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 Jardin à Auvers
1992 SOLD by Binoche et Godeau for FF 57M, later equivalent to € 8.7M
Its owner, who acquired it in New York in 1955, requested in 1989 an authorization to export it from France to his home in Geneva. The artwork was then estimated FF 200M. This request accelerated its inscription as a French monument historique and the export was refused.
The owner required a compensation of FF 250M, which was rejected. He consigned the painting at auction. It was sold on December 6, 1992 by Binoche et Godeau for FF 55M before fees, 57M including premium. He obtained two years later a compensation of FF 145M which was the difference between the 1989 estimate and the auction result.
The story did not finish there. The press argued that Jardin à Auvers was a fake, possibly by Schuffenecker. It failed to sell at auction by Jacques Tajan on December 9, 1996 from the deceased estate of the winning bidder. The heirs failed to obtain the cancellation of the 1992 auction, from the argument that its authenticity was not disputed at that date. It is now authenticated by the Van Gogh Museum of Amsterdam.
1890 Nature Morte by Cézanne
2017 SOLD for $ 8.1M by Sotheby's
On November 14, 2017, Sotheby's sold for $ 8.1M a Nature Morte, oil on canvas 28 x 40 cm painted ca 1890, lot 27.
On the right side of the table, a fruit is raised over four fruits of which one of them is hidden behind the others. Such an arrangement is frequent in Cézanne's still-lifes. The left side is more original : a single fruit is centered on the usual plate whose tilting is viewed in profile.
This painting thus reveals that some distorsions otherwise impossible to understand in previous pictures are indeed due to a tilting prepared by the artist : the drawing of the plate is circular instead on the logical oval of its perspective when it is laid flat on the table. An example of that illusion is a painting made ca 1887, sold for £ 21M by Christie's on February 27, 2019.
I guess that very few observers were able to perceive in period the geometrical subtlety of Cézanne's fruit still-lifes. It may also explain why Picasso was so keen to consider Cézanne as the founding father of modern art, inviting to another construction of the forms. Cézanne also influenced Matisse, Gris and Braque.
1890 Papier d'Artiste
2021 SOLD for $ 4.6M including premium
He rubs a black Conté graphite crayon on papier Michallet, varying the pressure to obtain all the shades of gray. Surfaces left blank provide a contrast in brightness with the rest of the image. The Michallet paper is a coarse-grained variation from the Ingres paper which had been designed to provide a good adhesion to charcoal.
In 1883, Seurat's very first participation in the Salon was a portrait of Aman-Jean executed in that technique. The brightness of the shirt collar makes forget that no lines are delimiting the figure in the half-light. Drawn in the same experimental phase around 1882, a Lady Holding a Bouquet in a halo of light, 31 x 24 cm, was sold by Sotheby's on November 10, 2014 for $ 5.3M including premium from a lower estimate of $ 2M.
It thus appears that Seurat had been the inventor of impressionist drawing before being the pioneer of post-impressionism. His famous practice of divisionism for the illusion of colors in a painting is indeed a consequence of his experiments about contrasts in black and white drawings.
On March 1 in New York, Christie's sells one of Seurat's latest drawings, made in 1890, lot 7 estimated $ 2.5M.
This 25 x 33 cm river scene is an excellent demonstrator of the application of Seurat's theories to complex scenery. The different shades of gray bring a subtle chiaroscuro effect amplified by the simplified silhouette of two women in the foreground. The bright focal point is a sail-shaped quadrilateral with curved side edges.
#AuctionUpdate Georges Seurat's 'La voile blanche' achieved USD 4,590,000. With its mysterious atmosphere, this work exemplifies the dramatic tenebrism that characterised #GeorgesSeurat's mature drawing style:https://t.co/HgLfWGfbLV pic.twitter.com/NVbots1MB8— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) March 1, 2021
1890 Bauernfeind in the Gate of Damascus Mosque
2008 SOLD 2.5 M£ including premium
At auction, his work culminates with a painting representing the Wailing Wall, sold 3 million £ fees included by Sotheby's in London on June 27, 2007.
This year, I take you again to London but at Christie's, who introduce at lot 28 on July 2 a painting of Damascus.
The scene is located very precisely in the gate of the Great Umayyad Mosque, the view being directed towards the outdoor flooded with sunlight. The whole is nicely animated, both inside the gate and outside. The details of the gate provide an excellent impression of luxury of architecture. A large religious building closes the perspective.
For this oil on panel of 121 x 97 cm, dated 1890, it is needed £ 1.5 million, which despite the example given above is a high price for this artist. The originality of the subject and the balance of the composition make it still a good chance of achieving this result. The prestige of the monument may also help.
