1900 the third time of the waltz
2017 sold for € 1.46m including premium
She designs her group Les Valseurs from 1889. They are closely entwined and completely nude, occupied by the rapid movement of the dance and by their erotic desire. In 1892, happy with her achievement, she tries to obtain official orders according to the practice of that time.
The artwork is too bold and the expression of naked love by a woman is ahead of its time. Camille accepted the judgment of the first inspector and surrounded the woman with a whirling veil. She also changed the title : La Valse is better suited to attract the viewer's attention to the expression of movement through sculpture rather than to the ardor of the sexual desire.
Only one bronze was made on this very first version of La Valse. Cast in 1893 by Siot-Decauville, 96 cm high, it was sold for £ 5.1M including premium by Sotheby's on June 19, 2013.
The government is still not convinced and Siot-Decauville does not make promotional efforts for this young woman with sulphurous themes. Camille, who had yielded her rights for La Valse to Siot-Decauville, multiplies the variants in her plasters and sandstones and has some unauthorized bronzes made by other founders. The woman's veil is lightened, releasing the upper body, and the elongated train brings a significant increase in the effect of movement.
One of these bronzes 47 cm high in a sand cast without hollow was sold or presented around 1900 to a friend of Rodin. The heirs, maddened by its immodesty, put the sculpture in a closet more than one hundred years ago. It has just resurfaced and will be sold on June 11 by Rouillac in the annual garden-party sale at the château d'Artigny, lot 170 estimated € 500K. Here is the link to the essay published by the auction house (English version).
La Valse finally found its sponsor after 1902 when Blot bought the first bronze and the rights to Siot-Decauville. Blot published La Valse from 1905 in two sizes : 24 copies of a 46 cm high bronze and 4 copies for the smaller version.
Please watch the video shared by Culturebox including an interview of the auctioneer Aymeric Rouillac.
1900 The Baraka
2019 SOLD for MAD 13M (worth € 1.2M) including premium
Erudite, illustrator of ancient tales, he moves permanently to Bou Saada in 1905 while retaining a workshop in Paris. He retroactively announces in 1908 to his European friends that he is converted to Islam and he chooses in 1913 his Muslim surname, Nasr ed-Din. However, he practices the figurative representation prohibited by Islam, including the girls naked in the purity of the wadi.
On December 30 in Marrakech, Artcurial sells Le Fils d'un saint M'rabeth, oil on canvas 72 x 80 cm painted in 1900, lot 50 estimated 8.8M dirhams worth € 800K. The image is shared by Wikimedia.
In the main square of a town, perhaps Biskra, the scene stages a tumult of collective faith. A young boy is seated on the shoulders of a man, presumably to reach a sanctuary. The composition is dominated by the child's head amidst the crowd, like Christ above the other characters in Christian iconography.
The boy has the power to transmit the baraka, or divine blessing, and he knows it. The extremely dense crowd surrounds him with varied attitudes of devout passion. In the midst of the enthusiasm which he generates, he is proud and a little worried. His bearer manages with fierce energy to make their way through the faithful.
In a book published in 1928, the artist expressed the passion emanating from this scene : "Qu'il est beau, cet Aiglon, il est la clef de nos coeurs !" (How handsome he is, this Aiglon, he is the key to our hearts).
1900 Ruiz Picasso between two Mournings
2015 SOLD for € 360K including premium
His first specialty in that year is the portrait of the characters of Barcelona's bohemian life inspired by the caricatures by Casas. Keen for the expansion of his themes, he also makes his hands to genre and bullfighting scenes.
He agreed to make the illustration of a macabre short novel for a local magazine. La Boija is a small drawing showing the half-length portrait of a woman. She has the psychological distress of the mad women by Géricault in a solitude staging worthy of Munch.
Picasso did not need to study these two masters to design this strong composition : his young skill was already enough. Undoubtedly, this theme executed on order revived in him the trauma of the death of his younger sister Conchita in 1895.
This drawing 14 x 10 cm in ink, wash, gouache and pastel signed P Ruiz Picasso is estimated € 300K, for sale by Christie's in Paris on March 25, lot 10.
