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    Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
    Mousquetaire et nu assis
    © Christie’s Images Limited 2018

    There was a combined total of £149,592,750 at the Impressionist and Modern Art and Art of the Surreal sales at Christie’s in London last night.  This is the second highest result for Christie’s February season in these categories.

    The sales were led by Picasso whose Mousquetaire et nu assis realised £13,733,750 and Figure realised £8,333,750.  No less than five of the top ten results were works by Picasso.

    Dans les coulisses by Edgar Degas realised £8,993,750, Prairie à Giverny by Claude Monet realised £7,546,250, Le groupe silencieux by Rene Magritte realised £7,208,750 and Studie für Landscaft (Dünaberg) by Wassily Kandinsky realised £6,758,750.

    Andre Derain’s view of London from Westminster Bridge failed to sell in an auction that was 78% sold by lot and 91% sold by value.

    (See posts on for February 26, February 5 and February 1, 2018)


    Monday, February 26th, 2018

    THE Impressionist and Modern evening sale at Christie’s in London on February 27 will kick off 20th Century at Christie’s, a series of auctions from now to March 7.  Works from prestigious private collections will be offered, ranging from the structured still-lifes of Giorgio Morandi in ‘The Eye of the Architect’ to the early cubist composition of Georges Braque and Francis Picabia’s playful collage in ‘Abstraction Beyond Borders’, a collection that traces the development of abstraction across Europe in the 20th Century. These are complemented by works by Claude Monet, Théo Van Rysselberghe and Jan Toorop from The Triton Collection Foundation and a rare Oskar Kokoshka from the Reinold Collection. Alongside leading masterpieces from the 20th Century, ranging from Kandinsky to Degas and from Derain to Picasso, the diversity of those developing a radical artistic language at this time is represented by artists including Kees Van Dongen, Georges Vantongerloo, František Kupka and Edvard Munch.   Here are some examples from the evening sale:

    Claude Monet (1840-1926)
    Prairie à Giverny © Christie’s Images Limited 2018  UPDATE: THIS MADE £7,546,250 

    Edgar Degas (1834-1917)
    Dans les coulisses (In the Wings) © Christie’s Images Limited 2018  UPDATE: THIS MADE £8,993,750

    KEES VAN DONGEN (1877-1968) La femme au collier – fond rouge © Christie’s Images Limited 2018   UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
    Mousquetaire et nu assis
    © Christie’s Images Limited 2018  UPDATE: THIS MADE £13,733,750


    Monday, February 12th, 2018

    Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, Attese  UPDATE: THIS MADE £8.6 MILLION

    Masterpieces by Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri and Thomas Schütte from a private European collection will feature at Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Art evening sale in London on March 6.   The group will be led by Lucio Fontana’s  Concetto Spaziale, Attese (1965) which is  estimated at £8-12 million.   The two-metre long white canvas is cut with 24 of Fontana’s iconic vertical slashes, the greatest number he ever committed to a large-scale work. To add a further dimension to the painting Fontana enshrouded it in a highly reflective black lacquer.

    Additional highlights include Alberto Burri’s Ferro T (1959) (£3-5 million)  a patchwork forged from jagged panes of soldered metal, weathered using fire and the process of oxidation.  This is from Burri’s celebrated series of 12 Ferri (‘Irons’), nine of which are housed in museum collections internationally. Thomas Schütte’s Bronzefrau Nr. 7 (2002) (£2-3 million) offers a powerful critique of monumental sculpture: created from bronze and Cor-Ten steel it both mines and undermines classical and Renaissance traditions. Dan Flavin, Anselm Kiefer and Gerhard Richter are also represented in the collection.


    Monday, February 5th, 2018

    André Derain, Londres: la Tamise au pont de Westminster, oil on canvas

    André Derain’s Londres: la Tamise au pont de Westminster (1906-07) will highlight Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale in London on February 27. One of 29 recorded paintings of London that Derain painted across 1906 and 1907, it comes to auction alongside the exhibition ‘Impressionists and London’ currently on view at London’s Tate Britain. Londres: la Tamise au pont de Westminster is captured from the Albert Embankment, portraying the Thames, the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Bridge and, in the background, the pyramidal silhouette of Whitehall Court.

    As with all of the works in this series, the British capital is saturated in radiant colour. The expansive grey waters of the Thames are transformed into a mosaic of shimmering yellow, blue and turquoise; the sunlit sky rendered in an iridescent patchwork of blues and pink.  It is estimated at £6-9 million.

    Keith Gill, head of sale said: “Among the most iconic works of Fauvism, many of this rare series of London paintings are now housed in museum collections across the world, including the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Tate Gallery, London”


    Friday, February 2nd, 2018

    WITH sales of £5.1 billion Christie’s led the global art market in 2017.  This is an increase of 26%.  Auction sales were up 38%. Digital sales online totalled £165.6 million and seven of the top works of art sold around the world were sold at Christie’s.  This included Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi which smashed the world record for any work of art sold at auction when made $450.3 million.

    Increased supply at masterpiece level met continued demand as global auction sales increased 38% to £4.6 billion ($5.9 billion, up 33%).  Sales in the Americas increased to £2.5 billion, up 68% ($3.2 billion, up 62%), sales in Asia totalled £582.9 million, up 11% ($754.9 million, up 7%), and sales in Europe and the Middle East totalled £1.5 billion, up 16% ($2 billion, up 11%).


