'Momentous' van Gogh sells for £46m
A painting Vincent van Gogh created while briefly working side-by-side with his friend Paul Gauguin in the south of France has brought in 66.3 million dollars (£45.7m) at auction.
The Allee Of Alyscamps was offered at Sotheby's impressionist and modern art sale in New York. The autumnal scene was painted in 1888 during a two-month period when van Gogh, who died in 1890, and Gauguin worked together in Arles, France.
The painting, which had a pre-sale estimate of more than 40 million dollars, was sold to an Asian private collector, Sotheby's said. The auction record for a van Gogh is 82.5 million dollars (£54.6m).
Van Gogh expert Clifford Edwards, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, said: "To have a canvas from Arles by that very self-taught artist at the height of his work marks the sale as momentous."
The sale also featured six paintings spanning four decades of Claude Monet's career. The highlight was Water Lilies, a 1905 version of his beloved pond and gardens at his home in Giverny, France. It fetched 54 million dollars (£35.7m), topping its high pre-sale estimate of 45 million dollars.
Monet's 1908 painting of Venice with a view of the Palazzo Ducale on the Grand Canal fetched more than 23 million dollars (£15.2m). It was confiscated by the Nazis from the noted collector Jakob Goldschmidt and reclaimed by his son in 1960. It descended to a grandson, who died last year.
The current auction record for a work by Monet is his 1919 Water Lily Pond, which sold for 80.5 million dollars (£53.3m) in 2008.
Sotheby's also offered works from two prominent single-owner collections.
There were two works from Hollywood film moguls Samuel Goldwyn and his son.
Woman With A Chignon In An Armchair, a portrait of Pablo Picasso's lover Francoise Gilot, sold for 29.9 million dollars (£19.8m), almost doubling its high pre-sale estimate of 18 million dollars. It depicts her in an embroidered jacket Picasso bought for her in Poland while she was pregnant with their child.
Henri Matisse's Anemones And Pomegranates was purchased by the elder Goldwyn two years after it was painted in 1948. It sold for more than six million dollars (£4m), in line with its pre-sale estimate.
About two dozen other works from the collection will be offered in a series of sales later this month and in June and October.
Samuel Goldwyn Jr died in January; his father died in 1974.
The other collection belonged to Jerome Stone, a Chicago businessman and founder of the Alzheimer's Association, who died in January. It included Fernand Leger's The Blue Wheel, Definitive State, with a pre-sale estimate of up to 12 million dollars. It fetched 10.5 million (£7m).
Other artists in the collection included Joan Miro, Marc Chagall and Alberto Giacometti.