in line with the chromatic experimentations James Abbot McNeill Whistler undertook in London. Klimt’s portraiture was almost exclusively the product of commissions from private individuals, and helped to establish him in Vienna as the most successful artist of his day. Klimt’s foundation of the Secession and its association with private supporters allowed him to cultivate prospective commissions as well as exhibitions on a large scale, in a manner rarely afforded to artists before him. His popularity and status led to a number of prominent exhibitions – not least the Kollektiv Ausstellung Gustav Klimt at the 1903-04 Secession – but also to a market for reproductions of his best works. (Artwork info courtesy of Sotheby’s)

  • Sotheby's London

The Overview of Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale at Sotheby's London

Out of total 50 lots that were auctioned at the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale at Sotheby’s London, 42 were sold, or an excellent 84 percent. That second-highest total ever for an auction in London is now set at $244,556,839 (without buyer’s premium, and using the exchange rate of $1.57039 for one British Pound), which means that the average hammer price for a lot was $5,822,782. Twenty lots were sold over high estimate (47.6 percent), 13 lots in range of estimated values (31 percent), and nine lots were sold under low estimate (21.4 percent).

Speaking of the most successful lots, Gustav Klimt’s Bildnis Gertrud Loew (Gertha Felsőványi) (Portrait Of Gertrud Loew – Gertha Felsőványi) had the highest hammer price as it was sold for $34,548,580. This lot was followed by Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematism, 18Th Construction ($29,837,410), Edouard Manet’s Le Bar Aux Folies-Bergère ($23,555,850) and Pablo Picasso’s Deux Personnages (La Lecture) ($22,770,655). On the other hand, Henry Moore’s Two Women And Child had the highest difference between hammer price and high estimate (+350 percent), while Max Liebermann’s Zwei Reiter Am Strand Nach Links (Two Riders On The Beach To The Left) had +181.8 percent.

Sotheby's London
Henry Moore – Two Women And Child, 1948 (Lot 32). Estimated at $471,117 – $628,156, sold for $2,826,702, or with +350 percent difference. This lot had the highest margin between hammer price and high estimate.
Sotheby's London
Lyonel Feininger – Horn Player In The Village, 1915 (Lot 1). Estimated at $345,486 – $502,525, sold for $863,715 (+71.9 percent difference).
Sotheby's London
Max Liebermann – Zwei Reiter Am Strand Nach Links (Two Riders On The Beach To The Left), 1901 (Lot 27). Estimated at $549,637 – $863,715, sold for $2,434,105, or with +181.8 percent difference.
Sotheby's London
Yves Tanguy – Certitude, 1939 (Lot 38). Estimated at $471,117 – $785,195, sold for $1,256,312 (+60 percent difference).
Sotheby's London
Left: Gustav Klimt – Bildnis Gertrud Loew (Gertha Felsőványi) (Portrait Of Gertrud Loew – Gertha Felsőványi), 1902 (Lot 26). Estimated at $18,844,680 – $28,267,020, sold over high estimate, for $34,548,580. This lot had the highest hammer price of the auction. / Right: Pablo Picasso – Deux Personnages (La Lecture), 1934 (Lot 22). Estimated at $20,415,070 – $28,267,020, sold for $22,770,655. Picasso’s striking portrayal of two women reading belongs to the extraordinary group of canvases inspired by Marie-Thérèse Walter, his beloved mistress during the early 1930s. Distinguished by their rich colouration, harmonic curves and sweeping arabesques, these exceptional pictures are renowned as Picasso’s most euphoric, sexually-charged, fantastical and inspired compositions, and they rank among the most instantly recognizable works of 20th century art. Of all the manifestations of Picasso’s exceptionally prolific career, it is during his ‘Marie-Thérèse period’ when his creative force was at its most powerful. Among the most evocative of these pictures is Deux personnages also known as La Lecture, created when Marie-Thérèse was firmly at the centre of Picasso’s artistic and private universe. Marie-Thérèse’s potent mix of physical attractiveness and sexual naivety had an intoxicating effect on Picasso. His rapturous desire for the girl gave rise to a wealth of images that have been acclaimed as the most erotic and emotionally uplifting compositions of his long career.
Sotheby's London
Edouard Manet – Le Bar Aux Folies-Bergère, 1881 (Lot 8). Estimated at $23,555,850 – $31,407,800, sold for low estimate. Depicting what is arguably the most famous theme of Manet’s œuvre as well as one of the most iconic images of the Impressionist movement, Le Bar aux Folies-Bergère is an earlier version of his celebrated oil of the same title, now in the collection of the Courtauld Gallery, London. Painted several months after the present canvas, and on a larger scale, the Courtauld oil was exhibited at the Salon of 1882 and is now recognised as the crowning achievement of Manet’s career. In 1881, the year when he executed the present work, Manet received important tokens of recognition for his art: in May he was awarded a second-class medal for his Portrait de M. Pertuiset, le chasseur de lions which he exhibited at the Salon, and in December he became a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.
Sotheby's London
Kazimir Malevich – Suprematism, 18th Construction, 1915 (Lot 18). Estimated at $31,407,800 – $47,111,700, sold bellow low estimate, for $29,837,410. This lot had the second highest hammer price of the auction.
Sotheby's London
Edgar Degas – Petite Danseuse De Quatorze Ans, 1922 (Lot 14). Estimated at $15,703,900 – $23,555,850, sold for $21,985,460.
  • Sotheby's London

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale at Sotheby's in Details

Please, take a look at these two tables with the summary of the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale, and with detailed information on every lot that has been auctioned at Sotheby’s London on June 24.

