Picasso painting sells for more than 28.5m at auction as prices for most sought-after works soars
Woman Sitting Near a Window sold at Sotheby's yesterdayPrices for sought-after works have soared in recent years

sale for 41.5m US dollars (26.5m).

Marie-Therese Walter

Pablo Picasso

'Golden muse': Pablo Picasso's (right) 1932 piece Femme Assise Pres d'une Fenetre (Woman Sitting Near a Window) of his companion Marie-Therese Walter (left) sold for more than 28.5m

‘This particular portrait is a striking and notably modern-looking work from one of the artist's most celebrated periods.’

Nonetheless, it was comfortably the top lot of an evening when a series of works on paper by Austrian artist Egon Schiele arguably stole the limelight.

No. 5 by Jackson Pollock for a rumoured $140m (89.3m)Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Gustav Klimt for $135m (86.1m)The Scream by Edvard Munch for $119.9m (76.5m)Nu au Plateau de Sculpteur (Nude, Green Leaves and Bust) by Pablo Picasso for $106.5m (67.9m)Garon la Pipe by Pablo Picasso for $104.1m (66.4m)

Schiele's 1914 piece, Lovers (Self Portrait With Wally) fetched 7.9million, an auction record for the artist for a work on paper.

Also sold by the Leopold Museum in Vienna was his Self Portrait in Green Shirt with Eyes Closed, which sold for 5.1million, well above expectations of between 1.8million and 2.5million.

The combined tally for Schiele works, sold by the museum to help settle a long-running restitution case involving art deemed to have been stolen by the Nazis in the 1930s, was 14 million pounds.

Other lots fared less well, notably Max Beckmann's Before the Ball – Two Women With a Cat which went unsold despite pre-sale estimates of 5million to 8million.

Overall the evening brought in 121.1million in sales, within expectations of 103million to 149million. Sotheby's said it was their second highest total from an equivalent sale in London.

Helena Newman, chair of Sotheby's impressionist and modern art in Europe said: ‘Bidders, both new to the market as well as seasoned buyers, reacted with great enthusiasm, in particular to the selection of impressionist works that were considered to be the strongest offering in many years.