1887-1894 spring evicted from hell
2017 sold for € 1.96m including premium
The artist early changes his mind because this infernal group is not tragic enough for his gates and perhaps also because he did not well appreciate why a carnal love could cause such an eternal disapproval. The group is then offered separately from the Porte under the title Le Printemps which will become from 1900 L' Eternel Printemps reminding the original inspiration of the artist.
Rodin is now the artist of the erotic happiness. Le Baiser is a following to Le Printemps commissioned for the Universal Exhibition of 1889.
The plasters of Rodin are transferred in bronzes by independent workshops. From 1887 to 1894, Griffoul et Lorge edited 105 pieces by Rodin.
Four variants of the first state of Le Printemps are listed by the Comité Rodin and numbered A, B, C and D. A bronze by Griffoul et Lorge was sold for $ 1,77M including premium by Christie's on May 8, 2000. It had been commissioned by Rodin in 1892 for presenting to the statesman Eugène Spuller who did not want to own an original plaster considered as too fragile.
On March 22 in Paris (Drouot) Fraysse sells at lot 15 a bronze of Le Printemps first state type B by Griffoul et Lorge. Here is the link to the website of the auction house.
The second state of Le Printemps is prepared by Rodin in 1898 to be catalogued in bronzes and marbles in several dimensions by applying the reduction and augmentation method recently developed by a collaborator of the artist, Henri Lebossé. A marble from L'Eternel Printemps was sold for $ 20.4M including premium by Sotheby's on May 9, 2016.
1890 The Metamorphoses of Rodin
2011 SOLD for € 720K including premium
In his quest for the expression of an extreme sensuality, Rodin observes the most beautiful bodies, naked and muscular in all the contortions of gymnastics. L'Age d'airain, circa 1877, is a standing man. Le Torse d'Adèle, circa 1882, is a woman reclining on her very arched back.
This unprecedented approach in the history of sculpture brings him in 1880 the commission by the Beaux-Arts for a monumental door intended for a future Musée des Arts Décoratifs. He will work tirelessly on this project, with Dante's Inferno as the thread line. He continually adds and removes themes, and has bronzes and marbles made of his figures.
Thus L'Eternel Printemps, one of his most famous groups, is disqualified for the Porte when Rodin comes to consider that this couple engaged in a torrid embrace is not tragic.
Designed in 1887, La Faunesse, also called Satyresse, has an undisputed place in the Porte. She is on her knees with her feet crossed behind. The position of the hands in parallel between the shoulder blades allows to arch the slim body, like a straightened version of Adèle's torso.
Baudelaire had considered Venus as the ultimate avatar of diablesses, faunesses and satyresses. Rodin's Faunesse à genoux has a perfect human body but the bestial snout of a goat, waiting without restraint for the moment of carnal sin. Aware of this brutality which is perfectly suited for his Hell, the artist prepares around 1890 two soft versions with a human head, Le Réveil and La Toilette de Venus.
Rodin dedicated to his friend Puvis de Chavannes a copy in white Carrara marble of the Faunesse à genoux. Although this sculpture is not explicitly identified in the letters between the two artists, it is probably the subject of an acknowledgement sent by Puvis de Chavannes to Rodin in August 1890.
This 54 cm high marble was sold for € 720K including premium by Cornette de Saint Cyr on July 6, 2011, lot 23. I narrated it in this column before the sale. It is estimated £ 1M for sale by Christie's in London on February 5, lot 21.
1892 Gauguin in the Enchanted Valley
2011 SOLD 6.4 M£ including premium
This great interpreter of human nature is enchanted by the landscape. This valley surrounded by mountains is his own Montagne Sainte-Victoire, with its collision of colors and the harmony of its lines.
There are indeed Cézannian accents in Gauguin's Vallon, oil on canvas, 42 x 67 cm, for sale by Christie's in London on June 21. Nature is grand but not hostile. Far, very far away, peasants are going to the fields without addressing the presence of the artist.
This painting, which comes directly from the Beyeler estate, is estimated £ 5.5 M. It is shown in the press release shared by AuctionPublicity.
POST SALE COMMENT
The result, £ 6.4 million including premium, has remained close to the lower estimate. No surprise.
1892 Sold by Renoir to Durand-Ruel
2009 SOLD 2.9 M$ including premium
Three Renoir, one Pissarro, one Sisley, in the press release of a sale of Impressionist and modern art, this is not really outstanding. Except that almost all these works were purchased directly to the artists by Paul Durand-Ruel and all had been kept by his family.
