Picasso work sets world art-auction record

Tue May 4, 2010 7:58pm EDT
 
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust" soared to more than $106 million at Christie's on Tuesday, setting a record for a work of art sold at auction.

The vibrant large-scale depiction of Picasso's mistress and frequent subject, Marie-Therese Walter, was the highlight of a world-class collection assembled by the late Los Angeles art patrons Frances and Sidney Brody.

It had been estimated to sell for more than $80 million, but many art experts predicted in recent weeks it would ride growing confidence in a recovering art market and break the previous record of $104.3 million set in February by Giacometti's "Walking Man I" at Sotheby's in London.

More than half a dozen people bid on the 1932 canvas, which the Brodys acquired in the 1950s from Picasso's dealers, with the winning bid taken by a Christie's executive via telephone. The final price of $106,482,500 included the auction's house's commission.

(Editing by Peter Cooney)