Leading the Impressionist and modern sale was Alberto Giacometti’s Femme Leoni, which brought in $25.9 million. The sale totaled $141.1 million and had a 100-percent sell-through rate, which is “unprecedented in modern history,” according to Julian Dawes, Sotheby’s Co-Deputy Head of Department for Impressionist and modern art, at the post-sale press conference. There were three lots withdrawn prior to the sale.
Before the sale had begun, Sotheby’s privately sold Giacometti’s Femme de Venise IV. And the monumental nine-foot-tall Grande Femme I, which was offered a week before the auction via sealed bid, also found a buyer though the price was not revealed. At a high-point of the evening, bidders fought for ten minutes over Giorgio De Chirico’s 1913 Il Pomeriggio di Arianna (Ariadne’s Afternoon), a surreal scene from his earliest painted series marking the start of his metaphysical style, which finally sold for $15.9 million setting a new world record for the artist at auction, which was last held by Il Ritornante, which sold at Christie’s Paris in 2009 for $14.1 million according to Artprice.