Durand-Ruel died in 1922. For a long time the masterpieces of his collection were dispersed, and what remains may not have much importance. But it is an opportunity to remind that if this exceptional trader had not been so active the Impressionists should have never been successful and might be all dead in poverty.
Durand-Ruel purchased hundreds of their works and held exhibitions in Paris, but also in London and New York. Remarkably aware of the difficulties of artistic life, he brought for their benefit his financial talents and his skills of event manager.
This sale will take place at Sotheby's in New York on November 4. The most important work of this group, estimated $ 2.5 million, was made in 1892. It is a young woman painted by Renoir, with an extravagant hat and a prominent blouse.
POST SALE COMMENT
Result consistent with the estimate for this work which was especially remarkable for its provenance: $ 2.9 million including premium.
1892 Maximilien Luce was visiting Signac
2008 SOLD 970 K€ before fees
The works of Maximilien Luce are abundant on the market but of uneven interest. The highest prices are for animated views of Paris.
The oil on canvas by Luce at lot number 46 in the sale of Bretagne Enchères in Rennes on October 12 shows the port of Saint-Tropez, 74 x 91 cm.
The catalog tells us that this work was painted during a visit made by Luce to Signac in 1892. The style of the time is the pointillism, and the result is a pleasant painting in halftones. As always with Luce, even in his (many) minor works, the composition is well made and the animation is pleasant, neither too much nor scarce.
This painting is a rarity: I found nothing similar in Artvalue. I remembered another port scene, which got the honors of a large auction sale. I found it in La Gazette de l'Hotel Drouot of the time. This port of Camaret, 95 x 143 cm, placed Luce among other important painters in the sale of Champin Lombrail Gautier in Enghien on June 21, 1987. Its price, 1.85 MF hammer, was important for a work by Luce. At the time we began to feel the first signs of the speculative boom of the late 1980s.
At what price will be sold the Luce of Rennes? In my tracking of September 14, I had seen a low estimate of 500 K €. Today, the estimate is to be required to the auction house. This work could reach one of the best prices for the season within auction houses of the French provinces.
POST SALE COMMENT
I had predicted a good result, and it is exactly what happened !
970 K€ before fees for this Luce that looked like a Signac.
1893 How Australia joined the International Art
Australia had lived its own way of life. Its convicts, rough peasants and gold diggers made its reputation. It is time toget back to the civilization as it is understood in old Europe.
The leader of this new artistic movement is Frederick McCubbin. Born in Melbourne, he is an authentic Australian. He has not yet visited Europe but his reading frenzy inspires his art.
The term Impressionists used by his group in 1889 has generated a confusion that continues today on the realinfluences that applied onto these new pioneers.
By transposing into the Australian bush the gentle theme of pastoral scenes, they are mostly extending the classics,from Corot to Bouguereau through Bastien-Lepage. Later, when McCubbin will develop a more expressive painting, his model will be Turner.
On September 26 in London, Christie's sells one of his most famous paintings from this transition period, estimated £ 1.2 M. Bush Idyll is a large oil on canvas, 120 x 222 cm, painted in 1893. Amidst a plant environment typical of thebush, a young piper charms his girlfriend who is idly listening to him with a kindness worthy of Morisot.
1894 Strindberg in the Storm
2014 SOLD for SEK 14.3M including premium
Strindberg was an amateur painter. He understood that creating some art is a major form of expression of the feelings and considered that it must provide an ecstatic pleasure to the author.
In 1893, he painted landscapes where sky and sea form a continuity without horizon. He positioned his colors with a knife by scars.
In 1894, his tribulations led him with his very young pregnant wife in a hut in Dornach, in the upper valley of the Danube. Waiting for the childbirth, he decorated this home by seven paintings of various subjects.
The local scenery is spectacular. Alplandskap, oil on panel 72 x 51 cm, is one of the paintings made for the house at Dornach. As in the maritime scenes, the horizon disappears in the color transition between mountains and clouds. The swirling motion of the knife reminds the starry sky of van Gogh. Alplandskap was sold for £ 2.1 million including premium by Sotheby's on June 27, 2007.
Strindberg is aware that his art is totally new. The title is only a guide, and the artwork is a tour de force that expresses both the external environment and the inner torment of the artist. He outlined the theory of his creations as Art fortuit (in French, meaning chance art), which opens the way for the much later role of emotion in abstract art and to the abstract landscapes by Zao Wou-ki.
