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    AN HISTORIC NIGHT FOR CHRISTIE’S AND THE ROCKEFELLERS

    Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

    PICASSO – Fillette à la corbeille fleurie    

    It was an historic night at Christie’s in New York as the 19th & 20th Century Art Evening Sale, the first sale in the series from the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, totalled $646,133,594 / £476,148,559 / €541,380,911. This exceeded the high estimate by $100 million.  This is the most significant charitable auction ever.

    The top lots of the sale were Picasso’s, Fillette à la corbeille fleurie, which realized $115,000,000, Monet’s Nymphéas en fleur, which totaled $84,687,500, and Matisse’s Odalisque couchée aux magnolias, which sold for $80,750,000.

    In total, 7 works sold above $30 million, and 7 world auction artist records were set for Monet, Matisse, Corot, Delacroix, Seguin, Morandi and Redon. Collectors from Europe, Asia, North and South America, and Australia participated in the sales, representing 34 different countries.

    Marc Porter, Chairman Americas, “The twin goals of education and philanthropy have driven this project and we have been so gratified with the engagement from global audiences from the moment we launched the sale in Hong Kong last November. The Rockefeller legacy has resonated strongly and we are thrilled with the results achieved for the first evening in this series of sales, already over our expectations. With new price levels set for Monet, Matisse, Corot, and others, the bidding was testament to the taste, connoisseurship and standing of the Rockefeller family combined with a shared goal to achieve a great result for the charitable beneficiaries of the sale. We continue tomorrow.”

    Sales of The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller  continue with English & European Furniture, Ceramics and Decorations Part I  and the Art of the Americas Evening Sale  on 9 May, and the Fine Art Day SaleEnglish & European Furniture, Ceramics and Decorations Part II  and Travel and Americana  on10 May. The Online only sale continues until Friday 11 May.

    • The most valuable collection ever previously offered at auction was the Collection of Yves Saint Laurent et Pierre Bergé in 2009 at Christie’s Paris, which achieved more than US$400 million.

    Matisse – Odalisque couchée aux magnolias

    Monet – Nymphéas en fleur

    COMBINED TOTAL OF £149.5 MILLION AT CHRISTIE’S IN LONDON

    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 antiquesandartireland.com for February 26, February 5 and February 1, 2018)

    20th CENTURY AT CHRISTIE’S

    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

    A LATE PICASSO AT CHRISTIE’S LONDON SALE

    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.”

    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’.

    UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £49.8 MILLION, THE SECOND HIGHEST PRICE FOR ANY WORK OF ART EVER SOLD IN EUROPE.

    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