William Bouguereau stars in Christie's $11.7m art auction

Christie's New York sale of Old Masters & 19th Century Art featuring Select Works from the Salander-O'Reilly Galleries on June 9 achieved $11,749,750 with sell-through rates of 60% by lot, 78% by value. 

The top lot of the sale was William Bouguereau's Pietà, painted in 1876, which sold for $2,770,500 - the second highest price at auction for this artist.

This exceptional painting was purchased by a new collector to the field and directly underbid by a collector of Old Master paintings.

"The market for Old Masters and 19th Century Art continued to rebound this week at Christie's, with our mid-season sale achieving an $11.7 million result," said Nicholas Hall, International Co-Head, and Ben Hall, Head of Department for Old Masters & 19th Century Art in a joint statement.

William Bouguereau's Pietà, 1876, sold for $2,770,500

"That is nearly double that of last June's sale. We are also pleased to have achieved the top price for an Old Master painting this season with the sale of Pieter Brueghel II's Autumn for $866,500."

The afternoon sale session devoted to select works from the Salander O'Reilly Galleries realized $2 million, with strong results for works from the studio of El Greco and the studio of Sir Anthony Van Dyck.

"We are delighted with the exceptional price achieved for Bouguereau's Pietà, a museum-quality work of great importance and rarity," added James Hastie, Head of 19th Century Art.

The second-highest sale, Pieter Brueghel the Younger's Autumn: An allegory
of one of the Four Seasons, brought $866,500

"It is important to note that the winning bidder for this work was a new collector to the field, while the direct underbidder was a prominent collector of Old Masters paintings.

"This further illustrates the trend of cross-buying in this field and underscores the appeal of our newly amalgamated category for Old Master & 19th Century Art at Christie's."

Christie's next London Evening Sale in this category will be held on July 6.


  • Learn how you can get pleasure and profit from Old Master and 19th century art
  • Click here for all the latest Art news

Join our readers in 171 countries around the world - sign up for your free weekly Collectibles Newsletter today


Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock