Van Gogh painting fetches $66m at New York auction

2015-05-06 13:21
A Vincent van Gogh painting, "Les Alyscamps" that fetched more than $66m when it auctioned in New York on May 5 2015. (Sotheby's, AP)

A Vincent van Gogh painting, "Les Alyscamps" that fetched more than $66m when it auctioned in New York on May 5 2015. (Sotheby's, AP)

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New York - A Vincent Van Gogh painting fetched more than $66m at a New York auction on Tuesday, the most paid for a work by the Dutch post-impressionist artist since 1998.

According to the Sotheby's auction firm, Van Gogh's "Les Alyscamps," which depicts a stand of autumnal trees, had been expected to go for around $40m but ultimately an Asian collector paid $66.3m after an intense bidding war between five potential buyers.

Also reaching the pricing stratosphere was a "Water Lilies" painting by French impressionist Claude Monet, which sold for $54m, smashing Sotheby's valuation of between $30m and $45m.

The most ever paid for a Van Gogh was in 1990 when his "Portrait of Dr Gachet" sold for $82.5m in New York. Adjusted to today's money, that's about $153m.

Tuesday's sale of impressionist and contemporary works marks the start of auction season in the Big Apple.

Pablo Picasso's colourful "The Women of Algiers (Version 0)," depicting a scene from a harem, will be up for grabs when Christie's puts it on the auction block May 11.

The artwork has been valued at $140m.

The world record for a painting sold at auction is $142.4m for Francis Bacon's "Three Studies of Lucian Freud," which was snapped up in New York in 2013.

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