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Not bad at all: Multimillion-dollar near-record sale for artist Peter Doig

Detail of Peter Doig’s 1994 painting Jetty, which went for $10.5-million at auction.


A painting of a Canadian scene by Scottish artist Peter Doig has sold for $10.5-million at an auction in London, just shy of a record price for the painter.

Doig's 1994 painting, Jetty, a stylized scene set in Cameron Lake, Alta., went for £6.5-million at a Christie's auction on Tuesday.

That was less than the record for a Doig work – The Architect's Home in the Ravine, which depicts the house in Toronto's Rosedale neighbourhood of architect Eberhard Zeidler, who designed the Eaton Centre. That painting went for $12-million at a Christie's auction in February.

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There had been much anticipation that Jetty would fetch more on Tuesday, although it topped the suggested price of between £4-million to £6-million set by Christie's before the auction. The bidding opened at £2.8-million and quickly moved up to the £5-million mark before settling down to a few bidders facing off against each other.

Two other Doig paintings also set in Canada sold for hefty prices at the auction. Canoe Lake sold for £150,000 and White Out went for £1.65-million.

Born in Edinburgh in 1959, Doig lived for many years in Canada, and the country has been the setting for much of his best work. He currently lives in Trinidad.

Francis Outred, Christie's head of postwar and contemporary art for Europe, told The Globe and Mail last week that Doig's work from the early 1990s is considered "his finest period, when the highest volume of top-level works was produced."

The star of Tuesday's auction was an untitled work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, the former graffiti artist who died in 1988 at 27. His painting sold for a total price of $29-million.

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European Correspondent

Paul Waldie has been an award-winning journalist with The Globe and Mail for more than 10 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards for business coverage and been nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism. He has also won a Sports Media Canada award for sports writing and authored a best-selling biography of the McCain family. More


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