Bubbling below the surface of the art market for several seasons has been a growing interest in 19th Century European art that doesn’t fit the Impressionist and Modern story of art history. Whether the interest is simply a matter of changing tastes or the effects of a buyers identifying high quality work they consider undervalued or a tell of new buyers from different regions is hard to tell.
What we do know that there are galleries specializing in 19th Century art supporting the market and now Christie’s has announced an additional sale of 19th Century European art to precede the November auctions in New York:
Christie’s announces European Art Part I, a new curated sale that will be dedicated to 19th century European masterpieces and will launch in New York on 31 October. Following recent strong prices and new world auction records achieved for Delacroix and Corot in the Peggy and David Rockefeller Collection, the sale presents a unique platform for the most renowned artists of this diverse and often revolutionary era of art.
Sourced internationally from important private collections, the sale will be held during Christie’s Classic Week sale series, coinciding with TEFAF New York and leading into November’s 20th Century Week auctions. Sale highlights will tour to Hong Kong, Shanghai and London in September.
Deborah Coy, Head of Department, New York, comments, “European Art Part I will build upon the global demand seen in recent years for masterpiece-level art. 19th Century masterpieces have performed with increasingly strong results, driven by competition from traditional collectors and collectors of Modern and Contemporary Art, as well as a notable increase of participation from Asia.”
Early highlights for the New York sale on 31 October include an important and rare work by Gustave Courbet, Femme endormie aux cheveux roux, that was formerly in the collection of Henri Matisse, and is part of a series of important nudes painted by the artist in the mid-1860s.
Other highlights include Edward Burne-Jones’ Paradise with the Adoration of the Lamb, a masterpiece of the artist’s oeuvre that was formerly in the collection of Yves Saint Laurent, William Adolphe Bouguereau’s Récolte de noisettes, from a royal collection and also formerly in the collections of Diamond Jim Brady and William Randolph Hearst, and Vilhelm Hammershøi’s Interior with an Easel, Bregade 25, which was acquired by the family of the present owner through the artist’s friend Leonard Borwick in the same year it was painted.