Picasso’s Women of Algiers smashes auction record

Picasso’s Women of Algiers smashes auction record

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Picasso’s Women of Algiers smashes auction record.

Picasso’s Women of Algiers has become the most expensive painting to sell at auction, going for $179.3m (£115m) at Christie’s in New York.

Eleven minutes of prolonged bidding from telephone buyers preceded the final sale – for much more than its pre-sale estimate of $140m.

The evening sale also featured Alberto Giacometti’s life-size sculpture Pointing Man, which set a record as the most expensive sculpture, at $141.3m.

The buyers chose to remain anonymous.

The Picasso oil painting is a vibrant, cubist depiction of nude courtesans, and is part of a 15-work series the Spanish artist created in 1954-55 designated with the letters A to O.

The final price of $179,365,000 includes Christie’s commission of just over 12%.

The previous world record for a painting sold at auction was $142.4m, for British painter Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud.

That sold at Christie’s in 2013.

Man Pointing by Alberto Giacometti
Man Pointing by Alberto Giacometti also set a record.Experts believe the investment value of art is behind the high prices.

“I don’t really see an end to it, unless interest rates drop sharply, which I don’t see happening in the near future,” said Manhattan dealer Richard Feigen.

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