Picasso takes lead in biggest auction art sales

Picasso takes lead in big New York art sales

Christie’s and Sotheby‘s hold their big autumn art sales in New York starting next week, with both houses looking to to excite a robust market.

The prominence of important works by Picasso, Matisse and other modern masters in the impressionist and modern art sales at Christie’s on Tuesday and Sotheby’s on Wednesday reflects the healthy appetite this year for big-ticket works, auctioneers said.

Simon Shaw, head of the modern and impressionist department at Sotheby’s, said the offerings are “slightly bigger in the number of lots, (which) reflects perhaps an increased confidence.”

A low estimate of $185 million is expected for the Wednesday sale, led by Picasso‘s playful and erotic “L’Aubade,” estimated at $18-25 million, and Henri Matissse‘s monumental bronze sculpture of a woman seen from the back, “Nu de dos,” estimated at $20-30 million.

Another keenly awaited lot is the mosaic-like pastoral scene “Litzlberg on the Attersee” by Gustav Klimt, estimated in excess of $25 million.

Christie’s, meanwhile, promised “a blockbuster” sale aiming for more than $215 million, with a centerpiece in Edgar Degas’s landmark sculpture “Petite danseuse de quatorze ans,” estimated at $25-35 million.


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