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Lot 15. Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Fillette à la corbeille fleurie, signed ‘Picasso’ (upper right); signed again, dated and inscribed ‘Picasso 1905 13 Rue Ravignan’ (on the reverse), oil on canvas, 60 7/8 x 26 in. (154.8 x 66.1 cm.) Painted in 1905. Estimate On RequestPrice realised USD 115,000,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2018

The opening evening sale of works from The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller generated huge international interest, which resulted in new world auction records being set for a number of the most revered artists of the last 150 years. The top price of the sale was achieved with Picasso’s Fillette à la corbeille fleurie from 1905, which sold for $115,000,000 (including buyer’s commission) — the artist’s second highest at auction.

Collected and lived with by successive generations of the Rockefeller family, the 44 stellar works by Delacroix, Monet, Gauguin, Matisse, Gris, Picasso, Miro, and other greats of the 19th and 20th centuries realised $646,133,594 / £476,148,559, with every lot sold. All Estate proceeds from this auction and the other sales in the series will benefit selected charities that Peggy and David Rockefeller supported in their lifetime.

Bidders registered from 34 countries across five continents, and the tone was set with the opening lot of the night, Pablo Picasso’s Pomme, which sold for $3,972,500 after a contest between nine bidders. This 1914 work on paper was a Christmas gift from the artist to Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, and was one of a group of pictures from their pioneering collection to be acquired by Peggy and David Rockefeller in 1968. It was followed by La table de musicien by Juan Gris, which achieved a highly impressive $31,812,500.

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Lot 1. Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Pomme, signed, dated and inscribed ‘Picasso Noël 1914 Souvenir pour Gertrude et Alice’ (on the reverse), gouache and watercolor on paper, 5 3/8 x 7 in. (13.5 x 17.7 cm.) Painted in 1914. Estimate USD 1,000,000 - USD 1,500,000Price realised USD 3,972,500© Christie's Images Ltd 2018

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Lot 2. Juan Gris (1887-1927), La table de musicien, oil, gouache, colored wax crayons, charcoal and paper collage on canvas, 31 ¼ x 23 ¾ in. (82 x 60.5 cm.) Executed in May 1914. Estimate On RequestPrice realised USD 31,812,500© Christie's Images Ltd 2018

The first world auction record for an artist came when Eugène Delacroix’s Tigre jouant avec une tortue (1862) cruised passed the previous mark of $7,762,290 (set in 1998) before selling for $9,875,000. This was immediately followed by further records for Corot’s Venise, vue du Quai des Esclavons, which sold for $9,009,844, comfortably eclipsing the previous record for the artist, and for Armand Seguin’s Les délices de la vie, a four-panel screen painted in circa 1892-93, which achieved $7,737,500 — more 20 times the mark set in 2007 — after a prolonged bidding battle.

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Lot 3. Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863), Tigre jouant avec une tortue, signed and dated 'Eug Delacroix 1862.' (lower left), oil on canvas, 17 ¾ x 24 ½ in. (45.1 x 62.2 cm.) Painted in 1862Estimate USD 7,000,000 - USD 10,000,000Price realised USD 9,875,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2018

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Lot 4. Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875), Venise, vue du Quai des Esclavons, signed and dated 'C. COROT. 1845.' (lower right), oil on canvas, 18 ¾ x 32 ¼ in. (47.6 x 81.9 cm.) Painted in 1845. Estimate USD 8,000,000 - USD 12,000,000Price realised USD 9,009,844© Christie's Images Ltd 2018

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Lot 5. Armand Seguin (1869-1903), Les délices de la vie, signed ‘a. Seguin-’ (lower center on the far left panel), each: oil on canvas laid down on board. Four panel screen (including frame) each: 62 7/8 x 25 ¼ in. (159.8 x 64.1 cm.) Painted circa 1892-1893. Estimate USD 1,000,000 - USD 1,500,000Price realised USD 7,737,500© Christie's Images Ltd 2018

The atmosphere then intensified as Gauguin’s La Vague, a work described as ‘one of the most original seascapes in Western art’, was offered to a packed saleroom. The 1888 painting, which was made on the beach at Le Pouldu in Brittany, went on to realise $35,187,500.

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Lot 6. Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), La Vague, signed and dated ‘P Gauguin 88.’ (lower left), oil on canvas, 23 ¾ x 28 5/8 in. (60.2 x 72.6 cm.) Painted in August-October 1888. Estimate On RequestPrice realised USD 35,187,500© Christie's Images Ltd 2018

Three of the most keenly anticipated lots of the auction — Odalisque couchée aux magnolias by Henri Matisse (1923), Monet’s Nymphéas en fleur, and Picasso’s Fillette à la corbeille fleurie from 1905 — came next.

The Matisse realised $80,750,000, a new world auction record for the French master; bidders competed for almost 14 minutes before the stunning Monet, which hung in the stairwell of one of the Rockefellers’ homes, sold for $84,687,500 — also a new world auction record for the artist; and the Picasso, one of his first paintings to be bought by Leo and Gertrude Stein, became the most expensive Rose Period work at auction when it was bought for $115,000,000.

