Klimt painting sells for $59M in bumper London auction week

By on March 3, 2017


“Bauerngarten (Flower Garden),” painted in 1907, went for 47.9 million pounds ($59.3 million) at Sotheby's in London. (Photo: Klimt Musuem)
“Bauerngarten (Flower Garden),” painted in 1907, went for 47.9 million pounds ($59.3 million) at Sotheby’s in London. (Photo: Klimt Musuem)

LONDON—An exuberant floral landscape by Gustav Klimt has sold at auction for almost 48 million pounds—the third-highest price ever paid for an artwork in Europe.

“Bauerngarten (Flower Garden),” painted in 1907, went for 47.9 million pounds ($59.3 million) at Sotheby’s in London.

Sotheby’s Europe chairwoman Helena Newman said the painting was “one of the artist’s greatest masterpieces ever to come to auction.”

The only works to have fetched more in Europe are Alberto Giacometti’s “Walking Man” sculpture, which sold for 65 million pounds in 2010, and Peter Paul Rubens’ painting “The Massacre Of The Innocents, which netted 49.5 million pounds in 2002.

This has been a strong week for modern art auctions in London. Sotheby’s sale on Wednesday raised a total of 194.7 million pounds ($240.8 million). The auction house says that is a record for a London auction.

Top lots included Pablo Picasso’s “Tomato Plant,” which sold for 17 million pounds ($21 million), a record for a still life by the Spanish artist.

On Tuesday at rival auctioneer Christie’s, Paul Gauguin’s Tahitian landscape “Te Fare” (The House) sold for 20.3 million pounds ($25.2 million). Rene Magritte’s surrealist painting “La Corde Sensible” (“Heartstrings”) sold for 14.4 million pounds ($17.9 million), a record for the artist.