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Hopper painting estimated at $20 Million Hopper fails at Christie’s American Art Auction

April 16, 2015
Edward Hopper (1882-1967), Two Puritans, oil on canvas, painted in 1945. Estimate: $20,000,000 – 30,000,000. Click on image to enlarge.

Edward Hopper (1882-1967), Two Puritans, oil on canvas, painted in 1945.
Estimate: $20,000,000 – 30,000,000.
Click on image to enlarge.

UPDATE: Despite the bluster and hype, the Hopper failed to sell – a big disappointment that cut the results for Christie’s May 21 American Art sale be nearly 50% if not more.

ORIGINAL POST: Christie’s has just announced the star lot in their May 21 sale of American Art is Edward Hopper’s Two Puritans from 1945, which carries a $20-30 million estimate.

According to their release:

 Painted in 1945 at the height of Hopper’s career, Two Puritans, one of only three canvases by the artist of that year and the only one in private hands, is estimated to bring in excess of $20 million when it appears at auction for the first time this spring. The painting has been included in nearly every major exhibition and publication on the artist and, most recently was on view in Paris at the Grand Palais, where the Hopper exhibition broke attendance records, proving that the artist has arrived on an international stage.

Edward Hopper’s choice and earnest representation of commonplace subject matter in works such as Two Puritans set the artist apart from his contemporaries and allowed him to create a new and uniquely American iconography. In Two Puritans and throughout his career, Hopper painted aspects of America that few other artists addressed. He portrayed unromantic visions of life in a broad and increasingly modern style. While Hopper’s paintings have formal qualities in common with other Modernists, his art remained steadfastly realist.

In recent seasons, prices for Hopper’s paintings have soared at auction, driven by renewed demand for masterpiece-quality works. In October 2013, East Wind Over Weehawken sold for $40,485,000 setting a new world auction record for the artist and in November of 2012, October on Cape Cod sold via Christie’s LIVE™ for $9.6 million, setting the world record for an item sold online at any international auction house.

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