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The last few weeks have seen a flurry of headlines about Canadian art prices. One auction house broke records, with five Canadian paintings each bringing in over a million dollars at the same event. This painting by Quebec artist Jean-Paul Lemieux also exceeded expectations. Le Baigneur (below) was estimated to bring in between $60,000 and 80,000 at a recent Sotheby’s auction. Instead, the 16” x 20” canvas garnered over $100,000. Good news for us, since the owner had earmarked profits from the sale for Concordia University.
The painting is considered part of Lemieux’s ‘classic’ period. He died in 1990 at the age of 86 just before a major retrospective of his work was presented in Quebec City, where the artist lived most of his life. Lemieux spent some time in the 1910s and 1920s in Montreal.
The money raised from the sale is being devoted to a special art project to be unveiled in the spring of 2008.