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Pablo Picasso. Fillette à la corbeille fleurie, 1905. Oil on canvas

Diego Rivera. The Rivals (Los rivales), 1931. Oil on canvas. 60 x 50 in.

The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller record sales


New York, NY

During the first night the Rockefeller auction sold $646 million. The big hit during the opening was for Fillette a la corbeille fleurie, a piece by Pablo Picasso, from 1905, sold in $115,000,000 (including buyer’s commission). Other artists with world auction records were  Eugène Delacroix, Tigre jouant avec une tortue  (1862) by $9,875,000. This was immediately followed by further records for Corot’s Venise, vue du Quai des Esclavons, which realised $9,009,844.  Armand Seguin’s Les délices de la vie, a four-panel screen painted circa 1892-93, achieved $7,737,500 — after a prolonged bidding battle. 

The Rivals by Diego Rivera has become the highest priced for a Latin American artwork at auction.  The painting was sold for $9.76 million, overtaking a record set by the work of Frida Kahlo, Dos Desnudos en el Bosque (La Tierra Misma) sold for $8 million at Christie’s in 2016. 

"It's undoubtedly one of Rivera's masterpieces," said Virgilio Garza, head of Latin American paintings at Christie's, on the auction house's website. It's a much more intimate scene focused on regional traditions, and the brushwork is deliberately looser."

The painting depicts two men in conical hats attending a traditional Mexican celebration. It was commissioned by Abby Rockefeller, David Rockefeller's mother, for her own private collection. In 1941, she gifted the painting to David and his wife Peggy, who hung it prominently in their living room at their home in Seal Harbor, Maine.

The artwork by Diego Rivera’s sale was part of a three-day auction at Christie's in New York, which featured more than 1,000 works of art and fine objects collected by the late banker and philanthropist David Rockefeller and his wife, Peggy. 

Paul Gauguin’s La Vague, a painting described as ‘one of the most original seascapes in Western art’, from 1888 went on to realise $35,187,500. Henri Matisse's, Odalisque couchée aux magnolias (1923), was estimated to sell for $70 million and sold for $80.7 million. Another new world record was Claude Monet's Nymphéas en fleur (1914-1917) which was estimated to sell for $50 million and sold for $84.7 million. The painting had hung in the stairwell of one of the Rockefeller's homes.

Day two of The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller closed with the Art of the Americas Evening Sale, which totaled $106,883,500, the most successful American Art sale in Christie’s history. Twenty-two world records have been set at a Christie's auction, including the $832 million total for the priciest private collection of artworks and other treasures, owned by Peggy and David Rockefeller. 

Peggy and David Rockefeller collected masterpieces across myriad categories: 19th- and 20th-century European and American paintings, English and American furniture, European porcelain, Asian art, pre-Columbian ceramics, silver, textiles, decorative art, folk art, and Native American art. The sale of the collection will continue the Rockefeller's philanthropic efforts. Proceeds will go to selected charities supported by the couple in their lifetime.




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