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    A LATE PICASSO AT CHRISTIE’S LONDON SALE

    Thursday, February 1st, 2018

    Pablo Picasso – Mousquetaire et nu assis (1967)

    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.”

    A PICASSO PORTRAIT OF MARIE-THERESE AT SOTHEBY’S

    Sunday, January 14th, 2018

    Pablo Picasso
    Femme au béret et à la robe quadrillée (Marie-Thérèse Walter)

    A 1937 portrait of Picasso’s powerful muse Marie-Therese is to be the highlight of Sotheby’s Impressionist and modern art evening sale in London on February 28.  Picasso’s Femme au béret et à la robe quadrillée (Marie-Thérèse Walter) brings to a climax a turbulent and highly charged year. Guernica was created in 1937, and in the final month of that year he painted this intense image of his golden muse Marie-Thérèse Walter.

    The painting Picasso’s evolving relationship with his muse Marie-Thérèse Walter, to whom he was ostensibly still devoted at the time, and the increasingly dominant presence of his new lover Dora Maar. Indeed, the work appears to have been used as a means for exploring his feelings for the two women. There is a conscious blurring of the two styles inspired by the two muses, reaching its pinnacle in the silhouetted ‘other’ that emerges from behind the main subject. Whether it represents Maar or indeed a self-portrait, the implication is that of duality and conflict. Picasso is quoted: ‘It must be painful for a girl to see in a painting that she is on the way out’.

    PICASSO AND BACON MUSES AT SOTHEBY’S

    Friday, October 27th, 2017

    Portraits of celebrated muses by Francis Bacon and Pablo Picasso come up at Sotheby’s in New York next month.  Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of George Dyer (estimate $35-45 million) depicting the artist’s great love and most prevalent subject, comes up at the Contemporary Art evening sale on November 16.  Pablo Picasso’s Buste de femme au chapeau (estimate $18-25 million) comes up at the Impressionist and Modern evening sale on November 14.  Each work is appearing at auction for the first time.  

    Pablo Picasso, Buste de femme au chapeau, Oil on canvas, Estimate $18/25 million

    Francis Bacon, Three Studies of George Dyer, Oil on canvas, in three parts, Estimate $35/45 million

    PICASSO’S FEMME ACCOUPIE (JACQUELINE) AT CHRISTIE’S

    Friday, September 15th, 2017

    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Femme accroupie (Jacqueline) © 2017 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

    Pablo Picasso’s Femme accroupie (Jacqueline), painted on October 8, 1954  will come to auction for the first time at Christie’s evening sale  of Impressionist and Modern Art on November 13 in New York. From a private collection, it is estimated to sell for $20-30 million.

    The brilliant primary colors in Femme accroupie (Jacqueline) illustrate a sunny day in the South of France during early autumn, 1954. Picasso and Jacqueline Roque, his ultimate paramour and eventual second wife, had begun living together in the Midi and would soon return to Paris to reside in the artist’s studio.

    Jessica Fertig, head of the evening sale, said: “Picasso embarked on his late, great period, which his biographer John Richardson succinctly defined and characterized as “l’époque Jacqueline“—It is Jacqueline’s image that dominates Picasso’s work from 1954 until his death, longer than any of the women who preceded her.

    Christie’s Global President, Jussi Pylkkanen, remarked: “Jacqueline was a beautiful woman and one of Picasso’s most elegant muses. This painting of Jacqueline hung in Picasso’s private collection for many years and has rarely been seen in public since 1954. It is a museum quality painting on the grand scale which will capture the imagination of the global art market when it is offered at Christie’s New York this November.”

    MASTERWORKS FROM TAPIES COLLECTION AT CHRISTIE’S

    Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

    Mark Rothko Untitled (Orange and Yellow)
    1969 (£4-6 million) © Christie’s Images Limited 2017

    Masterworks from the collection of Antoni Tapies, one of the most famous Post-War artists of his generation, will come up at Christie’s this autumn. Featuring artists including Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso and Mark Rothko, these works will star in the Post-War and Contemporary Art evening auction on October 6,  Up Close on October 3 and the forthcoming Impressionist and Modern Art auctions in February 2018.

