Van Gogh's Insane Asylum View Sells for $81.3 Million at Auction

Pablo Picasso Femme accroupie

Pablo Picasso Femme accroupie

On Monday, Christie's kicked off the autumn auction season in NY with the Vincent van Gogh work fetching US$81.3 million (S$111 million) amid robust sales of Impressionist and modern art.

It was 1889 and van Gogh hadn't painted for six weeks, but he decided the distraction of work "might possibly be the best remedy".

He went on to paint "Laboureur dans un champ", an oil canvas of a farmer ploughing the land, which was the view from his window at the hospital. He died the following year. The auction record for Van Gogh was set in 1990 with the $82.5 million sale of "Portrait du Dr. Gachet", according to the Artnet database of auction prices.

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Earlier during the Monday sale, Fernand Leger's 1913 Cubist composition, "Contraste de formes", fetched $70.1 million, an auction record for the French artist whose previous high was $39.2 million, according to Artnet.

Christie's said its flagship evening sale of Impressionist and modern art netted a total of US$479 million. The Women Of Algiers (Version O) got US$179.4 million in 2015.

The star lot in New York's art auctions this month is Salvator Mundi, a painting of Jesus Christ by Leonardo da Vinci.

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