A Lucian Freud portrait of the ex-husband of Britain’s Duchess of Cornwall, Andrew Parker Bowles, sold for $34.89 million in New York, Christie’s said.
The giant oil painting smashed its pre-sale estimate of $30 million. The British artist created it between 2003-04, shortly before Camilla married the Prince of Wales, her longtime lover.
The evening sale of post-war and contemporary art broke world auction records for five artists, including Italian 20th century artist Lucio Fontana and French-American artist Louise Bourgeois.
Fontana’s “Concetto spaziale, La fine di Dio” — a yellow egg slashed in the canvas — sold for $29.17 million and Bourgeois’ giant “Spider” sculpture for $28.17 million, the auction house said.
“Untitled” — an installation by Cuban-American artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres comprising of small, individually wrapped green candies — sold for $7.67 million, Christie’s said.
It set a new world auction record for Gonzalez-Torres. The total weight of the candies are 50 pounds (22.7 kilos) representing the weight of his partner just before he died of an AIDS-related illness.
It was created in 1991, the same year his partner died. Christie’s says the work “evokes the fragility of life and the artist’s remarkable talent for creating joy in a moment of sorrow.”
Tuesday’s sale came the day after Christie’s sold a sensuous nude by Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani for $170.4 million, making it the second most expensive work of art ever sold at auction.
It was purchased by taxi driver turned billionaire Liu Yiqian, one of China’s biggest art collectors, who founded two museums in Shanghai.