MOSCOW, November 8 (RIA Novosti) - Wassily Kandinsky’s 1909 painting, "Studie fur Improvisation 8," was sold at Christie’s for more than $23 million, setting an auction record for the artist, the auction house said on Thursday.
“Widely recognized for its significance to the advancement of abstract art, the work is a fully-realized study for the last of the eight numbered paintings Kandinsky created in 1909 as part of his pioneering series he called “Improvisations,” Christie’s said in a pre-sale press release.
The 38 by 27 inch (98 x 70 cm) oil on cardboard features a mystical scene of a conquering hero wielding a golden sword, and a walled city with golden domes.
The painting was previously part of the collection of the Volkart Foundation, a Swiss charitable trust founded by the Volkart Brothers in 1851. Since 1960, the painting has been on loan from the Foundation to the Kunstmuseum Winterthur in Switzerland.
The previous auction sale record of $20.9 million was set in 1990, for Kandinsky’s 1914 abstract canvas “Fugue.”
Wednesday’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale, featuring works by Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Marc Chagall and others, fetched $204.8 million in total. The sum was below the low estimate of $209.3 million as 21 lots failed to find buyers.
The top lot of the evening sale was Claude Monet’s "Nympheas" (Water Lilies), which went under hammer for $43.8 million, within the pre-sale estimate of $30-50 million.