The Financial Times reports that the Swedish auction house Bukowskis has sold a work by August Strindberg from 1894 to an online bidder for SKr14.3m, or $1.9 million. Though the opacity of these things can be tricky, that would seem to make it the highest-ever online auction total (even if the auction itself wasn’t online), surpassing a Richard Serra that sold in May for $905,000 at a Christie’s online-only sale.
From the FT:
The Swedish auction house Bukowskis is celebrating the sale of a previously unknown painting by August Strindberg, a turbulent seascape dating from 1894. “Storm Landscape” had been in the same family since the playwright gave it to his friend, the Danish poet Sophus Claussen, in that year. It was created when Strindberg was suffering from writer’s block, a period known as his “Inferno crisis”.
Conservatively estimated at SKr5m (about $660,000), the work was chased by three bidders to SKr14.3m ($1.9m) and went to an online bidder — the highest price ever paid for an internet art purchase in the country. This isn’t, however, a record for Strindberg: that was set in 2007, when Sotheby’s sold another seascape for just over $4 million.