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"Le Portail" (Soleil), one in a series of 27 views of Rouen Cathedral painted by Monet between 1892 and 1893  

Impressionist and modern art sale raises $140 million

NEW YORK (CNN) -- For the second time this week, an unnamed buyer has paid more than $20 million for a painting by French Impressionist Claude Monet.

A Monet painting of the Rouen Cathedral, "Le Portail" (Soleil), sold at auction for $24.2 million Wednesday night at Sotheby's in Manhattan.

The 3-foot-high canvas of the cathedral's facade is one of 27 views of the church finished by Monet between 1892-93. It was the night's top-selling item.

Overall, 42 paintings and sculptures were sold for $140.4 million. Including auction house commissions, this was the second-highest sale of various owners's art at Sotheby's in the past 10 years.

A record was set for an auction sale of sculpture when a 2-foot-high Henri Matisse bronze, "La Serpentine," was purchased for $14 million.

Other highlights:

  • An 1895 Toulouse-Lautrec painting of two reclining women, "L'Abandon ou les deux Amies," sold for $9.35 million.

  • A 1918 portrait by Amedeo Modigliani, "La Rousse Au Pendentif," sold for 6.28 million.

    Sotheby's continues its spring sale Thursday -- its first auction since a federal investigation into alleged price-fixing and collusion with rival Christie's became public.

    On Monday, Christie's sold a 1906 Monet "Waterlillies" canvas for $20.9 million, including commissions. Sotheby's auctioned a 1908 Monet lily pond painting for $8.3 millon on Wednesday.



    RELATED STORIES:
    Modern art sale grosses nearly $73 million at Christie's
    May 10, 2000
    Impressionist paintings bring in millions at Christie's auction
    November 9, 1999

    RELATED SITES:
    Christie's


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