    The personal collection of Antoni Tapies includes some of the most important figures of the twentieth century avant-garde and offers a unique insight into the powerful bond that existed between the artist and the paintings and sculptures he encountered over the course of his lifetime.  Born in Barcelona in 1923, Antoni Tapies grew up as the violence of the Civil War was being inscribed on the ancient walls of his city. From destruction, he forged one of the greatest bodies of abstract work of the twentieth century. He first came to prominence in the late 1940’s, a scholarship to Paris in 1950-51 led to a meeting with Pablo Picasso. Tapies deliberately chose commonplace materials to infuse with new significance. In 1984, he created the Ta?pies Foundation. Antoni Tapies died in 2012. Here are some examples from his collection:

    Alberto Giacometti
    Homme (Apollon)
    Bronze with golden brown patina
    Conceived in 1929, this bronze version cast circa 1948–56 in an edition of six (£800,000-1.2 million)© Christie’s Images Limited 2017

    Pablo Picasso Le coq saigné (‘The bled cock’)
    1947-8 (£2.2-2.8 million) © Christie’s Images Limited 2017

    A PORTRAIT OF DORA MAAR AT CHRISTIE’S IN MAY

    Thursday, March 30th, 2017

    Pablo Picasso, Femme assise, robe bleue UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $45,047,500

    Femme assise, robe bleue by Pablo Picasso will be a highlight at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale in New York on May 15.  Painted on Picasso’s birthday on October 25, 1939 it is a searing portrait of Picasso’s lover, Dora Maar. This was just after the beginning of World War II.  Filled with the unique character, distortions and tension that mark Picasso’s greatest portraits of Dora there is at the same time a tender sensuality in the organic, curvaceous forms of the face which provides some insight into their relationship. This picture was formerly owned by G. David Thompson, to whom the great curator and art historian Alfred H. Barr, Jr. referred as, ‘one of the great collectors of the art of our time. It is estimated at $35,000,000-50,000,000.

    Giovanna Bertazzoni, Deputy Chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art, remarked: “We are bringing Femme assise, robe bleue to the market at a time when the demand for Picasso’s portraits of one of his greatest subjects, Dora Maar, is at an all-time high. The canvas is a powerful example of Picasso’s creative imagination and the passion which Dora inspired in him.”

    Francis Outred, Chairman and Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, EMERI said: “Femme assise, robe bleue is a timeless icon of artist and muse which speaks to collectors across the centuries and continents.  Coming from a major European collection, the picture holds within it an incredible story.  It originally belonged to Picasso’s dealer, Paul Rosenberg but was confiscated in 1940 soon after its creation.  Later in the War it was intended to be transported to Germany but was famously intercepted and captured by members of the French Resistance, an event immortalised, albeit in fictional form, in the 1966 movie The Train, starring Burt Lancaster and Jeanne Moreau. In real life, one of the people who helped to sabotage the National Socialists’ attempt to remove countless artworks from France towards the end of the war was in fact Alexandre Rosenberg. The son of Paul Rosenberg, he had enlisted with the Free French Forces after the invasion of France in 1940.  The painting was subsequently owned by the Pittsburgh steel magnate and legendary collector, George David Thompson, from whose collection many works now grace the walls of museums in the United States and Europe.  We fully expect the romance and power of this painting and its remarkable story to capture the hearts and minds of our global collectors of masterpieces from Old Masters to Contemporary, this May.”

    THIRD HIGHEST PRICE FOR A WORK FOR ART SOLD IN EUROPE

    Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

    Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) – Bauerngarten painted in 1907

    Gustav Klimt’s Bauerngarten sold for £47.9 million at Sotheby’s in London tonight. The third highest price for any work of art ever sold at auction in Europe was achieved at a sale which scored the highest total of £195 million for any auction ever staged in London.  At the Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist art evening sales five lots sold for over £10 million.

    The Klimt was a record for a landscape by the artist. Four bidders competed for the luminous flower garden. Bauerngarten was painted in 1907 during the golden period of Klimt’s career.

    It was a highlight of the critically acclaimed ‘Painting the Modern Garden’ exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London last year and at at auction for the first time in over two decades.

    Picasso’s Plante de Tomates, painted just days before the liberation of Paris in 1944, sold for £17 million. This is a record for a still life by the artist. The total achieved for eight works by Picasso over the course of the evening was £54.7 million. Two other works by Picasso exceeded £10 million – Femme nu assise (£13.6 million) and  Femme assise dans un fauteuil sur fond blanc (£12 million).  Modigliani’s Portrait of Baranowski made £16 million and a Tahiti painting by Gauguin sold for £8.3 million.