In 1901, the suicide of Casagemas spurned by a dancing girl of the Moulin Rouge is a new trauma which pushes Pablo into his blue period, in a style of a very high originality and expressiveness for which La Boija had been a precursor. Ruiz is a very common name in Spain: he is now 'Picasso', simply.
1901 The Mother of Mankind
2014 sold 4.9 M$ including premium
In the very first trials, Eve after the sin is an essential element of this Dantesque narrative. Rodin chose a young Italian woman for its model and started this work.
To his surprise, the meticulous observer failed to master the subject. When he understood that the forms are imperceptibly more rounded each new day because the woman is pregnant, a masterpiece of the representation of fertility was born, almost unbeknownst to the artist.
Rodin understands the importance of what he did, but leaves it as is and excludes it from the Gates. He finished it in 1899, added the rock and then made copies in marble, plaster and bronze.
On May 7 in New York, Sotheby's sells an Eve 80 cm high. This statue was made from December 1900 to June 1901 in the variety of Synnada marble which was one of the most famous in ancient Greek statuary, with an extreme care of carving to please an important client. It is estimated $ 4M, lot 26 in the catalog.
Another Eve, undated white marble of same size, was sold for £ 2.86 million including premium at Christie's on 18 June 2013.
POST SALE COMMENT
The very beautiful marble carved by Rodin was sold for $ 4.9M including premium.
1901 Devouring Charms
2018 SOLD for £ 3.8M including premium
On July 12 in London, Sotheby's sells The Siren, oil on canvas 81 x 53 cm painted in 1901, lot 12 estimated £ 1M.
The cute enchantress is perched on her rock. Entirely nude, she holds the lyre which is the symbol of her charm. She leans forward to watch a sailor drowning in front of her and sings softly. She does not understand that she could reach out to save the man. The two young people look at each other, attracted by their opposite passions, her destructive charm and his impossible appeal for help.
Waterhouse does not confuse Siren with Mermaid, although the leg calves of his Siren are covered with scales that merge into the spray. He painted in the same year a pretty naked Mermaid seated within the circle of her fishtail. There is no male in that scene : perhaps he has already been devoured.
Another voracious painting featuring six nude nymphs catching a man in a pond caused a scandal in January 2018 : it had been removed from the Manchester Art Gallery at the request of puritan feminists who wanted to trigger a debate on the exposure of women's bodies.
Please watch the video shared by Sotheby's. The image is shared by Wikimedia.
1901 MONET, A FRENCHMAN WHO ENJOYED WATERLOO ... BRIDGE
2008 SOLD 600 KCHF BEFORE FEES
I found in publicities of today's issue of the Gazette de l'Hôtel Drouot an interesting pastel of Monet, 29x46 cm, dated 1901, showing Waterloo Bridge.
A visit on the site of the house of sales, Kornfeld in Bern, shows that it is not one of the most expensive lots in their sale of June 5 and 6 (it is estimated 300 KFS), but I found it interesting for two reasons.
First, it is an opportunity to greet the much mediatized sale of another bridge, of Argenteuil this one, an oil on canvas of 60x98 cm sold 41,5 M$ fees included at Christie's on May 6.
Then, Waterloo Bridge is not an unknown for the amateurs of the auction history of Monet. As well as the cathedrals of Rouen and a long time before the nympheas, the views of this bridge, taken generally from the same viewpoint , are a symbol of the impressionism in what this technique was the most subtle.
Some Waterloo Bridge processed as oil on canvas often made high results. A view treated in cloudy weather passed very close to the 18 M£ fees included last year at Christie's. The colors mix as in a pastel, but the true pastel is that which comes on sale in Bern.
The catalogue of Kornfeld (lot 93) is accurate for the date: January or February 1901, which would put this work former to the painting of Christie's, dated 1903. It is unpublished but its provenance is known, and a certificate of Wildenstein of September 28, 2007 indicates that its inscription is envisaged in the supplement of the reasoned catalogue.
