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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 May 2007, 09:12 GMT 10:12 UK
Cezanne's melon is sold for $25m
Cezanne painted Nature Morte au Melon Vert between 1902-6

A Cezanne watercolour from the later part of the artist's career has sold for more than $25.5m (12.8m) at an art auction in New York.

Nature Morte au Melon Vert has set a record for the Impressionist painter for a composition on paper, according to auction house Sotheby's.

The sale, which made close to $280m (140.7m), also featured two Picasso works, fetching a total of $30m (15m).

Rival auction house Christie's is to sell Cezanne and Picasso works later.

Major sales

Leading Sotheby's sale, along with the Cezanne still life, was Lyonel Feininger's Jesuits III, which was sold for $23.2m (11.6m).

It is the second most lucrative sale in the history of the auction house.

Cezanne's work was sold on behalf of art collector Giuseppe Eskenazi, and was considered the artist's most important watercolour to remain in private hands.

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It is thought that he devoted several sittings to produce the piece.

The painting, which was produced at the beginning of the 20th Century, was been offered for sale twice before by Sotheby's.

In 1989 it fetched 2.5m at auction when it was sold by the British Rail Pension Fund.

Both auction houses are preparing for major sales of cotemporary and post-war art next week, with a major work by Francis Bacon, and a Mark Rothko canvas expected to command up to $30m (15m) each.

Art world prepares for $1bn sales
18 Apr 07 |  Entertainment
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14 Feb 07 |  Entertainment
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25 Apr 07 |  Entertainment
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29 Mar 07 |  Entertainment
In pictures: Cezanne in Britain
15 Feb 06 |  In Pictures

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