- Associated Press - Thursday, November 10, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - An iconic painting of two candles by German artist Gerhard Richter fetched over $12.9 million at a New York City auction.

“Zwei Kerzen” (Tzveye KEHRT’-sehn) sold at Christie’s post-war and contemporary art sale Thursday evening. Its pre-sale price was estimated at $12 million to $16 million.

The oil on canvas depicts close-ups of two lit candles in Richter’s photorealist style. It is one of the largest of his series of candle and skull paintings.

Another work from the series, “Kerze” (Kehrts), currently holds the record for the artist. It sold at auction in 2008 for $15.8 million.

Prices include the buyer’s premium.