Constantin Brancusi’s La muse endormie (1913) headlined Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale in New York on Monday.
The work realised $57.3m, a new record for Brancusi’s work at auction.
This is one of only two versions of La muse endormie in private hands
The piece is one of six bronzes from an original rendering in marble. It’s among the sculptor’s most acclaimed works.
Brancusi is generally regarded as the father of modern sculpture.
He was among the first to apply modernist principals to the art form, in an attempt to distil the essence of his subjects down to their purest and simplest form.
Picasso’s Femme assise, robe bleue (1939), a portrait of his muse Dora Maar, sold for $45m.
Picasso wasn't one to flatter his muses
That’s more than double the £17.9m ($23m) it achieved on its last sale, in 2011.
Dora Maar and Picasso met in 1935 and embarked on a nine year relationship. She would be the subject of some of his most iconic paintings, including The Weeping Woman (1937).
Click here for a great piece of Picasso memorabilia.
A wealth of works by other artists sold for sums in the tens of millions, including Marc Chagall’s Les Trois Cierges ($14.5m).
This was Christie’s most successful art sale since 2010.
It totalled a huge $289.1m.
“Where we saw fabulous results were with works coming fresh to market," explained senior specialist Jessica Fertig.
“Eighty-four per cent of the lots in the sale had not been on the market for 20-plus years. That is what all of our clients are looking for.”
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