PARIS — Despite the global economic crisis, a lot of money seems to be left over. On Monday, the private collection of Yves Saint Laurent and his partner became the most expensive one ever sold at auction, bringing in more than $264 million on the first night alone.  …Records were set for Matisse, Marcel Duchamp, Constantin Brancusi, James Ensor, Piet Mondrian and Giorgio de Chirico. The Matisse, a colorful painting from 1911 of a vase of cowslips on a carpet, sold for $40.9 million, double its estimate.
By Steve Erlanger, February 24, 2009, NYT

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