NEW YORK (AP) — A collection of artwork put together by billionaire David Rockefeller that includes pieces from Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and Georgia O’Keeffe brought in more than $646 million on the first night of an auction.
Highlights of the Tuesday sale at Christies included “Young Girl with a Flower Basket,” a 1905 painting by Pablo Picasso which fetched $115 million, the second-highest price at auction for the artist.
Paintings by Claude Monet and Henri Matisse also garnered new record prices for the artists. Monet’s “Water Lilies in Bloom,” completed between 1914 and 1917, sold for a record $84.6 million and Matisse’s “Odalisque reclining with magnolias” sold for a record $80.7 million.
Christie’s says the proceeds will be distributed to a number of philanthropies Rockefeller and his wife, Peggy, supported in their lifetimes.
Rockefeller was the last surviving grandson of Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller when he died in March 2017 at the age of 101.
He and Peggy had been married for more than 50 years. She died in 1996.
The couple amassed a massive collection of art, furniture, ceramics, statuary and decor. The collection also includes items that were passed down from previous Rockefeller generations.
Tuesday’s evening sale focused on 19th- and 20th-century art, and also includes works from Paul Gauguin and Georges Seurat.
Art of the Americas will go on the block on Wednesday night. It includes works from Willem de Kooning, Edward Hopper and John Singer Sargent.
Other sale sessions at Christie’s will focus on furniture, ceramics and decorations, while an online auction will offer personal mementos, lamps and lighting and tableware.
Among the high-profile items? A porcelain dessert service that Napoleon took with him into exile. NVG