Wednesday May 5, 2010
A Pablo Picasso painting has set a new record for the most expensive art work sold at auction, fetching $106m (£70m).
The Spanish artist's 1932 picture Nude, Green Leaves and Bust was sold at Christie's auction house in New York. It had belonged to the late Los Angeles collectors Frances and Sidney Brody since the 1950s. The winning bid was made by an unnamed telephone bidder. It breaks the record held by Giacometti's Walking Man I, which sold in February for $104.3m. Another work by Picasso, Garcon a la Pipe, had previously held the record when it sold for $104.1m in 2004. Nude, Green Leaves and Bust had been expected to sell for $70m-$90m.
The record-breaking sum, which includes Christie's commission, is being taken as a sign that the art market has recovered from the global financial crisis. "The Brodys bought it in the 50s. It was only exhibited once in 1961," said Conor Jordan, the head of Christie's impressionist department. "When we got into Brody's house in November it was quite an experience," he was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.