A new record has been set for any single print sold at auction with the sale of Pablo Picassos La Minotauromachie for £1,273,250 / $1,987,416 at Sothebys
in London . The print eclipsed the pre-sale high estimate of £600,000 (the estimate was £400,000-600,000).
Discussing the sale, James Mackie, Sothebys Prints specialist, said: A new record has been set for any single print sold at auction with the sale of Pablo Picassos La Minotauromachie for £1,273,250. Pablo Picasso was the most important and innovative printmaker of the Modern period and he has been credited with the creation of some of the most significant works in the mediums five-hundred-year history. La Minotauromachie is considered to be the artists masterpiece of printmaking. It reflects key themes of the artist and demonstrates a mastery of technique that is unsurpassed. Nearly all recorded impressions of this subject are now in public or permanent collections round the world. The sale total of £8,885,525 is the highest ever for a Sothebys Prints sale held in London. At the core of the sale was a group of works from a Private European Collection, which collectively realised £6,540,175 against an estimate of £3,711,000 5,283,000. The price realised for Picassos La femme qui pleure is the highest achieved at auction for a print of this subject by the artist. Bidding during the auction was competitive and globally based.
The previous auction record for a print by Picasso was 2,150,000 Swiss Francs / £880,840 and this was set by a print of the same subject La Minotauromachie in 1990. (Prices sourced from Artnet and conversion website www.oanda.com).
The previous record for any single print ever sold at auction was 11,800,000 NOK (Norwegian Kroner) / £1,056,490 (Hammer price) for Vampire II by Edvard Munch, sold in Oslo in 2007. (Prices sourced from Artnet and conversion website www.oanda.com).
The current record for a portfolio of prints sold at auction is for 18 Cantos (portfolio of 18 works) by Barnett Newman, sold at Sothebys in New York in May 2008 for $2,057,000.