SEK 25 Million: A New Record for Dardel
The last time a modernist piece created a sensation at an auction was 1988, when Nils Dardel’s “The Dying Dandy” was put up for sale by the financier and art collector Fredik Roos. The iconic painting sold for 13 million kroner. The record held for 24 years, until it was broken today by the same artist’s piece “The Waterfall” – sold for 25 million, the highest price ever paid for a Swedish modernist painting.
The work attracted a great deal of attention already before the auction. “The Waterfall” is, after all, considered to be Dardel’s most important work along with “The Dying Dandy”. The price of the picture makes it the most expensive piece ever painted in the 20th century, says Anna-Karin Pusic, head of Bukowskis' art department.
The bidding started at 14 million and went on for about ten minutes. Around 20 million, yet another bidder appeared, making the final price SEK 25 million. (21 million + commission).
"The Waterfall” was painted in Paris in 1912, when Dardel was 33. The subject is hopeless love and derives from the artist’s romance with Nita Wallenberg in Japan in 1917. The affair ended tragically when Nita’s father opposed their engagement. In the middle of the painting is a waterfall, probably modelled after the Kegon Falls in Japan, with young people balancing on the edge of the abyss. The painting clearly shows how, under the influence of Japanese art, Dardel's work changed direction after he became familiar with Japanese composition.
The Modern Sale continues today until about 5.30 pm and resumes tomorrow with fine art prints, works of art, furniture and carpets.
Head of the art department
Anna-Karin Pusic +46 (0)8 614 08 32