With a $150 million estimate, the big mystery is how much Christie’s offered the Brody estate as a guarantee. Carol Vogel says in the New York Times a third party is involved. That makes sense, there are plenty of guarantor’s out there who are eager to get in on A+ property. And that’s what the Brody Estate has. Here’s what Vogel says:
“While this is the last gasp of collecting of this type, it is a little tougher-edged than the Park Avenue collections that were put together at the same time,” said Christopher Burge, honorary chairman of Christie’s in America.
The Picasso, “Nu au Plateau de Sculpteur (Nude, Green Leaves and Bust),” is the jewel of the collection and is expected to bring more than $80 million. Painted in rich blues, pinks and greens, it depicts the artist’s mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter asleep naked; above her, a bust of her head rests on a pedestal. The couple bought the painting from Paul Rosenberg, a New York dealer, who acquired it from Picasso in 1936.
In addition to the Picasso, there’s a Giacometti bust of his brother Diego and a Matisse–Henri Matisse’s Nu au coussin
bleu, 1924 (estimate: $20-30 million), and Alberto Giacometti’s Grande tête de Diego, 1954 (estimate:
Here’s what Christie’s release says about the rest:
Autoportrait by Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940), a superb early self-portrait painted in deliberately
strident hues of yellow and orange by a principal figure of the Nabis movement. Executed just
after 1890, the portrait is representative of Vuillard’s radical and highly successful forays into the
free use of color, a tenet the Fauve artists would claim for themselves some fifteen years later.
Works of this type remain extremely rare on the art market, and are highly prized by museums
and collectors alike (estimate: $1.2-1.8 million).
Piccolo cavaliere by Marino Marini (1901-1980), a beautiful, 20-inch tall bronze of Marini’s
favorite horse-and-rider theme that features a vigorously hand-chiseled and painted surface. The
Brody work is an exceptional example of Marini’s signature contribution to 20th century
sculpture in which he developed an innovative technique of working the surface of the bronze
to a textured and nuanced finish (estimate: $1.5-2 million).
Family group by Henry Moore (1898-1986), one of several important Moore bronzes in the
Brody collection, this small bronze was cast for the Berkeley Gallery exhibition of 1945.
Considered to be among the most desirable of all of the celebrated artist’s small sculptures, it
was also the Christmas gift from Sidney Brody to his young wife that marked the couple’s first
important fine art purchase, and jump-started their joint collecting pursuits (estimate: $600,000-
A suite of six rare Blue Period drawings by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), including a study for
Femme assise aux bras croisés, a pen and ink drawing with blue crayon completed in 1902-3
(estimate: $200,000-300,000). Of similar size and coloration is Picasso’s Vieillard debout les bras
croisés (estimate: $120,000-160,000) and a beautifully-shaded nude study, Femme nu en buste
Rounding out this exceptional collection are additional paintings and sculpture by Georges Braque,
Edgar Degas, Amedeo Modigliani, and James Ensor, among others. Highlights include Braque’s La
treille, a large-format scene of a terrace garden covered in twisting vines (estimate: $3-5 million) and two bronzes by Degas, Danseuses habilée au repos (estimate: $600,000-800,000) and La masseuse (estimate: $300,000-500,000). Also featured are Modigliani’s 1915 watercolor work La ménage (estimate: $250,000-350,000), and Ensor’s jewel-like Nature morte aux fruits et compotier, painted circa 1909 (estimate: $100,000-150,000).
Christie’s Wins Bid to Auction $150 Million Brody Collection (New York Times)