Rodin's marble L'Eternal Printemps sets new world record

A marble edition of Auguste Rodin's L'Eternal Printemps has sold for a record $20.4m at Sotheby's.

It is the first time this version of the work in marble has been offered at auction.

Rodin Eternal Printemps
This is the first time this version of L'Eternal Printemps has sold at auction

It sparked excitement among buyers at the New York sale, beating its estimate of $12m by 70%.

Rodin's previous record was £11.6m ($16.7m), set earlier this year for Iris, Messagere des dieux.

The auction house explains: "This sculpture is believed to be the fifth of ten known uniquely finished carvings of the subject in marble, and was singled out in Frederick Lawton's 1906 biography on the artist as the most magnificent of the series…

"L'Eternel Printemps was one of Rodin's most celebrated sculptures of the 1880s.

"Rodin later stated that he was listening to Beethoven's 2nd Symphony when he first conceived of L'Eternel Printemps, and certainly the passion and romance of the great German composer can be felt in this marble sculpture."

Rodin's market has exploded this year, with a bronze version of L'Eternal Printemps making £938,500 ($1.5m) at Bonhams in February.

Maurice de Vlaminck's fauvist masterpiece Sous-Bois (1905) sold for $16.3m.

Vlaminck was a key member of the fauvist movement and exhibited alongside masters like Matisse and Derain.

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