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  • Lautrec painting sells for $22.4m
    11.16.2005 NEW YORK.

    La Blanchisseuse is a portrait of a female laundry worker

    A painting by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec has been sold for $22.4m (£12.6m) in New York, breaking the world sales record for the artist's work.

    His 1886 work La Blanchisseuse shows a female laundry worker gazing out of a window. It beat the 1997 record of $14.5m (£8.2m) for one of his works.

    Christie's annual autumn art auction also sold Picasso's Sylvette on a Green Armchair for $8m (£4.5m).

    But Henri Matisse's Marguerites failed to reach its $10m (£5.6m) asking price.

    A pair of Monet paintings also remained unsold, drawing no bids beyond $3.2m (£1.8m) after pre-sale estimates of up to $6m (£3.3m).

    Intense life

    Christie's two-week Impressionist and modern art sale took a total of $160.9m (£91m) in its first week.

    La Blanchisseuse was its highest sale so far, although it had been expected to fetch up to $25m (£14m).

    Sold to an anonymous buyer, it beat the record set by Toulouse-Lautrec's 1890 work Danseuse Assise aux bas Roses, which fetched $14.5m (£8.2m) eight years ago.

    French poster painter Toulouse-Lautrec's life was short but extremely intense.

    When, in 1901, he succumbed to the effects of alcoholism, syphilis and wild living, he had known huge professional success and extreme exhibitionism.