PARIS.- The highest price of this evenings historic sale rewarded Amedeo Modiglianis exceptional 1919 portrait of the collector Roger Dutilleul. This famous work, typical of the final portraits painted by Modigliani before his death, sold to a private collector for 6,481,500 ($8.814.127) to become the most expensive painting sold in France in 2013 (lot 11).
Six works by Marc Chagall pulverized their combined high-estimate of 2.7m to yield a total 3.6 million ($2.6 million). The two in fiercest demand were Les Amoureux aux Fleurs devant la Fenêtre (1960) at 961,500 ($1.307.534) (lot 9, est. 600,000-800,000) and Les Amoureux à Drammont at 805,500 ($1.095.391) (lot 13, est. 400,000-600,000).
There were a number of remarkable prices throughout the sale. Sustained interest from connoisseurs pushed Wassily Kandinskys superb Bunt Im Dreieck (1927), offered at auction for the first time, up to 1,777,500 ($2.417.204). The painting is a remarkable example of the philosophic reflection on the spiritual value of colours and geometric forms undertaken by the Master of Abstraction during his Bauhaus years (lot 15, est. 1.2-1.8m).
Works by Pablo Picasso remain in high demand. Le Baiser (1967), from his series on the theme of the Kiss produced between 1967-69, almost doubled top-estimate on 605,500 ($817.974) (lot 5, est. 250,000-350,000). Picassos 1964 Musketeer, an accomplished version from another of his final series, posted the evenings third-highest price of 1,665,500 ($2.264.897) (lot 17, est. 800,000-1.2m), while his Artist and his Model also cleared the million-euro barrier on 1,141,500 ($1.552.314) (lot 20).
The sales Surrealist works included Max Ernsts La Louve Romaine (1954), which sold well above top-estimate for 1,081,500 ($1.470.721) (lot 4, est. 500,000-700,000); and La Langue Maternelle, one of the few large-format gouaches painted by Wifredo Lam in 1942, shortly after his return to Havana from an eighteen-year exile, which sold in line with expectations for 289,500 ($393.688) (lot 6, est. 250,000-350,000).