PARIS • The event on Monday was a top draw, being the first auction in France of a painting by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh in more than two decades.
That high level of interest paid off for the seller of a painting by a young van Gogh when he banked in more than €7 million (S$10.9 million), the Artcurial auction house said.
Raccommodeuses de filets dans les dunes (Women Mending Nets In The Fields) dates from 1882 and was bought by an American collector in a hot bidding battle in Paris that boosted the selling price far above the estimated value of between €3 million and €5 million
"It's a world record for a van Gogh landscape, in the Dutch period, sold at auction," Artcurial said.
"There are no more than two or three auctions of van Gogh works in the world each year," the auction house added.
Van Gogh painted the work early in his career when he was 29 years old, reported Agence France-Presse. The artwork comes from his realist period when he zoomed in on poverty, often portraying peasants in his paintings.
"We already find all the characteristics of a Vincent painting, especially his treatment of landscape... a remarkable work, a milestone in the artist's career," said Mr Bruno Jaubert, associate director of modern art at Artcurial.
It was the only landscape van Gogh did at the time, painted in the countryside near The Hague, he added.
The former owner was a European collector who lent the work to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam for eight years until 2015.
The last sale at a Paris auction of a van Gogh painting was in the mid-1990s of his Le Jardin a Auvers (The Garden At Auvers), which went for US$10 million.
Over in Tokyo, another famous artist made a collector of his work weep for joy.
Weeping Woman, an oil painting by Pablo Picasso, sold for one billion yen (S$12.2 million), setting a Japanese record for a winning bid at a domestic company's art auction.
According to iArt Co, which organised the Saturday event, the previous record was 360 million yen for an oil painting titled Reiko In A Woollen Shawl by Ryusei Kishida, at an art auction in Tokyo in 2000.
The purchaser of Weeping Woman has not been made public, reported the Washington Post.
The painting, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun, was modelled after his lover Dora Maar.
After Picasso died, the artwork was inherited by one of his grandchildren. It later changed hands and was owned by an individual living in Japan at the time of the Saturday sale.