Tuesday, March 3, 2009

At least someone is still buying art

A painting by Henri Matisse sold for for a record £28.4 million last night as a three-day auction of Yves Saint Laurent's art collection began.Sales reached £182 million in the sale's first day - marked by six world record prices for works by individual artists at auction, Christie's said.

Fierce bidding in the cavernous, glass-topped Grand Palais museum hall quieted concerns that the global financial crisis might damage the auction's prospects. Henri Matisse's Les coucous, tapis bleu et rose sold for a record £28.4 million at auction in Paris yesterday'I never doubted the success of this sale,' Pierre Berge, Saint Laurent's longtime partner, told reporters after the auction. '

When you have a collection of this importance, and of this demand, you stop being an amateur art lover - and you become more or less an expert.'Matisse's 1911 oil painting 'Les coucous, tapis bleu et rose,' (The Cowslips, Blue and Rose Fabric) was the star attraction.

A Piet Mondrian painting that had inspired one of the French designer's most memorable dresses sold for more than £17 million.Mondrian's 1922 painting 'Composition in Blue, Red, Yellow and Black,' with rectangles of saturated colors that had inspired Saint Laurent's 1965 shift dress, sold for £17 - or roughly twice the pre-auction estimate.

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