Christie’s announced the line-up of its London Impressionist & Modern sale this week. Scott Reyburn offers this quote explaining the content of the sale and the sales background on the top lot, a Gauguin still life :
“Top-quality Impressionist and modern works attract a consensus of buyers,” Giovanna Bertazzoni, director and head of Impressionist and Modern Art, Christie’s London, said. “This is where Chinese, Russian, Middle Eastern, American and European buyers meet. These works aren’t political, they’re easy on the eye and they have a sense of stability.”
Gauguin’s canvas has been shown in more than 20 museum exhibitions, including the artist’s first retrospective, held at the Grand Palais, Paris, in 1906. The work was last seen on the market in 1996, when it failed at Christie’s New York against an estimate of $7 million to $10 million. The collector later acquired the painting via a private treaty sale.
Christie’s release does some of the heavy living with the other top works:
- Bateaux à Collioure by André Derain (1880-1954) was painted in 1905, and is from a pivotal, early moment of the Fauve movement. Executed in Collioure where the artist was painting alongside his great champion Henri Matisse, it is an exceptionally vibrant work that has been in the collection of the present owner since circa 1960 and was last seen in public in 1965 (estimate: £4 million to £6 million)
- The auction will offer 4 works to be sold by the Art Institute of Chicago led by Nature morte à la guitare (rideaux rouge), 1938, by Georges Braque (1882-1963) (estimate: £3.5 million to £5.5 million) […] The other paintings offered by the Art Institute of Chicago are Sur l’impériale traversant la Seine, an early painting executed in Paris by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) in 1901 (estimate: £2 million to £3 million); Femme au fauteuil, 1919, a striking portrait by Henri Matisse (estimate: £1 million to £1.5 million); and Verre et pipe, 1919, a cubist jewel by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).
- Terrasse à Vernon by Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) was painted in 1923 and depicts the view from Ma Roulotte, the Norman home of the artist (estimate: £3 million to £4 million) illustrated right. [I]t was one of only 3 works that Bonnard selected to be exhibited at the Salon d’Automne that year […]. It has since been seen in public only once, in New York in 1934. Acquired by the family of the present owner in 1935, it has since passed by descent and is offered at auction for the first time.
- L’aimant (The Magnet) by René Magritte (1898-1967) is a monumental canvas painted in 1941 (estimate: £3.5 million to £5.5 million) (illustrated left). Offered from a private Swiss collection, it is one of the most important works by the artist to be offered at auction.