Rodin sculpture scores record $20 million at auction in NY

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Rodin sculpture scores record $20 million at auction in NY

New York (AFP) – Auguste Rodin’s “L’Eternel Printemps” (Eternal Springtime) marble sculpture of lovers fetched more than $20 million at auction, a record for the French sculptor, at Sotheby’s in New York.

The work — conceived by Rodin in 1884 and sculpted in 1901-1903 — is just 31.5 inches wide by 26.25 inches tall (80 by 66.7 centimeters). 

Its $20.41 million sale price more than doubled auctioneer expectations of at least $8 million.

Cut from a single stone slab, the statue is the fifth of 10 known carvings of the subject in marble. 

The prior record for a Rodin sculpture was $18.97 million for “Eve, grand modele-version sans rocher,” auctioned in May 2008.

Another big-ticket item of the night was the painting “Sous-bois” (1905) by Fauvist French painter Maurice de Vlaminck. It sold for $16.38 million, within the range Sotheby’s expected.

And Paul Signac’s “Maisons du Port, Saint-Tropez” brought $10.66 million, also in line with the auctioneer’s estimates. 

A statue of Hitler on his knees was auctioned Sunday for $17.2 million, a record for a work by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan.

The wax and resin statue entitled simply “Him” had been expected to fetch between $10 million and $15 million at the auction by Christie’s.

The previous record for a work by Cattelan, who is 55, was $7.9 million.

Spring art auctions in New York began late Sunday and last through Thursday.

The 1,500-odd pieces up for auction this week are expected to bring in more than a billion dollars.

Auguste Rodin’s “L’Eternel Printemps” (Eternal Springtime) marble sculpture of lovers has fetched more than $20 million at auction, a record for the French sculptor, at Sotheby’s in New York
Copyright AFP/File Pascal Pavani

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