Alberto Giacometti's Grande tete de Diego hits high estimate

Alberto Giacometti's Grande tete de Diego sold for $50m at Sotheby's New York on November 6, achieving its high estimate.

The work headlined a high profile sale of impressionist and modern art.

The 1955 sculpture is a representation of Giacometti's brother Diego, who is also a sculptor and designer.

Giacometti Diego Sotheby's
The sculpture was conceived in 1954 and cast in bronze the following year

Sotheby's head of impressionist and modern art in New York, Simon Shaw, commented prior to the sale: "Of all his representations of the human figure, Grande tete de Diego is perhaps Giacometti's most radical, visually engaging and emotionally impactful.

"The exaggerated profile and knife edge frontal view allow one to experience two radically different views of his brother.

"Along with Giacometti's iconic L'homme qui marche, Grande tete de Diego represents the definitive expression of his aesthetic."  

The record price for a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti was set by L'homme qui marche I, which achieved $103.9m at Sotheby's in London in 2010.

Earlier this week, Diego en chemise ecossaise became the most valuable Alberto Giacometti painting ever sold, realising $32.6m at Christie's.

You can view the top 10 most valuable works by Alberto Giacometti here.

Two paintings by Picasso featured prominently in the sale, both achieving figures significantly above their estimates. Tete de Femme (1935) realised $39.9m, up 33% on a $30m high estimate.

Mousquetaire a la Pipe, meanwhile sold for $30m - an increase of 72% on its valuation of $12m-18m.

The auction realised total sales of $290.2m, significantly outperforming rival Christie's - whose three-day impressionist and modern art auctions brought in $293.7m.

The disparity is likely to be a result of Sotheby's offering a selection of rarely seen works by blue chip artists - a strategy that attracted buyers from around the globe.  

A number of sales of impressionist and modern art took place in New York this week, including a sale at Bonhams that saw Le Jardin de Maubuisson by Pissarro achieve $1.8m.

We have a postcard signed by Picasso.

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