On December 3 in Stockholm, Bukowskis sells Stormlandskap, painting on paper 32 x 24 cm mounted on panel, lot 689 estimated SEK 5M. Stormlandskap was painted in Paris in October 1894, probably in order to prove his theories to a friend, and it is now rediscovered. The design is very similar to Alplandskap, but with a greater tendency to destroy the figurative.
If Strindberg had been a professional artist, he could have shaken forever the artistic theories. Kandinsky did it fifteen years later in Murnau.
I invite you to play the video shared by Bukowskis :
1895 The Friend Women of Toulouse-Lautrec
2009 SOLD 6.2 M£ including premium
First by its technique. An important artist optimizes the chemistry of his painting based on what he wants to show. In 1895, only 31 years old, Toulouse-Lautrec uses a peinture à l'essence (in French in Christie's catalog), reducing the proportion of oil to provide his paintings with the pastel flavour that fits so well in his intimate paintings.
Then the theme is a scene in a well known brothel (one which the artist frequented most often), so it is one of those images that have done more for his reputation, for paintings and for prints.
Then, the scene. We see two girls side by side, in light shirts. One of them is lying, eyes half closed. The other is leaning on her elbow, the eyes directed toward her colleague. Complicity or homosexuality? Both interpretations are possible, and this clearly reinforces the interest of the painting. They are alone, no customer being awaited. Alone? No no, it is sure that this peeping tom of painter is here also, to record the scene. It is the second mystery of the scene.
Finally, provenance: it belonged to Max Liebermann.
This work of 46 x 68 cm sold $ 8.5 million before charge at Sotheby's in 2000. It comes back on February 4 at Christie's in London, with an estimated 5 million pounds. It is known under two titles: "L'Abandon", and "Les Deux Amies". The market favours increasingly such delicately expressive works. I am willing to bet that its price will exceed the price obtained nine years ago.
POST SALE COMMENT
I won my bet, and I'm happy: £ 6.2 million including premium.
This painting has all the assets to continue its progress. That's it.
1895 VICTORIAN LUST
The Victorian art, in sculpture and painting, takes the antiquarian and orientalist themes as excuses to show the nude.The great social debate of the nineteenth century was slavery, and the degrading conditions of women's life added a touch of feeling and compassion.
Ernest Normand was one of the young artists in the following of Lord Leighton. Christie's is selling on June 15 in London his large oil on canvas of 1895, 182 x 307 cm, entitled Bondage.
In the practice of his century, the artist has free rein to his fancy. The scene is probably set in ancient Egypt: the decor includes Egyptian works from the British Museum! The young men are the masters of the harem installed on layers that could be Roman.
Two favorites are nude, wearing only a golden loincloth. A Black musician is playing a large exotic string instrument.To complete the vision of the role of women, the foreground is occupied by one of them and her child, both naked.She looks sad, but yet she has only a short step to go down the stairs to freedom.
This old-fashioned scene had met the expectations for art lovers of its time. It is estimated £ 2 million. Boldly.
1896 THE Fox Hunters
2010 SOLD 480 K$ INCLUDING PREMIUM
2020 SOLD for £ 225K including premium
New Forest in Hampshire is dedicated to hunting since William the Conqueror. John Emms discovers Lyndhurst while assisting Lord Leighton to paint a fresco for the parish church. In 1880 he marries the daughter of a local gentleman and settles permanently in the village.
The deer having become too rare, English hunters course the fox. They maintain several breeds of dogs for their specific qualities. The greyhound is speedy, the terrier is instinctive and the bulldog is tenacious. The foxhound is a harmonious blend of these three breeds and of their qualities, and is renowned for its scent. As with thoroughbred horses, the owners of the packs maintain the genealogy of the dogs.
John Emms loves hunting. He specializes in portraits of dogs, individually or in groups. According to a family tradition, he takes the animals one after the other to his workshop to study their physical characteristics, their temperament and their behavior.
Appreciated by the pack masters, Emms is an eccentric character, always dressed in a long black coat with a matching wide-brimmed hat. After a good sale, he brings his wife and their three children to have a good life in the grand hotels of London.
He is in great demand and agrees to travel to visit the kennels. In 1896 he paints the pack of the Meath foxhounds in Ireland in its kennel. The attitudes of the eleven dogs are all different. This oil on canvas 111 x 158 cm was sold for $ 480K including premium by Bonhams on February 16, 2010, lot 121. I narrated it in this column before that sale. It is estimated £ 180K for sale by Bonhams in London on June 3, lot 55.
