The 10 Highest Prices for Art at Auction in June 2014

A closer look at the top-selling lots.

A look at the 10 highest prices for art at auction in June shows big-ticket buyers displaying a preference for Impressionist and modern art. Perhaps Monet’s brushy waterlilies and landscape scenes are striking a chord with buyers now that we’re in the summer months. Of the 10 top works, just one is a contemporary piece, Peter Doig‘s oil on canvas Country-rock (wing-mirror) (1999).

Coline Milliard, artnet News’ European Market editor in London, attended the London auctions, and had this to say about Doig at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction on June 30:

Take the star lot: Doig’s Country-rock (wing-mirror). The piece is one of only three paintings in its series. Bought from Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in 1999, the year it was painted, it has remained in the same New York collection since then. The rainbow tunnel motif it prominently features has a particular place in the artist’s vocabulary.

For lovers of Doig, it has a supreme status—akin only perhaps to that of the canoe,” Cheyenne Westphal, co–global head of contemporary art at Sotheby’s told the Telegraph ahead of the sale. So confident was Sotheby’s in the piece’s success that it pitched it above record level, in the region of £9 million. The work hammered very quickly, at £7.5 million ($12,770,700) (equating to a £8,482,500 / $14,443,700 sale with buyer’s premium). 

According to the artnet Price Database, these 10 artworks sold for a total of over $236.7 million.

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Claude Monet, Nymphéas, Sotheby's auction
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Claude Monet, Nymphéas, Sotheby's auction
Claude Monet, Nymphéas. Medium: oil on canvas; Size: 34.8 x 39.4 in. / 88.5 x 100 cm.; Sotheby's London: Monday, June 23, 2014, sold for: 31,722,500 GBP (US$53,959,006) Premium
Francis Bacon, Three Studies for Portraits of George Dyer (On Light Ground), 1964 Courtesy Sotheby's
Francis Bacon, Three studies for portrait of George Dyer (on light ground) (in 3 parts);. Medium: oil on canvas, Size: 14 x 11.8 in. / 35.5 x 30 cm., Sotheby's London: Monday, June 30, 2014, sold for: 26,682,500 GBP (US$45,463,452) Premium
Piet Mondrian, Composition with Red, Blue and Grey. Medium: oil on canvas, Size: 26 x 19.7 in. / 66 x 50 cm., Sotheby's London: Monday, June 23, 2014, sold for: 15,202,500 GBP (US$25,858,989 ) Premium
Kurt Schwitters, Ja – Was? – Bild (‘Yes-What?-Picture’) (1920) Photo: Courtesy Christie's London
Kurt Schwitters, Ja - Was? - Bild. Medium: oil, paper, corrugated card, cardboard, fabric, wood and nails on board, Size: 43 x 31.5 in. / 109.2 x 80 cm., Christie's London: Tuesday, June 24, 2014, sold for: 13,970,500 GBP (US$23,710,964 ) Premium
Amedeo Modiliani Portrait de Paul Alexandre. Photo: Courtesy Sotheby's
Amedeo Modigliani, Portrait de Paul Alexandre. Medium: oil on canvas, Size: 36.2 x 23.6 in. / 92 x 60 cm., Sotheby's Paris: Wednesday, June 4, 2014, sold for: 13,537,500 EUR (US$18,435,925 ) Premium
Alberto Giacometti, Femme de Venise II. Medium: bronze w/gold patina, Size: 47.40 in. / 120.50 cm., Christie's London: Tuesday, June 24, 2014, sold for: 9,042,500 GBP (US$15,347,080 ) Premium
Monet LA SEINE À ARGENTEUIL oil on canvas . Painted in 1875.
Claude Monet, La Seine à Argenteuil. Medium: oil on canvas, Size: 23.5 x 31.4 in. / 59.8 x 79.8 cm., Sotheby's London: Monday, June 23, 2014, sold for: 8,538,500 GBP (US$14,523,728 ) Premium
Peter Doig, Country-rock (wing-mirror). Medium: oil on canvas, Size: 76.7 x 106.3 in. / 194.9 x 270 cm., Sotheby's London: Monday, June 30, 2014, sold for: 8,482,500 GBP (US$14,453,058 ) Premium
Henri Matisse, L'artiste et le modèle nu. Medium: oil on canvas, Size: 23.6 x 28.7 in. / 60 x 73 cm., Christie's London: Tuesday, June 24, 2014, sold for: 6,802,500 GBP (US$11,545,315 ) Premium
Monet's La Seine a Argenteuil (1875) oil on canvas Photo: Courtesy Sotheby's
Claude Monet, Antibes, vue du Plateau Notre-Dame. Medium: oil on canvas, Size: 25.6 x 36.3 in. / 65.1 x 92.1 cm., Sotheby's London: Monday, June 23, 2014, sold for: 7,922,500 GBP (US$13,475,931 ) Premium
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