Amedeo Modigliani's portrait of his lover Jeanne Hebuterne provided the highlight of Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale, which took place in London last night (February 6).
Jeanne Hebuterne (au chapeau) saw strong bids, selling for £26.9m ($42.3) and achieving a 22.3% increase on its £22m high estimate. In total, the auction realised £136.5m ($213.8m), a new house record for an Impressionist and Modern Art sale in February.
The sale follows Sotheby's own Impressionist and Modern Art event, held in London on February 5, and which was highlighted by a Picasso portrait of his muse Marie-Therese Walter at $44.7m.
The Modigliani portrait was painted a year before the artist's death in 1919 and shows his lover Jeanne Hebuterne, with whom he had a child. Following his death at age 35 from meningitis - worsened by alcohol and drug addiction - Hebuterne jumped from a window, killing herself and their second unborn child.
The second highest sale of the auction was provided by Pierre-Auguste Renoir's L'ombrelle, a quintessential impressionist work depicting a fashionably dressed Parisienne. It sold for £9.6m ($15.2m), up a considerable 38.1% on its £7m high estimate.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has a signed letter from Renoir to Madame Charpentier - the subject of one of his most famous works - which will provide the perfect complement to any impressionist collection.
In a sale that saw good results all around, Berthe Morisot's Apres le dejeuner sold for £6.9m ($10.9m). In doings so, it set a new world record for a female artist at auction.