Total number of lots:50
Number of sold lots:42
Sold lots [%]:84
Total [$]:244,556,839
Number of sold lots over high estimate:20
Over high estimate (Total) [%]:40
Over high estimate (Sold) [%]:47.6
Number of sold lots in range of estimated values:13
In range of estimated values (Sold) [%]:31
Number of sold lots under low estimate:9
Under low estimate (Sold) [%]:21.4
Results were under estimate spread of [%]:31
Max Hammer [$]:34,548,580
Average Hammer [$]:5,822,782
Median Hammer [$]:2,041,507
Median Hammer Average Hammer Difference [%]:-64.9
Lot No.Artist NameArtwork NameLow Estimate $High Estimate $Hammer Price $Hammer High Estimate Difference [%]Hammer Low Estimate Difference [%]
1Lyonel FeiningerHorn Player In The Village345,486502,525863,71571.9150
2Paul KleeRaumfahrt (Journey In Space)785,1951,099,2731,727,42957.1120
3René MagritteLa Voix Du Sang1,256,3121,884,4682,512,62433.3100
4Barbara HepworthNew Penwith942,2341,256,312Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
5Fernand LégerLa Femme Couchée4,711,1707,851,9504,554,131-42-3.3
6Pablo PicassoLe Chevalier Et Les Pages1,099,2731,570,3901,177,793-257.1
7Camille ClaudelBuste D'Auguste Rodin628,156942,2341,067,86513.370
8Edouard ManetLe Bar Aux Folies-Bergère23,555,85031,407,80023,555,850-250
9Georges SeuratLiseur628,156942,2341,020,7548.362.5
10Claude MonetEtretat, Falaise Et Porte D'Amont, Grosse Mer2,355,5853,140,7804,083,0143073.3
11Paul GauguinNature Morte Aux Mangos15,703,90023,555,85016,017,978-322
12Auguste RodinLe Baiser, Modèle Avec Base Simplifiée1,884,4682,826,7021,884,468-33.30
13Henri MatisseFemme À L'Ombrelle2,041,5072,512,6242,748,1839.434.6
14Edgar DegasPetite Danseuse De Quatorze Ans15,703,90023,555,85021,985,460-6.740
15Claude MonetFin D'Après-Midi, Vétheuil6,281,5609,422,340Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
16Wassily KandinskyGrün (Green)1,884,4682,826,7021,570,390-44.4-16.7
17Fernand LégerLe Pont Du Remorqueur9,422,34014,133,510Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
18Kazimir MalevichSuprematism, 18Th Construction31,407,80047,111,70029,837,410-36.7-5
19Pablo PicassoNature Morte3,925,9755,496,3655,967,4828.652
20René MagritteLes Nouvelles Années785,1951,099,2731,224,90411.456
21Joan MiróPeinture7,851,95012,563,12010,678,652-1536
22Pablo PicassoDeux Personnages (La Lecture)20,415,07028,267,02022,770,655-19.411.5
23Ben NicholsonComposition471,117628,156549,637-12.516.7
24Giorgio MorandiNatura Morta1,099,2731,413,3511,444,7592.231.4
25Erika Giovanna KlienLokomotive (Locomotive)785,1951,099,273706,676-35.7-10
26Gustav KlimtBildnis Gertrud Loew (Gertha Felsőványi) (Portrait Of Gertrud Loew - Gertha Felsőványi)18,844,68028,267,02034,548,58022.283.3
27Max LiebermannZwei Reiter Am Strand Nach Links (Two Riders On The Beach To The Left)549,637863,7152,434,105181.8342.9
28Alexej Von JawlenskyFrauenkopf (Head Of A Woman)2,512,6243,454,8582,355,585-31.8-6.3
29Henri MatisseFemme À L'Ombrelle Verte2,198,5462,826,7022,355,585-16.77.1
30André DerainLondres: Le Quai Victoria10,207,53514,133,5109,579,379-32.2-6.2
31Chaïm SoutineLe Valet De Chambre10,207,53513,348,31514,918,70511.846.2
32Henry MooreTwo Women And Child471,117628,1562,826,702350500
33Edgar DegasPhysionomie De Criminel471,117628,156628,156033.3
34Henry MooreFalling Warrior2,826,7023,925,9754,083,014444.4
35Henry MooreMadonna And Child125,631188,447314,07866.7150
37Lynn ChadwickMaquette Jubilee Ii314,078471,117471,117050
38Yves TanguyCertitude471,117785,1951,256,31260166.7
39André DerainVoiliers À Collioure3,140,7804,711,170Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
40August MackeAkt Liegend (Reclining Nude)1,413,3511,884,468Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
41Pierre BonnardCabanons Au Cannet549,637706,676863,71522.257.1
42Edgar DegasDanseuse À La Barre1,570,3902,355,585Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
43Alfred SisleyChemin À L'Entrée D'Un Bois1,099,2731,413,3511,334,832-5.621.4
44Pierre-Auguste RenoirFemme À La Toque Noire Or Tête De Jeune Femme Or Portrait De Femme En Buste Au Chapeau Noir785,1951,099,273706,676-35.7-10
45Pierre-Auguste RenoirPortrait De Claude Monet471,117628,156Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
46Edouard ManetVue Prise De La Place Clichy1,884,4683,454,8582,198,546-36.416.7
47François PomponOurs Blanc471,117785,195424,005-46-10
48Marc ChagallLes Amoureux De Vence1,570,3902,355,5853,768,93660140
49Pablo PicassoLa Rencontre628,156942,234Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
50Wassily KandinskyRosa Im Grau (Rose In Grey)1,099,2731,570,390942,234-40-14.3
51Oscar DominguezEpoque Lithocronique392,598549,637596,7488.652
TOTAL (Sold lots):196,377,271283,753,771244,556,839-13.824.5

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All images and lot information courtesy of Sotheby’s.