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    Thursday, February 4th, 2016
    Auguste Rodin - Iris

    Auguste Rodin – Iris

    Impressionist, Modern and Surreal art brought in a total of £93.7 million at Sotheby’s in London last night.  The top lot was Pablo Picasso’s Tete de Femme which sold for£18.9 million.  It was a portrait of his muse Marie Therese Walter painted in 1935. A lifetime cast of Auguste Rodin’s Iris – once in the collection of Sylvester Stallone – sold for £11.6 million.  The Surrealist section was led by Le Miroir by Paul Delvaux which sold for £7.3 million, a new auction record for the artist.  Henri Matisse’s La Lecon de Piano sold for £10.8 million and  Claude Monet’s Le Palais Ducal vu de Saint Georges Majeur  sold for £11.6 million.

    La Lecon de Piano by Henri Matisse

    La Lecon de Piano by Henri Matisse

    There were participants from 35 countries, which was on a par with last year.  Helena Newman, Global Co-Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Department, said: “Tonight we saw continued market activity across all price levels, with depth of bidding from a broad international spectrum. Five lots selling for more than £7/$10 million and there was particular strength for sculpture and Surrealism – with record prices achieved for both Rodin and Delvaux.”

    Sales of Impressionist and Modern Art continue today.


    Sunday, January 31st, 2016

    An exceptional painting by Henri Matisse  is a highlight at Sotheby’s in London on February 3.  The Impressionist and Modern Art and Surrealist evening sales feature a variety of masterpieces.  The Matisse – entitled La Lecon de piano – has emerged after 85 years in a private collection and is estimated at £12-18 million. Here is a quick preview:

    (See posts on for January 27, 2016 and December 23, 2015)

    Rene Magritte - Sheherazade (£500,000-700,000).

    Rene Magritte – Sheherazade (£500,000-700,000).  UPDATE: THIS MADE £785,000

    Paul Signac - Voile dans la brume. Canal de la Giudecca (£850,000-1.2 million).

    Paul Signac – Voile dans la brume. Canal de la Giudecca (£850,000-1.2 million).  UPDATE: THIS  SOLD FOR £1,025,000

    Francis Picabia - Le Ventilateur (£1.8-2.5 million,

    Francis Picabia – Le Ventilateur (£1.8-2.5 million,  UPDTE: THIS MADE £2.3 MILLION

    Rene Magritte - L'usage de la parole (£500,000-700,000).

    Rene Magritte – L’usage de la parole (£500,000-700,000).   UPDATE: THIS MADE £965,000


    Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

    Works from the Art Collection of Sting & Trudie Styler will be offered at auction at Christie’s in London next February 24. Formed over the past 20 years and housed in their former family home at Queen Anne’s Gate, London the collection captures the couple’s passion for art and design. Over 200 lots – from bold abstracts by Ben Nicholson and Alan Reynolds and striking Mapplethorpe photographs and sophisticated 20th century furniture and lighting – will come under the hammer.  Estimates range from £1,000 to £500,000.

    Andy Waters, Senior Director, Head of Private Collection Sales, Christie’s London said: Their home at Queen Anne’s Gate effortlessly combined luxury, rarity and colour – a skilful balance that created the ultimate London home. Each work of art was carefully chosen and the resulting collection is a testament to Sting and Trudie Styler’s informed eye for Art and Design. Alongside works by Matisse, Picasso, Mapplethorpe and Nicholson, the collection includes Sting’s Steinway piano, which occupied pride of place in the music room at Queen Anne’s Gate.”  UPDATE: THE SALE BROUGHT IN £3,006,812

    HENRI MATISSE (1869-1954) Jazz the complete set of 20 pochoirs in colors, 1947 (£250,000-350,000).

    HENRI MATISSE (1869-1954) Jazz the complete set of 20 pochoirs in colors, 1947 (£250,000-350,000).  UPDATE: THESE SOLD FOR £530,500

    PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973) Le Corsage à Carreaux lithograph, 1949 (£30,000-50,000).

    PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973) Le Corsage à Carreaux
    lithograph, 1949 (£30,000-50,000).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £45,000

    Ben Nicholson, O.M. (1894-1982) March 55 (amethyst) (£300,000-500,000)

    Ben Nicholson, O.M. (1894-1982) March 55 (amethyst) (£300,000-500,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE £1,022,500

    The Living Room.

    The Living Room.


    Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

    Matisse Nu de dos (1er état) is estimated at $20-30 million. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS WAS SOLD PRIVATELY BEFORE THE AUCTION.

    A cast of each of four monumental bronze sculptures by Henri Matisse, known collectively as Les Nus de dos (The Backs), is to be offered by Sotheby’s in four consecutive sales of Impressionist and Modern Art in London and New York.  The first comes up in New York on November 2.  Nu de dos (1er état) is estimated at $20-30 million.  Conceived in 1908-09 at the culmination of Matisse’s involvement with the Fauves the sculpture exemplifies the fluidity of line that dominated his paintings from this era.

    Each of the four works was conceived individually over the course of two decades, and together they chart the evolution of Matisse’s artistic development through the early 20th century. The bronzes have been consigned by The Burnett Foundation of Fort Worth  Texas, and proceeds will further support the community of Fort Worth – the Foundation’s primary mission since its inception 30 years ago.  Dos II, Dos III and Dos IV will be offered individually in the next sales of Impressionist & Modern Art at Sotheby’s: London, February 2012; New York, May 2012; and London, June 2012.

    They were consigned by the Burnett Foundation of Fort Worth and proceeds will support the local community.  The Foundation acquired the works in 1982 from Californian collector Norton Simon, who bought them from the artist’s estate in 1966.  They were on show for ten years at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth.

    UPDATE:  THE Matisse bronze was sold on November 1 prior to the auction as part of a quartet of Matisse bronzes in a private transaction.  The deal was made by Sotheby’s who did not release any information about the purchaser or disclose the price.


    Thursday, November 4th, 2010

    Matisse’s monumental bronze sculpture of a woman’s back made $48.8 million at Christie’s in New York on November 3 well above its $35 million high estimate.  This was a new record for the artist.

    It was bought by dealer Larry Gagosian for a client he did not name.

    The sale, strongest for quality items, brought $231.4 million against an estimate of $199 million to $287 million. Of the 84 works on offer, 67 sold.

    A 1913 Cublist painting by Juan Gris, “Violin and Guitar.” made $28.6 million, a record auction price.

    See posts on for October 5 and November 1.