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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 November 2007, 10:04 GMT
Van Gogh fails to sell at auction
Wheat Fields
The Wheat Fields was painted days before the artist's suicide
A Vincent Van Gogh painting has failed to sell at an art auction in New York.

Sotheby's was hoping The Wheat Fields would fetch up to $35m (16.7m), but it failed to reach its undisclosed reserve or attract a bid over $25m (11.9m).

The landscape was painted in 1890, just two weeks before the artist's suicide, and is considered to be possibly his last finished work.

"Our estimates were obviously not accepted by the market," a Sotheby's spokesman said.

The Wheat Fields was not the only painting that failed to sell at the auction.


Twenty out of the 76 lots on offer failed to attract buyers, including four works by Picasso and others by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri Matisse, and Claude Monet.

David Norman, co-chairman of impressionist and modern art at Sotheby's, insisted that while the results were disappointing, the market remained sound and blamed the poor sales on overly-optimistic estimates.

"I really think the art market, despite the results of the sales tonight, is strong with a tremendous capacity to absorb the works," he said.

Among the few successes of the night was Picasso's Tete de Femme, which fetched $29.1m (13.8m), setting a new record at auction for a sculpture by the artist.

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