Painted with a similar composition in 1898, an oil on canvas 104 x 158 cm featuring thirteen foxhounds and a terrier was sold for $ 840K including premium by Bonhams on February 14, 2006. This collective portrait of a pack in Lyndhurst had been commissioned by the master of the hounds and had remained with his descendants. The painting was accompanied by a copy of a document signed by its first owner individually identifying the name and year of birth of each of the foxhounds.
1897 The Series of Boulevards
2019 SOLD for £ 7.1M including premium
Durand-Ruel is not discouraged. He had supported the movement since the first hour and organized their second exhibition in his gallery in 1876. Threatened by bankruptcy, he keeps his impressionist paintings because nobody wants them. He finds the solution by organizing permanent or temporary exhibitions in London and New York. Collectors are becoming interested in Monet and Renoir.
During the winter of 1890-1891, the theme of the Meules by Monet became a series, although it was not originally intended as such by the artist. The breakthrough of this new phase of Impressionism is the series of Peupliers in 1891 and the three series of Cathédrales de Rouen begun in 1892 : Monet keeps the same composition from one work to another for expressing the variations of light .
The new success of Impressionism finally reaches Pissarro, installed since 1884 at Eragny-sur-Epte where he tirelessly paints the rural atmosphere. Unlike Monet, Pissarro does not avoid the urban animation. After a consultation with Durand-Ruel, he conceives a series on modern Paris.
For that first series of views of Paris, he moves in February 1897 to the Grand Hôtel de Russie. Throughout several weeks he observes through the window the whole perspective of the boulevard Montmartre, with its interminable double procession of carriages, the passers-by on the sidewalk, the reappearance of the leaves in early spring, the gas burners to illuminate the night.
Pissarro painted fourteen oils on canvas in an identical topography. Matinée de printemps, 65 x 81 cm, was sold for £ 19.7M including premium by Sotheby's on February 5, 2014 over a lower estimate of £ 7M. Fin de journée, 54 x 65 cm, is estimated £ 3.5M for sale by Sotheby's in London on June 19, lot 9.
#AuctionUpdate Brilliantly evoking the excitement of Paris at the fin-de-siécle, Camille Pissarro’s Boulevard Montmartre, fin de journée from 1897 – bathed in the warm glow of the setting sun – brings £7.1 million, besting its £5 million high est pic.twitter.com/FDc7YCBZJv— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) June 19, 2019
1897 expecting some bargain from the white man
Charlie spent his entire artist's career in Montana. In 1896 he married the young Nancy who shared his vision. In 1897 the newlyweds established their studio in the small town of Great Falls founded 14 years earlier. Today in that city the C.M. Russell Museum Complex is dedicated to the life of pioneer and the work of the "cowboy artist".
Charlie Russell's paintings and watercolors treat the stories of both communities including their internal and external conflicts. One of his favorite subjects is the group of Natives watching for the possible arrival of whites who will bring to them the boon of their amazing goods. Opposed to the progress symbolized by the railway, Charlie expresses his sympathy for the tribes and castigates the lure of his own civilization.
On July 29 in Reno, The Coeur d'Alene Art Auction sells Approach of the White Men, oil on canvas 61 x 86 cm painted in 1897, lot 155 estimated $ 1,5M. The three scouts on horseback are halting on a mound to observe the plains at sunrise. They are followed up to the horizon by a long line of riders. Here is the link to this auction house specializing in the art of the Wild West.
An undated oil on canvas of same size and nearly identical scene titled The Scouting Party was sold for $ 1.9M including premium on July 27, 2013 by The Coeur d'Alene Art Auction.
The same auction house sold on August 30, 2005 for $ 5.6M including premium an oil on canvas of similar size painted in 1918. Titled Piegans, it shows a group of Indian horsemen going forward with peaceful fanions. The colors of the beginning of the day are more vivid.
1898 Panorama in Upper Engadine
St. Moritz in the Upper Inn valley has for three decades been the pioneer of ski resorts, attracting the high society. In 1897 Giovanni and Segantini wait for the commission of a large circular panorama to promote the Swiss tourism at the future Exhibition of 1900 in Paris. Giovanni prepares sketches for a mountain view near St. Moritz.
The project is cancelled. Giovanni finds another client. In 1898 he paints a polyptych for the dining room of a St. Moritz-Bad chalet belonging to a very old family of the local nobility.
This monumental work is an oil on canvas composed of four parts without interruption of the topographic view, for a total dimension of 67 x 510 cm. In front of the mountain range of the Upper Engadine, a shepherd keeps his flock scattered on the four panels. A deep blue lake separates the alp and the rocky peaks.