In the same sale, a more traditional street scene in the Old City of Jerusalem is estimated 600 K £ (130 x 90 cm, lot 75).
POST SALE COMMENT
The result is excellent, and shows that fans of Orientalist paintings have good taste: £ 2.5 million charge included. The next works of this artist to enter auction should be analyzed carefully. Of course, few will have the quality of this scene of mosque, but the value of Bauernfeind has confirmed the trend brilliantly started only one year ago.
Here is the evidence found in the same sale: the old street in Jerusalem, which I also mentioned, was sold £ 1.05 million fee included.
1890 Scenes in the Levant
2020 SOLD for £ 1.7M including premium
A market scene painted in 1887 expresses the variety of occupations in Jaffa with a bright sun that lights up the square and the old stones. This oil on canvas 82 x 109 cm from the Najd collection was sold for £ 3.7M including premium by Sotheby's on October 22, 2019.
The second part of the Najd collection includes a Procession in Jaffa painted by Bauernfeind in Munich in 1890 after his return from his third stay in Palestine. This large size oil on canvas 105 x 135 cm is estimated £ 1.5M for sale by Sotheby's in London on March 31 (postponed to June 11), lot 105. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
The overall composition is similar as for the 1887 market, although the picture shows a more open square in the city, with a view toward the sea beyond the minaret of the al-Bahr mosque. As before, the narrow street which leads to the square in a row is a place for an intense activity.
The colorful procession is led by a dervish who blows in a horn. The locals watch the holy men, except for a young boy who prefers to kick the dog.
The artist was the son of a Jew converted to Christianity. His Muslim procession is treated with sympathy but the work also includes resolutely ecumenical symbols like the seal of Solomon on a flag. The fortification and the monumental gate were built by the Christians during the Crusades while the houses with overhanging windows are Ottoman. The wall in the foreground is decorated with the blessing hand of Fatima, the Hamsa.
1890 Landscapes in the Far West
2011 SOLD 2.15 M$ including premium
The sales of Scottsdale Art Auction are held in early spring. On April 2, a rocky landscape in Wyoming made with beautiful colors by Thomas Moran was sold $ 4.1 million including premium. We will not fail to inform you in due time about the next sale, already scheduled for March 31, 2012 in Scottsdale AZ.
Another auction house is Coeur d'Alene Art Auction. In their next sale, on July 23 in Reno NV, the featured lot is also a landscape, estimated $ 1.5 M.
In this oil on canvas, 135 x 207 cm, made by Albert Bierstadt in 1890, the majestic Mount Rainier dominates the valley where the river flows. The state of Washington had been admitted the previous year in the Union, a sure sign of the great development of the region at that time.
POST SALE COMMENT
Good result: $ 1.9 million hammer, in the range of the estimates.
This painting is illustrated in the article shared by ARTINFO before the sale.
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.
1891 Une Opération à l'Hôpital
2021 SOLD for € 880K by Artcurial
Such pictorial qualities highlight also a very rare surgical scene also executed in 1891, titled Une Opération par le Dr Péan à l'Hôpital International.
A surgery is in progress under the direction of Jules Péan, an eminent Parisian surgeon. He is seen standing from back side in his long black redingote. In the foreground a male nurse is busy with a patient on a stretcher. The boss is surrounded by his assistants. It is believed that Lautrec had been authorized to attend the surgery.
An identifiable figure makes an exception in the composition. The standing doctor just in front of Péan is recognizable by the detailed lines of his face. He is Dr Frédéric Baumgarten, a doctor and friend of the artist.
This à l'essence painting on cardboard 58 x 48 cm had been made by Lautrec for presentation to his doctor and remained up to now in the descendance of Baumgarten. It was only known by an exhibition in 1914. It was sold for € 880K by Artcurial on June 29, 2021, lot 17. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
#TOULOUSELAUTREC Le 29 juin prochain, Artcurial présentera aux enchères une très rare œuvre d’Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, intitulée Une opération par le Docteur Péan à l’Hôpital International (1891). Elle est estimée entre 600 000 et 900 000 €. #modernart -https://t.co/6iNQvm5jie pic.twitter.com/45XCpNeFZs— ARTCURIAL (@Artcurial) April 8, 2021
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 La Valse by Claudel
2013 SOLd for £ 5.1M by Sotheby's
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 The Changing Color of White
2013 SOLD 16 M$ including premium
The weather changes and daylight follows, offering a range of discrete colors that constitute a symphony of winter. Monet realizes outdoors a first oil painting. Then, in the comfort of his studio, he duplicates it in several copies identical in line and texture but whose colors change according to weather and time.
On February 8, 2012 , Sotheby's sold for £ 8.2 million including premium an entry in Giverny on the snow under a gray sky, 65 x 85 cm, on the model viewed in January 1885.
