Latin American art totals $17 million at auction

A painting by Mexican artist Alfredo Ramos Martinez sold for $1.8 million (Ђ1.4 million), a world auction record for the artist, and more than double the estimated price at a sale for Latin American art, Christie's auction house said.

"Mujeres con Flores" was estimated at $450,000, (Ђ351,200) officials said Tuesday. The buyer was not named. The oil painting measures 56.5 inches by 36 inches (143 centimeters by 91 centimeters) and depicts women with brightly colored flowers. The previous recordholder was "Casamiento Indio," auctioned for $405,000 (Ђ316,000) at Sotheby's in 2002.

A self-portrait of the Colombian artist Fernando Botero, known for painting his subjects fatter than they really are, went for $1.06 million (Ђ830,000), more than double the $500,000 (Ђ390,200) estimate.

"Oir Las Agues," by Cuban painter Tomas Sanchez, fetched $620,000, (Ђ483,800) a world auction record for the artist. The previous record was $363,200 (Ђ283,440) for "Gracia en La Cascada," at Sotheby's in May 2006.

Tuesday's auction totaled $17.3 million (Ђ13.5 million), one of the highest totals in the field, Christie's said. The sale continues Wednesday, reports AP.

Tuesday's auction prices include commissions of 20 percent of the first $200,000 (Ђ156,000) and 12 percent thereafter.

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