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Last Updated: Friday, 3 December, 2004, 16:17 GMT
Sargent painting sells for $23m
Group With Parasols (A Siesta)
The painting sold for more than double its estimated price
A painting by John Singer Sargent has sold for $23.5m (12.1m), setting a new auction record for the artist.

Group with Parasols (A Siesta) was bought anonymously at a Sotheby's auction in New York on Thursday.

Painted in 1905, the work shows members of Sargent's family relaxing in the French Alps. It was among a $65m (33m) sale of a 79-picture collection.

"In the field of American paintings, this was an historic day," said Sotheby's director Dara Mitchell.

Unusual familiarity

Five bidders competed for Group with Parasols, which was expected to sell for between $9m (4.6m) and $12m (6.2m).

Depicting men and women in repose together, the familiarity of its subject was in bold contrast to the age in which it was painted.

It broke the previous record for a Singer Sargent sale, when his Cashmere painting fetched 6.7m in 1996.

Sargent was an American citizen but lived in London for much of his life, becoming a fashionable artist among high society. He died in 1925.

His work was sold as part of a collection belonging to US airline fuel millionaire Daniel Fraad, who died in 1987, and his late wife Rita.

Sixteen works in the sale fetched more than $1m (516,000) each during the auction.


SEE ALSO:
Stevenson portrait sold for 5m
20 May 04 |  Entertainment
Sargent deserves promotion
28 Oct 98 |  Entertainment


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