So Fine Art and Antiques dealers keep talking about how well things are doing at the 'top end' of the market. Paintings have been doing particularly well, and to prove it, the big auction houses are holding major sales this month.
Results don't disappoint. Picasso's “La Lecture” (which depicts his mistress, Marie Therese Walter, asleep in an armchair) sold for over $40 million, and Salvador Dali’s “Portrait de Paul Eluard” set a new record for his works, almost triple what was expected, fetching just under $20 million.
The surprise this week was “Three Studies for a Portrait of Lucian Freud”, a triptych by Francis Bacon. It was sold to an anonymous bidder for $37 million.
Contemporary Art will be up next. One item that amuses me is an exhibit of hand painted sunflower seeds by Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artists who's a current sensation. One of his larger works caused a bit of a headache when exhibited at the Tate Modern: originally people were invited to walk over them, and the ensuing dust storm was considered a health risk. I'm not sure how Sotheby's will exhibit the work they'll have for sale (apparently the artist allows the venue to decide whether the seeds are piled up in a mound, spread out like a carpet...?)