New York — The sale of the art collection amassed by the late banker David Rockefeller kicked off on Tuesday, setting new auction records for French artists Claude Monet and Henri Matisse, Christie’s said. Monet’s Nymphéas en Fleur, part of the impressionist’s famed water-lily series inspired by his Giverny home, fetched $84.69m at the evening sale in New York, the auction house said. The previous record for the French artist had been $81.4m, set by Christie’s in 2016 for Meule from Monet’s famous grainstack series. Tuesday’s sale also set a new auction record for Henri Matisse, with his 1923 Odalisque Couchée aux Magnolias selling for $80.75m, Christie’s said. The previous Matisse record was $49m. However, the top lot of the night was Pablo Picasso’s 1905 masterpiece Fillette à la Corbeille Fleurie (Young Girl With a Flower Basket), which sold for $115m, more than its pre-sale value of $100m. Its original purchase by Gertrude and Leon Stein, together with two other Rose Period pain...

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