$22.5m painting achieves World Record price for 'the wildest of wild beasts'

A new world auction record was set for the French artist Maurice de Vlaminck (1876-1958), at Christie's New York on Wednesday (May 4) night. The vividly-hued 1905 landscape Paysage De Banlieue, a fitting tribute to springtime in New York, sold for $22,482,500 (£13,489,500/€15,063,275).

The magnificent Fauvist landscape - a highlight of the pre-sale exhibition - was fought over by multiple bidders before a rapt audience. Conor Jordan, head of Impressionist & Modern Art at Christie's New York, won the lot after four minutes of bidding on behalf of an unidentified client on the phone.

Vlaminck painting Paysage De Banlieue
The incredibly vibrant Paysage de Banlieue

It bested the previous auction record for the artist of $10,756,419, set in 1990 for his work Les Pecheurs a Nanterre, of 1905-1906.

With a pre-sale low estimate of $18 million, the Fauve masterpiece by the celebrated French landscape painter — universally lauded as the "wildest of the Fauves" (or "wild beasts" as they were dubbed by the art critic Louis Vauxcelles) — exhibits pure, unmodulated colour and expressive brushwork.  Painted in 1905, Paysage de banlieue, shows Vlaminck working at the height of his creative powers, with his classical training in form and composition melding seamlessly with his innovative approach to color and paint handling.

Earlier in the sale, a new world auction record was set for Maximilien Luce (1858-1941) when his Notre-Dame de Paris, an oil on canvas painted in 1900, sold for $4,226,500 (£2,535,900/€2,831,755).

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