Painted in the same year, the same view with warmer colors of the sunset, 65 x 81 cm, is estimated $ 5M, for sale by Christie's in New York on November 5. Two identical views are known, one during the snowfall, the other under a bright sun.
The story is repeated for the view of ice flowing on the Seine, 65 x 100 cm, painted in 1893. It is estimated $ 9M, for sale by Sotheby's in New York on November 6. Two other examples are known, including an effect of mist kept the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
POST SALE COMMENTS
Start at Christie's. The road to Giverny in winter was sold for $ 5.2 million including premium. The sunset does not offer the best balance of colors in the series.
Great result at Sotheby's for the ice scenery : $ 16M including premium, rewarding all the subtlety of Monet's art.
I invite you to play the videos shared by Christie's (link) and Sotheby's (below) :
1893 Rue Saint-Lazare by Pissarro
2018 SOLD for $ 12.4 including premium by Christie's
To be narrated !!!
1893-1894 Cézanne's Table
2010 SOLD 11.8 M£ including premium
"His subjects are humble. The line does not matter, because the composition and color make objects so present in his art. He was not the first to paint still lifes, of course. But his genius is to remove all the symbols in favour of a simple sentimental or sensual search. And he succeeds because he is a great artist. In the same idea, the environment disappears: the background is flat, not located. Only remains the subject."
Hereabove I discussed Chardin. Cézanne's painting for sale by Sotheby's in London on February 3, lot 5, deserves similar comments. This oil on paper laid down on panel, 41 x 72 cm, painted in 1893 or 1894, shows a pitcher and fruit on a bare table. Some of these fruits are on a saucer. On the left, a curtain caresses the table.
Cézanne was a master of perspective, better than Chardin on this point. He had great care to distribute his subject on the table before composing the painting. This is why his projection of a space composition on the surface of the paper anticipates the work of the Cubists, who are known to have seen him as a precursor.
This painting, which was formerly part of the Barnes collection, is estimated £ 10 million.
POST SALE COMMENT
This painting has been sold around the expected price. Result: £ 11.8 million including premium. Note that this price is remarkable for a work on paper.
1893-1894 Asgardstrand by Munch
2021 SOLD for $ 5.3M by Sotheby's
1894 Les Demoiselles de Giverny by Monet
2012 SOLD for $ 9.6M by Christie's
Les Demoiselles de Giverny, oil on canvas 65 x 100 cm from a series of three, was sold for $ 9.6M by Christie's on May 1, 2012, lot 11 and was withdrawn by Sotheby's on March 2, 2022, lot 121.
This specific view displays the blending of subtle colors of the wheat field in the glooming light of early morning. The whole foreground is freed from graphic details. The background and horizon are left in a foggy blur to provide a shimmering impression of these Demoiselles.
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 Mont Kolsaas by Monet
2023 unsold by Sotheby's
In 1894 Jacques Hoschedé, Alice's fourth child and elder son, leaves Giverny and settles in Christiania. Urged by Alice, Claude arrives on February 1, 1895 after a five day journey to Norway where he stays until April.
After his experiences with Les peupliers in 1891 and La Cathédrale de Rouen in 1892, Monet manages to catch in parallel the variation of weather and light in a few selected snow capped views in and near Christiania.
The Scandinavian winter weather is ever changing, from sun to fog, from clear sky to black cloud. The most important sub-series is made of thirteen views 65 x 92 and 65 x 100 cm of Mount Kolsaas, a towering mountain without foreground like the Montagne Sainte-Victoire or the Fuji-Yama, from one single viewpoint and one single angle.
The view at dusk, Mont Kolsaas au déclin du jour, oil on canvas 65 x 92 cm, is estimated £ 2M for sale by Sotheby's on June 27, 2023, lot 141. The image is shared by Wikimedia.
The trip for a family purpose and the series from a strict single viewpoint anticipate the views of London conceived in 1899.
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 Eve by Rodin
2008 SOLD for $ 19M including premium by Christie's
narrated in 2020
He is preparing his Eve au Rocher with a small plaster model. The modest position of the arms voluntarily annihilates the eroticism of nudity, which suits academic and religious traditions. The shape of the body carefully takes into account the anatomy of the muscles under the skin.
Rodin does not get the additional order. He drives out the primordial couple from his Hell and abandons his Eve. He takes up this theme in the mid-1890s for a life-size sculpture, with the same attitude and another woman. He wants perfection and does not understand why he has to rework the lines of the body with each new session. He did not know that his role model for the sinful woman had started a pregnancy.
