Going once, going twice… gone! The shinning stars of the art world

The Impressionist and modern art world had a very special week. Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, Renoir, and other of the old masters took headlines again in the Sotheby’s and Christie’s Auction.

The following is a short summary of this week shinning stars according to the New York Times:

“L’Arlésienne, Madame Ginoux,” an 1890 van Gogh portrait of the proprietress of the Café de la Gare in Arles, France, which the artist frequented until his suicide in 1890.

Sold for $40.3 million. This was a “bargain” considering Van Gogh’s last portrait sold “Dr. Gachet” brought $82.5 million in 1990.

“Repose,” a startling, almost demonic 1932 depiction of Picasso’s mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter. On Jan. 22, 1932, two days before Picasso painted “‘The Dream,” a more famous portrait of Walter asleep in an armchair.

$34.7 million

Picasso, the Blue Period “Portrait of Germaine” (1902)

$18.6 million

Monet’s “Waterlilies, Overcast” (1907)

$11.2 million

“Pfeile (Arrows),” a 1927 Kandinsky painting — a classic work of geometric abstraction

$3.8 million

1941 Picasso, “Dora Maar With Cat,” depicts Maar in a large wooden chair with a black cat perched on her shoulder.

$95.2 million. Becomes the second-highest price ever paid for a work of art at auction, after “Boy With a Pipe (The Young Apprentice),” a 1905 painting from Picasso’s Rose Period, which brought $104.1 million at Sotheby’s in May 2004.

1978 Chagall biblical scene, “Paradise”

$2.5 million

Matisse’s “Reclining Nude, View of Her Back” (1927)

$18.4 million — a record for the artist at auction

Picasso’s “Harlequin With Baton,” a 1969 image of a harlequin — an alter ego of the artist — waving a long, phallic baton.

$10 million

“Flowers and Fruit,” an 1889 Renoir still life.

$2.8 million


Monet landscape, “Near Monte-Carlo,” an 1883 seascape

$5 million

Picasso, “Seated Woman in an Armchair” (1960)

$6.7 million

“Rooftops,” an 1882 Van Gogh watercolor.

$4.7 million

By far the top sellers were the more modern works, although Christie’s and Sotheby’s sold some classic Impressionist paintings as well. This week in the auction world asserts the dominance of the old masters. It seems as if the world has changed so much, and still, their art is the most admired and sought after.

About the Author

Amitai Sasson of is an art world traveler on a mission to seek out the beauty and passion of the art world. As an avid enthusiast of art and oil paintings, he contributes to as Chief editor and writer.