Egon Schiele’s first masterpiece Danaë will lead Sotheby’s evening sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in New York on May 16. Painted in 1909, the work marks Schiele’s first major oil painting of a female nude, and is estimated to sell for $30–40 million. The artist was just 19 years when he produced this extraordinary example of his daring technique. Danaë introduces the artist’s iconic aesthetic, and epitomizes the Jugendstil movement’s influence at the time. The composition also pays homage to Schiele’s informal mentor, Gustav Klimt, who championed the young artist throughout his career.
Painted in 1969, a little more than a week before his 88th birthday, Pablo Picasso’s self-portrait Tête d’homme is estimated at $8/12 million. It was painted in 1969, a little more than a week before his 88th birthday and was first exhibited in a one-man show that the artist curated himself in the hallowed halls of the Palace of the Popes in Avignon. Works emerging from a distinguished private collection include Impressionist pictures by Paul Signac, Alfred Sisley and Pierre Bonnard, as well as an important early sculpture by Alexander Archipenko. The group is led by Signac’s Le Pin de Bertaud ($3.5/5 million), a spectacular view of Saint-Tropez painted in 1899-1900