A Norman Rockwell painting titled Saying Grace broke an auction record for an American piece Wednesday, selling for $46 million, the auction house Sotheby’s said. Though the painting had a pre-sale estimate of around $15 million, a nine-minute bidding war between two buyers yielded the record-breaking price, the most ever tied to a painting by an American. Two other Rockwell paintings sold for large sums as well: The Gossips for $8.5 million and Walking to Church for $3.2 million.
Among a season of record-breaking art sales, Saying Grace joins the ranks of Jeff Koons and Francis Bacon works, that broke records for the most paid for a single artwork by a living artist and the most expensive piece of art ever sold, respectively. The previous record holder for an American painting was George Bellow’s Polo Crowd, which sold at auction in 1999 for $27.7 million.
Elsewhere, Rockwell’s estate has been bristling over a new memoir that insinuates the all-American painter may have been gay.
[via The Huffington Post]