Records Set as Yves Saint Laurent Estate Auction Defies Recession


Matisse's 1911 oil painting ''Les coucous, tapis bleu et rose'' (The Cowslips, Blue and Rose Fabric) set a record for the artist, selling for $41.1 million at Christie's art sale from the estate of Yves Saint Laurent. Records were also set for Marcel Duchamp, Constantin Brancusi, James Ensor, Piet Mondrian and Giorgio de Chirico. The auction's first night brought in $264 million:

"Pierre Bergé, who was Mr. Saint Laurent’s business and personal partner for many years, said in a brief interview that he was very happy with the results. 'But you have to know that I’m very cool about things every day,' he said. He was more emotional later at a brief news conference. 'The day Yves Saint Laurent died, I decided this collection had run its course,' he said. 'It was something we created together.' Mr. Saint Laurent died last June at 71. Mr. Bergé said he explored the possibility of creating a museum for Mr. Saint Laurent’s fashion and art collections but that the project proved too difficult. 'Selling it was the only possible solution,' he said. The proceeds, separate from the commissions that his own company, Pierre Bergé & Associés, will presumably share with Christie’s, are to go to the foundation he established with Mr. Saint Laurent, to various cultural projects, to charity and to found a new research center to combat AIDS."

A Telegraph report on the auction and a video tour of the couple's home, AFTER THE JUMP...