An example of Analytical Cubism led Christie's evening sale of Impressionist and modern art on Thursday. The solid sale totaled $145.5 million, boosted by several estimate-busting lots and alternately sunk a bit by passed lots. Eighty-three percent of 59 lots sold.
Some felt the auction floor lacked excitement, noting a sparseness of key works in the offerings and less of an enthusiasm than the contemporary art sales, reports the New York Times.
Still, there were a few stand-outs. One highlight was Pablo Picasso's early cubist La Carafe, from 1911-12, which brought the top price of the night at $10.5 million (with fees).
Le miroir universel by Rene Magritte, a three-quarter length nude that the artist described as “La magie noire,” explaining the model's skin in partly cerulean blue as “an act of black magic to turn a woman’s flesh into sky.” The work brought $6.6 million, three times the low estimate.
Nu à la serviette blanche by Matisse, painted during his "dark years" of personal tumult and hinting at his coming Fauve style, brought a strong $9.1 million, about double its high estimate.