Sotheby’s London Establishes World Record Price at Auction For Egon Schiele in Sale

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LONDON (REUTERS).- Sotheby’s auctioneer sold a rare cityscape by Austrian artist Egon Schiele for a record 24.7 million pounds ($40.1 million) at a London auction on Wednesday. The auction house had expected to fetch between 22 and 30 million pounds for the work, called “Hauser mit bunter Wasche ‘Vorstadt’ II” (“Houses with colorful Laundry, ‘Suburb’ II”). The sale price included a buyer’s premium, meaning that despite comfortably setting a new auction benchmark for the artist, the work sold at the lower end of the expected price range. The work was painted in 1914 at the height of Schiele’s short career, four years before his death in the Spanish influenza epidemic at the age of 28. Proceeds from the sale are expected to be used to help pay for the settlement of a long-running restitution dispute over a 1912 portrait of the artist’s lover Walburga Neuzil (Wally).