Arts & Entertainment

Klimt painting star of Sotheby’s auction, fetching $53.2 million

New York City, May 16 (EFE).- A 1902 painting by Gustav Klimt sold Tuesday for $53.2 million after a seven-minute bid between three buyers in the first big seasonal sale at Sotheby’s in New York City.

“Insel im Attersee (Island in the Attersee)” is a landscape painted by the Austrian artist, who captured the nuances of the sun hitting Atter Lake, where he spent his summers.

Klimt’s painting surpassed the work that began the night as favorite: “L’Empire des lumières III” (Empire of Lights, 1951), one of the most evocative works of the Belgian surrealist René Magritte, which sold for $42.3 million, below the upper estimate of $55 million.

Among the works that exceeded $20 million were a Rubens (“Portrait of a Man as Mars,” $26.2 million); a Picasso (“Femme nue couchée jouant avec un chat,” $21.2 million), a Van Gogh (“Jardin devant le Mas Debray,” $23.2 million), as well as the sculpture “Femme Leoni” by Alberto Giacometti, which sold for $28.5 million.

All of these works, with the exception of that of Klimt, went below their maximum estimates with which Sotheby’s had presented them in this spring auction, pointing to possible art market fatigue.

On Wednesday, the sale of one of the jewels of the Sotheby’s spring collection is planned. It is not an artwork, but the earliest, most complete Hebrew Bible known as the “Codex Sassoon,” written around the year 900 in Israel or Syria, with an estimated range of $30-50 million. EFE


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