- Billionaire's paintings were offered at Sotheby's sale
- Sotheby's Impressionist, modern sale in New York continues
Billionaire William Koch’s paintings by Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet tallied $101.3 million at Sotheby’s in New York, about 10 times what he paid for them.
The paintings were offered during the Impressionist and modern art evening auction on Thursday, the second day of a semiannual 10-day marathon targeting more than $2.1 billion in sales. The Sotheby’s auction is continuing.
Picasso’s “La Gommeuse,” created at the start of the artist’s “Blue Period” in 1901, fetched $67.5 million. It had been estimated at more than $60 million. Picasso was 19 when he painted the nude cabaret dancer with a pale face, red lips and black curls. There’s a second painting on the back of the canvas, an upside-down caricature of the artist’s friend and fellow Spaniard Pere Manach.
Koch bought the Picasso in 1984 for 1.4 million pounds, equivalent to about $1.7 million at the time, at Sotheby’s in London. Sotheby’s sold the work for the fourth time -- the first was in 1949 for $3,600.
The second Koch painting, Monet’s 1908 “Nympheas” depicts the artist’s famous pond studded with water lilies in Giverny, France. It fetched $33.9 million, within the estimated presale range of $30 million to $50 million. Koch bought it for $8.4 million at Sotheby’s in New York in 2000.