Feininger work fetches 5.7 million euros in France
A painting by US impressionist Lyonel Feininger sold for 5.7 million euros ($8 million) in Paris Sunday -- more than double its estimated price and a nearly two-year French auction high.
A US collector paid 5,775,000 euros for "Hafen von Swinemuende" ("Swinemuende Harbour"), the highest sum paid for a work at a French auction since 2009, the auctioneers said.
Proceeds from the sale will go to the Institut Curie, Secours Populaire Francais and UNESCO World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention.
French director Roger-Jean Spiri (1908-2007) bequeathed the 1915 work to the groups.
It had been estimated to fetch between one and a half to two million euros.
"Four bidders went right up to four million euros," said Francis Briest from auctioneers Artcurial Briest-Poulain-Tajan.
"The painting has been exhibited in New York, Zurich and Cologne. This shows that Paris is an exceptional place to sell important works," he said.
Born in New York to German parents, Feininger spent most of his career in Europe, mainly Germany.
He took part in exhibitions by the impressionist group Der Blaue Reiter, founded in 1912, and was later part of the Bauhaus movement.
Feininger left Nazi Germany in 1937 for New York, where he lived until his death in 1956.
His work "Jesuiten III" (1915) sold for 16.4 million euros in New York in May 2007, according to Artcurial.
© 2011 AFP