Rockefeller Picasso sells for $115 million including fees

A rare Picasso painting owned by the Rockefellers sold for $115 million including fees on Tuesday night, highlighting the continued strength of the art market and the enduring power of the Rockefeller name.

Works by Henri Matisse and Claude Monet also went for eye-popping prices at the Christie’s evening auction of 19th and 20th Century Art from the Collection of David and Peggy Rockefeller.

The auction was the largest of the week-long series of Rockefeller sales, expected to be the largest ever for a single collection. Christie’s estimated the entire collection would fetch $500 million or more.


The Picasso, called “Young Girl with a Flower Basket,” was the star of the collection and was estimated to sell for $100 million or more. It was painted in 1905 and is from Pablo Picasso’s rare and vivid Rose Period. Collectors have coveted the painting, which hung in David Rockefeller’s Manhattan townhouse, for decades.

It was sold directly by Picasso to Gertrude Stein, the famed writer and bohemian who lived in Paris in the early 1900s and befriended many famous painters and writers. Rockefeller bought the piece from Stein’s estate in 1968.

The painting was not, however, a record for a Picasso. His colorful “Les Femmes d’Alger” sold for $179.4 million in 2015.

A painting by Henri Matisse, called “Odalisque couchee aux magnolias” sold for $80.75 million. It was estimated at $70 million and sets a new record for a Matisse, whose previous highest price was $48.8 million.

One of Monet’s famous water lilies paintings sold for $84.7 million, above its $50 million estimate.

“Odalisque Lying with Magnolias” by Henri Matisse

“Odalisque Lying with Magnolias” by Henri Matisse
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