    Helena Newman, Global Co-Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Department & Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, said:
    Tonight’s outstanding result is a new benchmark for London sales as much as it is a statement on the momentum of the global art market in 2017. The success of tonight’s sale lies in reading the market to know what buyers are looking for, and Sotheby’s having been entrusted by our clients with extraordinary works. This, combined with the pent up market demand for works of such extraordinary calibre, propelled global buying in our saleroom – particularly from Asia –  and it was wonderful to experience on the rostrum.”

    Amedeo Modigliani
    PORTRAIT DE BARANOWSKI sold for £16 million

    Ernst Ludwig Kirchner – Vier Akte under Baumen (Four nudes under trees) sold for £5.4 million.

    Paul Gauguin – Te Arii Vahine sold for £8.3 million

    THE TOP TEN LOTS AT SOTHEBY’S IN 2016

    Tuesday, December 20th, 2016
    The most expensive lot at Sotheby's in 2016 was Picasso's Femme Assise

    The most expensive lot at Sotheby’s in 2016 was Picasso’s Femme Assise

    A heady list of art and diamonds make up Sotheby’s top ten lots in 2016.  Picasso, Modigliani, Munch, Twombly, Bacon, Daqian, Richter and Gentileschi in that order accounted for the top art works, a blue diamond and a pink diamond made up the balance.

    Picasso’s  Femme Assise, 1909 which sold for £43,269,000 ($63,631,391) in London in June topped the list.  Next came Amedeo Modigliani with Jeanne Hébuterne (Au Foulard), 1919 which sold for £38,509,000 ($56,631,335): Edvard Munch, Pikene på broen (Girls on the Bridge), 1902 which sold for $54,487,500: Cy Twombly, Untitled (New York City), 1968 sold for $36,650,000: Francis Bacon, Two Studies For A Self-Portrait, 1970 sold for $34,970,000: Zhang Daqian, Peach Blossom Spring, 1982 sold for HKD $270,680,000 (US$ 34,702,564) and Gerhard Richter, A.B., Still, 1986 sold for $33,987,500.
    Number eight on the list was the De Beers Millennium Jewel 4 which sold for HK$248,280,000 ($32,013,223). Ninth came the Unique Pink, a fancy vivid diamond ring which sold for CHF 30,826,000 (US$31,561,200) and Orazio Gentileschi, Danaë, 1621 which sold for $30,490,000 was tenth.

    MONET, PICASSO AND KANDINSKY TO LEAD CHRISTIE’S NEW YORK SALE

    Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

    Monet, Picasso and Kandinsky will lead Christie’s auction of Impressionist and Modern Art in New York on November 16.   The evening sale of 49 works by the major artists of the era is expected to achieve more than $200 million.

    Brooke Lampley, Christie’s Head of Impressionist and Modern Art, New York, remarked: “This sale constitutes an exceptional line-up of masterpieces and fresh to market gems perfectly suited to collectors’ taste. From Monet to Kandinsky, Cézanne to Matisse, and a great range of works by Picasso, all of the sought after artists of the period are well represented in this sale, with offerings at every price level.”

    Chaim Soutine - Le garçon d'etage ($6-9 million. Courtesy Christie's Images Lt.d, 2016.

    Chaim Soutine – Le garçon d’etage ($6-9 million. Courtesy Christie’s Images Lt.d, 2016.  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $6,519,500

    Claude Monet - Meule (Grainstack) Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2016

    Claude Monet – Meule (Grainstack) Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2016  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $81,447,500

    A NEW RECORD PRICE FOR A CUBIST MASTERPIECE

    Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
    FEMME ASSISE

    FEMME ASSISE

    Pablo Picasso’s Cubist masterpiece Femme assise sold for £43.3 million at Sotheby’s in London tonight.  This is a new record price for any Cubist work at auction and the highest price for any work sold in London in over five years.

    Femme assise of 1909 came to the market tonight having remained in a private collection since 1973 when it was acquired for £340,000. The sale also saw a record for a portrait by Amedeo Modigliani, as Jeanne Hébuterne (au foulard) of 1919 mde £38.5 million, the second-highest price for a painting sold in London in over five years. The evening sale of  Impressionist & Modern Art at Sotheby’s totalled £103,280,000.

    The price paid for Femme Assise was the highest price in London since the sale of Alberto Giacometti’s Walking Man I at Sotheby’s London in 2010 for £65 million.

    (See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for June 5 and May 17, 2016 and World Sculpture Price Records)