Manet portrait fetches record £40m


Published: Thursday 6th November 2014 by The News Editor

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A celebrated portrait of a Parisian actress by Edouard Manet has set a new auction record for the artist during the second day of a major autumn impressionist and modern art sale.

Spring was sold at Christie’s in New York for 65 million dollars (£40.8m), almost doubling the previous record of 33.2 million (£20.8m) for the French impressionist.

The portrait, considered a Manet masterpiece, was first presented at the 1882 Paris Salon and depicts actress Jeanne Demarsy in a floral dress and bonnet as an evocation of spring.

Manet had intended allegorical works of the four seasons but only completed Spring and Autumn. Manet, one of the leading artists of the impressionist movement famous for his portraits and scenes from everyday life, died in 1883 at 51.

Spring has been in the same American collection for over a century and has been on loan at the National Gallery of Art for the last 20 years.

The first owner was Manet’s friend, journalist Antonin Proust. It was later in the collections of the operatic baritone and important impressionist collector JB Faure and French art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, who sold it to a private collector in 1909, where it remained.

Christie’s said the sale brought in more than 165 million dollars (£103.7m). Prices include the buyer’s premium.

Proceeds will go towards a private American foundation that supports environmental, public health and other causes.

Christie’s is featuring property of Academy Award-winning actress Joan Fontaine today, including a 1935 painting by Marc Chagall, Vase Of Flowers In The Window, which could fetch up to 600,000 dollars (£377,300).

Published: Thursday 6th November 2014 by The News Editor

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