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).
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.