Cezanne still life sells for $22.7 million

May 9, 2007 at 1:41 PM

NEW YORK, May 9 (UPI) -- A watercolor by painter Paul Cezanne, the father of modernism, sold at a New York auction for more than $22.7 million.

"Nature Morte au Melon Vert" exceeded its anticipated price by about $4 million during the sale of Impressionist and Modern Art at Sotheby's, The Telegraph reported Wednesday.

Considered the most important watercolor by Cezanne that was still in a private collection, the painting depicted shades of green in a melon. It was sold on behalf of Giuseppe Eskenazi, an international art dealer who has a gallery in London.

A Sotheby's spokesman called the sale "a record for a work on paper by the artist at auction."

Sotheby's has offered "Nature Morte au Melon Vert" for sale twice before -- once in the 1978 sale of the Robert von Hirsch collection and in the 1989 sale of the British Rail Pension Fund.

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