A Vincent Van Gogh painting has fetched more than $US66 million ($A83 million) at a New York auction, the most paid for a work by the Dutch post-impressionist artist since 1998.
According to the Sotheby’s auction firm, Van Gogh’s Les Alyscamps, which depicts a stand of autumnal trees, had been expected to go for about $US40 million but ultimately an Asian collector paid $US66.3 million after an intense bidding war between five potential buyers.
Also reaching the pricing stratosphere was a Water Lilies painting by French impressionist Claude Monet, which sold for $US54 million, smashing Sotheby’s valuation of between $US30 million and $US45 million.
The most ever paid for a Van Gogh was in 1990 when his Portrait of Dr Gachet sold for $US82.5 million in New York.
Adjusted to today’s money, that’s about $US153 million.
Tuesday’s sale of impressionist and contemporary works marks the start of auction season in the Big Apple.
Pablo Picasso’s colourful The Women of Algiers (Version 0), depicting a scene from a harem, will be up for grabs when Christie’s puts it on the auction block May 11.
The artwork has been valued at $US140 million.
The world record for a painting sold at auction is $US142.4 million for Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud, which was snapped up in New York in 2013.