Sunday, January 9, 2011

Gauguin work expected to fetch £10m in London

LONDON: A painting of sunflowers and a nude by French artist Paul Gauguin is expected to fetch up to 10 million pounds (15.4 million dollars, 12 million euros) at auction next month, Christie's said Friday.

Gauguin's "Nature morte a 'l'Esperance'", a still life painted in 1901 when he was living in Tahiti, will be the star lot of a sale of impressionist and modern art in London on February 9.

The painting was presented to the media on Friday, the first time it has been seen in public since 1989.

Giovanna Bertazzoni, the director and head of impressionist and modern art at Christie's London, said the work had been priced at between seven and 10 million pounds but could sell for more.

"This is the starting point but we do not know how much it will fetch on the night," she said.

She said the work, completed two years before Gauguin's death, contains "a lot of layers and references", including a nod to one of his contemporaries, Edgar Degas.

It was part of Gauguin's first landmark retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris in 1906 and has been shown in more than 20 major exhibitions.


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