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Lot 8. Henri Matisse (1869-1954), Odalisque couchée aux magnolias, signed ‘Henri - Matisse’ (lower right), oil on canvas, 23 ¾ x 31 7/8 in. (60.5 x 81.1 cm.) Painted in Nice, 1923. Estimate On RequestPrice realised USD 80,750,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2018

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Lot 10. Claude Monet (1840-1926), Nymphéas en fleur, stamped with signature 'Claude Monet' (Lugt 1819b; on the reverse), oil on canvas, 63 x 70 7/8 in. (160.3 x 180 cm.) Painted circa 1914-1917. Estimate On RequestPrice realised USD 84,687,500© Christie's Images Ltd 2018

The depth of the bidding in the room and on the phones was testament to the taste, connoisseurship and standing of the Rockefeller family. Georges Seurat’s La rade de Grandcamp (Le port de Grandcamp), a founding work of the Neo-Impressionist movement bought by Peggy and David in 1955, realised $34,062,500. Minutes later, Paul Signac’s 1888 oil on canvas Portrieux. La Comtesse (Opus no. 191) got close to the previous record, set at Christie’s in 2007, before selling for $13,812,500.

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Lot 18. Georges Seurat (1859-1891), La rade de Grandcamp (Le port de Grandcamp), signed ‘Seurat’ (lower right), oil on canvas, 25 ¾ x 32 in. (65.4 x 81.2 cm.) Painted in summer 1885. Estimate On RequestPrice realised USD 34,062,500© Christie's Images Ltd 2018

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Lot 21. Paul Signac (1863-1935), Portrieux. La Comtesse (Opus no. 191), signed and dated ‘P. Signac 88.’ (lower left) and inscribed with Opus number ‘191’ (lower right), oil on canvas, 23 ¾ x 36 ¼ in. (60.3 x 92.1 cm.) Painted in summer 1888. Estimate On RequestPrice realised USD 13,812,500© Christie's Images Ltd 2018

 A new world auction record for a work on paper by Edouard Vuillard was set with Les rues de Paris, panneaux pour Henry Bernstein: Seconde série, La Place Vintimille, before this history-making sale concluded in fitting fashion, with a world auction record for a work by Giorgio Morandi, a contest for Joan Miro’s Mural I, Mural II, Mural III, which was won with a final price of $20,000,000, and Odilon Redon’s Fleur, which set a world auction record for the artist.

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Lot 24. Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940), Les rues de Paris, panneaux pour Henry Bernstein: Seconde série, La Place Vintimille; La Place Vintimille (VII-516.3), peinture à la colle over charcoal on paper laid down on panel, 78 ¾ x 19 5/8 in. (200 x 49.9 cm.) Painted in 1909-1910 & La Place Vintimille (VII-516.4), peinture à la colle over charcoal on paper laid down on panel, 78 ¾ x 19 ½ in. (200 x 49.6 cm.) Painted in 1909-1910. Estimate 2,000,000 - USD 3,000,000Price realised USD 3,852,500© Christie's Images Ltd 2018

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Lot 37. Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964), Natura morta, signed and dated ‘Morandi 1940’ (lower center); indistinctly inscribed (on the original stretcher), oil on canvas laid down on Masonite. Oval: 14 ¾ x 19 5/8 in. (37.5 x 50 cm.) Painted in 1940. Estimate 2,000,000 - USD 3,000,000Price realised USD 4,332,500, world auction record for a work by the artist© Christie's Images Ltd 2018

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Lot 39. Joan Miro (1893-1983), Mural I, Mural II, Mural IIII: signed and dated 'Joan Miró. 12.33' (on the reverse); II: signed and dated 'Joan Miró-12.33' (on the reverse); III: signed and dated 'Miró. 12.33' (on the reverse). Each: oil on canvas. Each: 21 ¾ x 98 3/8 in. (55.2 x 249.8 cm.); Each painted in December 1933. Estimate On RequestPrice realised USD 20,000,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2018

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Lot 42. Odilon Redon (1840-1916), Fleurs, signed 'ODILON REDON' (lower right), oil on canvas, 24 1/8 x 18 ½ in. (61.3 x 46.9 cm.) Estimate 1,000,000 - USD 1,500,000Price realised USD 4,092,500, world auction record for the artist© Christie's Images Ltd 2018

‘It is challenging to express in words the many emotions our family is feeling as we celebrate the opening night of this sale week devoted to The Peggy and David Rockefeller Collection,’ said the couple’s son, David Rockefeller, Jr., in a statement. ‘Chief among them is pride and gratitude.’

Sales of The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller continue with English & European Furniture, Ceramics and Decorations Part I and the Art of the Americas Evening Sale on 9 May; the Fine Art Day Sale, English & European Furniture, Ceramics and Decorations Part II and Travel and Americana take place on 10 May. The Online sale continues until Friday 11 May.