Giacometti's Diego en chemise raises auction record by 123%

Alberto Giacometti's Diego en chemise ecossaise has set a new auction record at Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale, which was held in New York on November 5.

Alberto Giacometti Diego Plaid Shirt Portrait
The portrait is one of Alberto Giacometti's most accomplished, returning to his signature subject of his brother, a fellow artist and designer

The 1954 painting, a portrait of Giacometti's brother and muse, Diego, sold for $32.6m, just beating its low estimate of $30m. It is now the most valuable painting by Alberto Giacometti, making a 123.2% increase on the previous $14.6m record set by Portrait de Caroline in 2008.

Wassily Kandinsky Schwarx und Violette
The market for Kandinsky's work remains strong following a record sale at Christie's previous impressionist sale in November 2012

Further highlights of the sale include Wassily Kandinsky's Schwarz und Violett, which beat its $7.5m high estimate by 66.6% with a final realisation of $12.5m, following a "protracted bidding battle".

The record for Kandinsky's work at auction was set by Studie fur improvisation 8 at Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale in November 2012 at $23m.

Three of the top 10 sales of the auction were seen by Claude Monet, with a pastel landscape from 1897, L'Ile aux Orties, leading his offerings at $8.1m.

Further highlights include Vincent Van Gogh's work on paper La Maison de Vincent a Arles (La maison jaune), which was accompanied by a letter from Van Gogh to his brother Theo. It sold for $5.8m, topping its $3.5m high estimate by 65.7%.

In total, the sale brought $144.2m and some encouraging mid-value results for Christie's after the lacklustre evening sale of the Jan Krugier collection on November 4, which kicked off the auction house's impressionist and modern art week in New York.

Femme Debout Alberto Giacometti
Femme Debout is a classic example of the sculptural work for which Alberto Giacometti was known

The day sale of Krugier's collection also took place yesterday, led by Alberto Giacometti's Femme Debout (Figurine), a classic example of his renowned sculpture work, which sold for $5.4m.

Also auctioning was Paul Klee's Abstract Garten Dammerung, which had been expected to sell for between $300,000 and $500,000 yet realised $845,000 after strong bids.

The sale comes as the art world is rocked by the discovery of around 1,500 modernist artworks confiscated by Nazis in the flat of an 80-year-old German man. Included are previously unknown works from the likes of Klee, Chagall, Picasso and Matisse.

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