Pablo Picasso’s “Portrait d’Angel Fernandez de Soto” sold for a staggering 34.7 million pounds — that’s $51.2 million for those of us in the dollar zone — at a Christie’s auction in London on Wednesday. Surprisingly enough, however, the overall auction wasn’t necessarily considered a roaring success despite overall numbers that look pretty recession-proof from where we sit. –KA

The Wall Street Journal:

The painting lent its moody tone to Christie’s £152.6 million ($226.5 million) evening sale of Impressionist and modern art. The overall total nearly quadrupled the house’s $60.4 million sale last June, but the sale felt deflated because 16 of its offerings went unsold. These included a Claude Monet waterlily work, “Nympheas,” that was expected to sell for over £30 million along with works by Kees van Dongen, Marc Chagall, Paul Klee and Balthus.

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