Lawren Harris, Tom Thomson and Alex Colville paintings smash records at auction

Paintings by famous Canadian artists — including Lawren Harris and Tom Thomson — garnered record prices on Thursday night at the Heffel Fine Art Auction in Toronto, with one Harris painting smashing records with a final bid of $3.9 million.

Mountain and Glacier by Harris was biggest seller of the night at $3.9M

Mountain and Glacier was among record prices at the Heffel Fine Art Auction in Toronto 0:49

Paintings by famous Canadian artists — including Lawren Harris and Tom Thomson — garnered record prices on Thursday night at the Heffel Fine Art Auction at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Toronto.

Lawren Harris's Mountain and Glacier was the biggest seller of the night, going for $3.9 million and breaking the previous record for the sale of one of Harris's pieces. It sold way over what was expected, which was a price between $1 million and $1.5 million.

Lawren Harris' Mountain and Glacier sold for a record-breaking $3.9 million - the biggest sale of the night. (Heffel Fine Art Auction House)

The $3.9 "hammer price" doesn't include a commission that pushes the final cost of the work even higher.

Another of Harris's pieces, Winter Landscape, sold for a hammer price of $3.1 million — also one of the night's highest prices. That piece also sold way over the $1.2 to 1.6 million estimated value. Harris paintings are always a big draw, and there may have been increased interest in his work given the buzz around a Steve Martin-curated exhibit at the Los Angeles Hammer Museum.

The exhibit will also hit Toronto's Art Gallery of Ontario in 2016.

Another Harris painting - Winter Landscape - sold for $3.1 million. (Heffel Fine Art Auction House/Canadian Press)

Alex Colville's Harboursold for a hammer price of $1.6 million, more than doubling the expected price, which was between for $500,000 and $700,000. 

After the Storm, by Tom Thomson sold for a hammer price of $1.1 million — it had been expected to sell between $500,000 and $700,000. The work is believed to be the final painting completed by Thomson before his mysterious death in July 1917. 

Other Group of Seven artists' works also fetched jaw-dropping prices well above $150,000, such as works by A.Y. Jackson and J.E.H. MacDonald.

Two ceramics by Emily Carr were also sold, as well as her painting Forest Interior, which went for $200,000. The night also featured some international names, such as pieces by pop-art favourite Roy Lichtenstein. His print Modern Room fetched $120,000, setting an international record for the sale.

with files from The Canadian Press

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