On May 6, 2008, Christie's sold an Eve in the version without the rock for $ 19M including premium from a lower estimate of $ 9M, lot 15. This bronze 1.73 m high with brown patina was cast by François Rudier in 1897 with the inscription Première Epreuve.
In the following year the Balzac is refused by the Société des Gens de Lettres. The collector Auguste Pellerin wants to help Rodin and offers to buy the object of the scandal. Rodin prefers to wait. He keeps his Balzac and sells his Eve Première Epreuve to Pellerin.
1897 Te Bourao
2019 SOLD for € 9.5M by Artcurial
Disgusted with European civilization, he seeks new roots. He will write a little later that he wanted to commit suicide. He is fiercely committed to the work which he considers as the most important in his career : D'où venons-nous Que sommes-nous Où allons nous, without question mark as if he wanted to persuade himself that he brings the answers. This immense masterpiece, 140 x 375 cm, to read from right to left, stages the three ages of life played by Tahitian characters.
In the same period, he makes eight other paintings, which are not sketches but rather a support to clarify his thinking. The complete set is sent in 1898 for a solo exhibition at the Galerie Ambroise Vollard. Success does not come. This activity is however a point of no return in Gauguin's pictorial art, replacing the picturesque exoticism by an allegorical mysticism.
On December 3, 2019, Artcurial sold the only one of the nine works still in private hands for € 9.5M from a lower estimate of € 5M, lot 15. This oil on canvas 73 x 92 cm titled Te Bourao by the artist and dated 1897 has sometimes been named Paysage bleu. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
The bourao is the hibiscus of Tahiti, considered as the joint creation of Earth and Paradise. It provides the ornamental flower of young women, worn on the left ear if the girl is married and on the right ear if she is single.
Te Bourao is entirely painted in dark blue and Veronese green, at the limit of readability. This harmony of muted colors is unique in this corpus of nine works. The only human presence is a rider who sneaks up to the top left corner, just where Gauguin will write the title of the final work, D'où venons-nous Qui sommes-nous Où allons-nous. Blue is a symbol of the afterlife and the bird in the foreground expresses the futility of words.
1897 Chrysanthèmes by Monet
2022 SOLD for £ 8.3M by Sotheby's
Chrysanthèmes by Monet (lot 118 est £ 10M)
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 Cinq Heures by Vallotton
2023 SOLD for £ 3.7M by Christie's
At that time the Les Nabis group of young artists also trained in the Académie Julian made their hands to post-impressionnisme, starting from a comment by Gauguin to Sérusier in 1888. The new artists have to get rid of imitations, use vivid pure colors, exaggerate the scenery and promote decorative effects and symbolism. Vallotton joined them in 1893 as Le Nabi étranger. Famously Bonnard was Le Nabi Japonard and Sérusier Le Nabi à la barbe rutilante.
In 1898 the Intimités series of ten woodcuts features indoor encounters of man and woman. A series of paintings of domestic scenes collectively titled Intérieurs avec figures follows the same style that may also be compared with Lautrec.
One of these 1898 paintings, gouache on board 36 x 58 cm, was historically titled Intimité but Cinq heures is now preferred as an allusion to the best time in France for illegal lovers which is cinq à sept. Here that time period begins by a close embracing of man and woman, possibly patron and secretary, seated as equal players in a red armchair in an office room.
Cinq heures was sold for £ 3.7M by Christie's on October 13, 2023, lot 8. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
1898 Norwegian Fields
2019 SOLD for £ 2.35M including premium
Sohlberg begins to prepare drafts of the farm in winter but he does not rush. He uses this theme to develop his personal style. In 1895-1896 he is in Paris. His oil on canvas 73 x 116 cm is completed in 1898. It is titled Modne Jorder (Ripe Fields), probably meaning that it expresses the light of the end of summer.
This landscape is structured in four distances. The background is a mountain lit by the light of dawn. The inhabited part is in the dim light, separated from the field by a fence. The first lights begin to lick the surface of the field. The foreground is a birch slope, forming a kind of framing of leaves painted in impasto. No characters are visible.
Modne Jorder announces the style that will be practiced by Sohlberg throughout his career. He will remain fascinated by the night and by the extreme moments of dawn and dusk. He paints humble landscapes in which he seeks to express a sensitivity. He was probably influenced by Gauguin's art. The extreme colors of his landscapes are similar to the symbolist scenes by Alphonse Osbert.
Modne Jorder is estimated £ 1M for sale by Sotheby's in London on December 11, lot 15. Please watch the video prepared by the auction house. The image is shared by Wikimedia.
Fiskerens hus (the fisherman's house), oil on canvas 94 x 121 cm painted in 1921, was sold for £ 1.2M including premium by Sotheby's on December 14, 2016.
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.