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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 February 2006, 09:59 GMT
Record price for Soutine painting
Le Boeuf Ecorche
The painting was inspired by Rembrandt
A painting by French artist Chaim Soutine has sold for a record 7.8m at auction in London.

The oil painting of a beef carcass, dating from about 1924, was only estimated to fetch 4.8m at the auction held by Christie's.

The sale, to an anonymous buyer, set a world record for the expressionist artist's work.

Le Boeuf Ecorche is one of half a dozen paintings of the carcass but the others are all owned by major museums.

A spokeswoman for Christie's said this was probably why the painting sold for much more than its estimate.

But French impressionist Camille Pissarro's La Seine a Bougival failed to sell - it was expected to fetch between 2m and 3m.

A Pierre-Henri Renoir portrait of his older brother sold for 2.02m.

Another painting by Soutine sold for 411,200 at the Impressionist and Modern Art Sale.


Soutine was born near Minsk in what was then Russia in 1893 but moved to Paris in 1913 where he met artists such as Modigliani, Chagall and Laurens.

He spent years living in poverty - his first one-man exhibition was not until 1927.

His carcass paintings were inspired by Rembrandt's still life of the same subject, which he discovered while studying the Old Masters in the Louvre.

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