Upcoming Art Sales Banking on Emerging Markets

    A Sotheby's employee poses with a painting entitled 'Le Boulevard Montmartre, matinee de printemps' by Camille Pissarro on display at the auction house in London, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. The painting is to be auctioned in the Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist Art sale on Feb. 5 with an estimated price of 7 to 10 million pounds (US$11.6 to 16.5 million or 8.5 to 12.1 million euro). (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

    LONDON— Sales next week at London’s Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses are expected to generate at least 400 million pounds ($658 million), as the top-end art market puts the global financial crisis behind it.

    Buyers from emerging markets including China are helping drive art prices to new highs.

    In sales of Impressionist, modern and Surrealist art, Christie’s is selling Pablo Picasso’s “Woman in a Turkish Costume” — estimated at up to 20 million pounds — and a still life by Juan Gris valued at up to 18 million pounds.

    A few blocks away at Sotheby’s, sales include Vincent Van Gogh’s “Man is at Sea” and Lucian Freud’s portrait “Head on a Green Sofa.”

    Several of the most valuable works are red, a color Sotheby’s says is favored by some Asian collectors.