    Thursday, February 1st, 2018

    Pablo Picasso – Mousquetaire et nu assis (1967)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £13,733,750

    Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece Mousquetaire et nu assis (1967) will be a highlight of Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Art evening sale in London on February 27.  Estimate:d at £12-18 million it will be part of ‘20th Century at Christie’s’, series of sales from February 20 to March 67.  2018.  This is among the first of the triumphant musketeers that appeared in Pablo Picasso’s art in 1967. The iconic figure is accompanied by a sensuous, seated nude.

    She is Jacqueline, the artist’s final, great love, muse and wife, whose presence permeated every female figure in this final chapter of Picasso’s life. With one eye towards the Old Masters and another towards contemporary art Picasso shows himself still challenging the history of art, carrying out iconoclastic attacks, plundering the past and doing so in a strikingly fresh, gestural way.

    Keith Gill, head of sale, said: “Picasso’s late career was defined by sensuous paintings in which he cast himself as the virile artist alongside his voluptuous lover. The allegorical figures were used by Picasso not only to reference fictitious characters but were a means by which he could situate himself firmly within the art historical canon alongside the likes of Rembrandt, El Greco, Velázquez and Goya. He seemed to have a sense of urgency to his work in this period, as if trying to beat the passage of time, a feeling that is evidenced by the dense brushwork and bold gestures of ‘Mousquetaire et nu assis’. It is a privilege to present the painting as a leading highlight in the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale.”


    Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

    A George II gold Irish freedom box is among the highlights of the collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller which Christie’s is touring prior to sales at Christie’s Rockefeller Center in New York in late spring. The freedom box, to the far right of the composite image above,  is by William Currie, Dublin and estimated at $30,000-50,000.  Christie’s has confirmed additional dates and locations for preview exhibitions of the collection to its flagship galleries in London (February 21 – March 8), Beijing (April 6 – 7), Los Angeles (April 6 – 12), and Shanghai (April 10 – 11). With each stop on the pre-sale tour, additional works of art and objects will be unveiled, revealing new facets of this storied, multi-category collection. The exhibitions, which are open to the public, are sponsored in partnership with private aviation company VistaJet.

    As a guide for collectors, Christie’s has launched a special issue of Christie’s Magazine dedicated to the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller. The issue re-acquaints readers with the Rockefeller family’s unique place in American history, and their long legacy in the realms of art collecting, commerce, and philanthropy. All of the estate proceeds from the sale of the Collection will benefit established charities.


    Sunday, December 10th, 2017

    Jean-Paul Riopelle, Untitled (1953).

    Christie’s French Post-War and Contemporary Art Sales achieved a combined annual total of 96,553,150 this year, the highest realised to date. Led by Jean-Paul Riopelle’s monumental 1953 painting Untitled, December auctions brought in 21,447,000.  The Riopelle made 4,882,500,, a new world record at auction for the artist. There were records too for Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s Ville vue d’au-delà du soleil (523,500) and Pierrette Bloch’s Sans titre (12,50 ).

    Paul Nyzam, Head of Evening Auction, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s, Paris said: “The outstanding totals for the December season follow the success of our October FIAC auctions, which underlined continued growth with a 110% increase on the equivalent sales from 2016.”


    Friday, December 8th, 2017

    El Greco – Saint Francis and Brother Leo in Meditation

    El Greco’s Saint Francis and Brother Leo in Meditation was the top lot at Christie’s Old Masters evening sale in London on December 7.  From the Collection of Stanford Z. Rothschild, Jr. it sold for £6,871,250.  This is the second highest price for the artist at auction.

    The sale totalled £21,772,000.  There was a new world record for Bartholomäus Spranger with Mercury carrying Psyche to Mount Olympus, which  made £3,368,750.  The sale saw registered bidders from 30 countries, across five continents.

    Henry Pettifer, Head of Christie’s Old Master Paintings EMERI: “2017 is the second consecutive record year for Old Masters at Christie’s. With 78% of lots selling above estimate, tonight’s sale was 93% sold by value, the second highest sell-through rate by value for Old Masters, Christie’s London. The sale proved the healthy demand for 16th and 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings, demonstrated by the highly competitive bidding for the works by Spranger, Rembrandt, Ruisdael and Teniers, among others. We were pleased to see El Greco’s superb Saint Francis and Brother Leo in Meditation set the second highest price for the artist at auction, and for the new record for the Spranger which is one of the finest mannerist pictures to come to the market in recent memory.”


    Saturday, November 18th, 2017

    Sean Scully – Iris CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

    Sean Scully will carry the flag for Irish art at Christie’s Modern British and Irish art evening sale in London on November 22. Two works by the artist are in the sale. Iris, signed and dated 2005, is estimated at £500,000-800,000 and East Coast Light 2 is estimated at £150,000-250,000.

    There is a focus on British Pop artists, including the last painting executed by founding member Pauline Boty, titled BUM  alongside work by Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton, David Hockney and Eduardo Paolozzi. Beatitudes of Love 6: Consciousness was painted in1938 by Sir Stanley Spencer during his failed second marriage to Patricia Preece. It is estimated at £1.3-1.8 million.  The evening auction will be followed by a day sale on November 23.