|Bild mit weissen Linien|
The first smashing painting was Murnau—Landschaft mit grünem Haus (1909), painted in his Fauvist period. It closed at a breezy $26.4 million, higher than the last comparable painting, at approximately $17 million in 2013.
|Murnau – Landschaft mit grünem Haus|
However, a mere six lots later, Kandinsky's abstract Bild mit weissen Linien (1913) shattered Murnau’s new record by raking in $41.6 million.
It’s result – and in fact that of the entire sale - $187.7 million, may be seen as a barometer of the brighter mood of the higher end art market, even if only a few lots rose above their estimate.
It doesn't even really matter if the $41 million paid for Bild was within the estimate range – the record is impressive. The previous record for a comparable Kandinsky, $21 million set at Sotheby’s in 1990 for Fugue (1914) equals $39.3 million adjusted for inflation today.
As you might expect, Sotheby's is crowing these days and I expect there will be drinks all around this weekend.