Titled Panorama of Muottas Muragl, this painting is estimated CHF 2.8M for sale by Koller in Zurich on June 28, lot 3050. Please read the article shared by Barnebys. The tweet below shows a detail of the third panel.
Das Top-Los der Auktionswoche bei Koller Auktionen (26.-29. Juni) ist Giovanni Giacomettis 4-teiliges "Panorama von Muottas Muragl" (1898), das einen neuen Künstlerrekord erzielen könnte: https://t.co/eO2IFFFMDv #kunst #gemälde #Schweiz #rekord #auktion pic.twitter.com/OX68aZO0u7— Barnebys.de (@Barnebysde) June 22, 2019
1899 The Lady of the Revue Blanche
2017 SOLD for $ 17.8M including premium
Misia is indeed an endearing muse in this atmosphere of free life close to the anarchists. Musicians, dancers, poets and artists revolve around her charismatic personality, which is altogether seductive, authoritarian, burlesque, hyper-active, nymphomaniac and mythomaniac. The husband is complacent. During the summers the Natansons host their friends in their country house at Villeneuve-sur-Yonne.
Edouard Vuillard is crazy about Misia of whom he will make about 90 portraits. A member of the Nabi group since 1889, he mainly paints scenes of cozy interiors which are excuses for colored textures that anticipate Matisse.
One of these scenes is estimated $ 7M for sale by Christie's in New York on November 13, lot 49 A. As decentered and complex as a composition by Degas, this oil on canvas 70 x 51 cm painted in 1899 stages three characters in Villeneuve.
Misia in the foreground handles a porcelain bowl. The dog begs for sugar. Behind her, Vallotton talks with Thadée recognizable by his beard but indeed almost entirely cut away by the edge of the picture. The two groups are ignoring each other, leaving the shy Edouard with his illusion of intimacy with the muse. The background is a double still life, with a plant on a table plus the wall image of a decorative painting made previously by Edouard for Thadée.
1899 BOUGUEREAU IN DREAM-LIKE CLOUDS
2010 SOLD 2.2 M$ INCLUDING PREMIUM
Covered with honors in France during his lifetime, William Bouguereau is unknown today in the art market of his country. There are two reasons for this.
First, he had early got many American customers, who valued his family and peasant scenes. Then he was totally outside the modern art trends of his time.
The admiration expressed by Salvador Dali for his work excited the public's curiosity in the 1960s. The painting to be sold by Sotheby's in New York on April 23 let understanding why.
We see a couple of young adults as winged angels, naked, sucked up into the clouds, having already lost contact with the ground. The boy is seen in front, his improprieties being masked by the traditional fig leaf. The girl is viewed from back, hair flying, hanging on the shoulder of her companion.
The bodies, real subject of this piece, a little larger than life, are treated with the quality that made the reputation of the artist in the official salons. There were two ways to interpret this heavenly flight. As a ceiling in a palace of the eighteenth century, an incongruous theme in 1899. Or like a dream world which anticipates surrealism.
So this painting is important for the appreciation of the still controversial place of Bouguereau in the history of art. It is estimated $ 1.8 million. The image is shared with the press release by AuctionPublicity.
POST SALE COMMENT
$ 2.2 million including premium for this Amour et Psyché, oil on canvas 219 x 129 cm. A result without surprise or passion.
The image is shared by Wikimedia.
1899 EDVARD MUNCH AND THE MYSTERY OF LIFE
Munch, after Gauguin, with Nietzsche, asks the question of the mystery of life. Straight talk, an oil on canvas is titled Fertility. It is illustrated in the press release shared by AuctionPublicity.
It shows a peasant couple in front of a cherry tree, busily gathering. They are not Adam and Eve. Soberly dressed, they rather look like gentle Nordic cousins of the rural workers of Millet. The simple but hard line is reminiscent of Van Gogh.
Justifying the title, the woman is pregnant, with discretion. However, the dominant figure is the tree. The exact center of the painting is the scar of a large lower branch which had been cut. This is sufficient to give a philosophical dimension to this peaceful scene. For Munch, anxiety is never far away.
Well understood, it is a masterpiece of Munch, as disturbing as more expressive or more easily interpretable artworks.Of fairly large size for this artist, 120 x 140 cm, it was painted around 1899. Christie's estimates it at $ 25 million.This is one of the highlights of their sale on May 4 in New York.