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Renoir at $15 Million Boosts Sales After $1.4 Billion Art Fair

"Femme Cueillant des Fleurs" (1874) by Renoir has been sold by the London-based dealer Dickinson, after being exhibited at Tefaf, the European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Source: Tefaf via Bloomberg

May 7 (Bloomberg) -- Paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Jan Lievens valued at $20 million have boosted takings generated by the world’s biggest art-and-antiques fair, six weeks after it closed.

The sales were confirmed to Bloomberg News as galleries continued to follow expressions of interest from wealthy collectors at Tefaf, the European Fine Art Fair, in Maastricht, the Netherlands. About 260 dealers offered artworks with a total value of more than 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) at the event.

Business at Tefaf itself, which closed on March 27, was quieter than last year, dealers said, making after-sales more important. The event’s organizers don’t disclose total figures, just attendance figures. Tefaf attracted 73,000 visitors this year, an increase of 500 on 2010.

“It is not uncommon that the actual deal is done after the fair,” James Roundell, a director at London dealer Dickinson, said in an e-mail. Dickinson sold Renoir’s 1874 painting “Femme Cueillant des Fleurs,” showing Claude Monet’s first wife Camille Doncieux in a sunlit meadow. The early Impressionist work was being sold by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, with an asking price of $15 million.

An early-17th-century panel painting of an old man by the Dutch painter Lievens was priced at 3.9 million euros ($5.7 million) on the booth of the Paris-based Old Master dealership, Haboldt & Co. The work had been acquired by Bob Haboldt at Sotheby’s in London in July 2010 for 2.5 million pounds. Both paintings were bought by European private collectors, said Tefaf.

Quinn Show

The British contemporary artist Ged Quinn is a name that investment-minded collectors are watching.

Five new large-scale works by the Cornwall-based artist are included in a show at the Stephen Friedman Gallery in Mayfair, London, through June 1. The paintings, which insert 21st-century urban detritus into meticulously rendered Old Master-style rural scenes, are priced at about 100,000 pounds ($164,230). Smaller paintings are tagged at 30,000 pounds.

In February, one of Quinn’s tongue-in-cheek Arcadian landscapes sold at Christie’s International for a record 193,250 pounds, more than three times its estimate.

Quinn, a former protege of Charles Saatchi, was previously represented in London by the east London dealership Wilkinson, which priced his paintings at about 60,000 pounds, said dealers.

(Scott Reyburn writes about the art market for Muse, the arts and culture section of Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are his own.)

To contact the writer on the story: Scott Reyburn in London at sreyburn@hotmail.com.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Beech at mbeech@bloomberg.net.

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