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Tuesday, June 29, 1999 Published at 08:30 GMT 09:30 UK


Degas fetches record 17.6m

The most expensive Degas ever sold

A pastel by the French artist, Edgar Degas, has been bought at auction for the record-breaking sum of 17.6m.

Danseuse au repos sold at Sotheby's for 17,601,500 ($28m), making it the most expensive Degas ever sold.

The work, from Degas's series of studies of young ballet dancers which he began in the late 1870s, was bought by an anonymous telephone bidder.

The sale price far exceeded expectations, as the pastel was estimated to fetch between 5m and 7m during Sotheby's London sale of impressionist and modern art.

[ image: Femme assise devant un piano]
Femme assise devant un piano
A second Degas, Femme assise devant un piano, dating from the early 1880s, fetched 3,081,500.

The two works were sold by descendants of Jules-Emile Boivin, the French businessman and friend of the artist who bought them in 1885.

The last record price for a Degas was 8.5m ($13.6m) paid for The Laundresses at Christie's auction house in London in 1987.

A total of 47 works were sold at Monday's auction, which raised a total of 50m.

Other highlights of the sale included a classic painting of waterlilies by Claude Monet, Nympheas, which sold for 3,081,500.

Cezanne's Trois Baigneurs, which provided inspiration for Henry Moore, was sold by the sculptor's daughter Mary for 683,500 and Henri Matisse's Robe Jaune et Robe Arlequin sold for more than 7m.

Most of the bidders for the ten most expensive works were believed to be private collectors from the US and Europe, while just a couple of the purchases were by Japanese buyers.

Hockney's grand prize

[ image: David Hockney and his Grand Canyon painting]
David Hockney and his Grand Canyon painting
British artist David Hockney picked up a prize on Monday when he was awarded this year's 25,000 Royal Academy Charles Wollaston Award.

Hockney won the award for his oil painting, A Bigger Grand Canyon, on display at the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition.

The award is one of the biggest and most prestigious art prizes in Britain and is handed out each year to the most distinguished work in the summer display of over 1,000 works.

The award was set up in 1978 with a donation from the late Charles Wollaston, a lecturer in art and an enthusiastic supporter of the Royal Academy.

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Sotheby's - Edgar Degas

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