So there are many assets for such a simple pastel, nevertheless its estimate appears a little too high when we consult the results of the other drawings of Monet.
POST SALE COMMENT
This pastel by Monet seemed to have strengths. Indeed, it was sold 600 KCHF before fees, twice its low estimate.
1901 Picasso solicited by Vollard
Time is running out but Pablo cannot miss such an opportunity to launch his career. He enters into a creative frenzy, estimated by some observers at three oils per day made in broad brush strokes for a faster covering of the surface. He has so little available time that he does not deal with details, especially in the face lines.
Pablo who is not yet 20 did not offer up to that point an original style to match his graphic skill. Vollard had worked with Bonnard. Picasso is opting for a wide variety of themes from intimate to worldly with a choice of colors reminiscent of the post-impressionnisme and thick outlines that anticipate the expressionism.
This short period is unlike any other period in the career of Picasso. Returning to the artificial pleasures of Parisian life after the Vollard exhibition, he will remember Casagemas and enter into the psychological disaster of his blue period.
In this ephemeral style that remains primitive compared to the blue period, an oil on cardboard 47 x 62 cm painted in 1901 showing Belle Epoque women on top of an omnibus that crosses a bridge over the Seine was sold for £ 4.9 million including premium by Christie's on February 9, 2011. This painting had been exhibited by Berthe Weill in 1902.
The artist goes also to watch the elegant Parisian Ladies at the horse racing events. A scene at Auteuil, oil on board of same size and same year as the above example, is estimated £ 4M for sale by Sotheby's in London on February 3, lot 19.
1901 HOW PICASSO CONQUERED PARIS
This young Spaniard had a huge ambition. Luckily, he was also much skilled. Let us imagine a creative frenzy of Picasso in the spring of 1901, between the shock of the death by love suicide of Casagemas on February 17 and thesuccess of his first major personal exhibition in Paris in June and July.
To convince and seduce Vollard, Pablo, aged 19, set up his first personal style, featuring a wide variety of topics whose common point seems to be the balance and daring of the composition. The colors are bold, and the characters, even if they are not very active, are expressive.
Picasso is not Rembrandt, but his painting showing the deck of a bus crossing the Seine has an amazing diagonal composition. This oil on cardboard, 50 x 65 cm, was sold £ 4.8 million including premium at Christie's on February 9.
The scene of children for sale by Christie's in New York on May 4, illustrated in the press release shared by Artdaily is quite different. It is well separated into two parts. A few toys in the foreground, and the main theme is beyond: twoseated infants, dressed in long robes as usual at the time, interested in one another without any attention to toys.
This oil on board, of same dimensions as the above example, is estimated $ 5.5 M.
Collectors do not like the early works of artists. It seems that Picasso begins to make an exception to this trend. It must be appreciated that his first major breakthrough in the history of art, the blue period, started immediately afterwards, in the second half of 1901.
1901 GOODBYE MONSIEUR GAUGUIN
The oil on canvas, 68 x 73 cm, for sale on February 9 at Christie's in London is somehow pathetic. It was painted in 1901 by Gauguin, then in Tahiti.
Sick of syphilis and of his old injury on the leg, the artist had failed to get rid of his metaphysical obsessions. Far fromParis, he feels to become a fallen artist, like Van Gogh. Aged 53, he is already at the end of his life.
The painting titled Nature morte à l'Espérance is an anthology of what Gauguin liked among his contemporaries. It is illustrated in the article shared by Bloomberg.
At the center, a vase filled with many flowers can evoke Redon. A big sunflower in the foreground, in front view, is an obvious tribute to Van Gogh. The flower is on the ground like a broken column.
Two pictures are displayed on the wall, one below the other at the left side of the composition. A female nude in the attitude of an odalisque is L'Espérance by Puvis de Chavannes, symbolizing in the distance the hope lost by Gauguin.The other is a woman at the bathroom by Degas.
This work is a multiple pastiche, but the composition is both bold and balanced, as always in the best works of Gauguin. It is probably an exaggeration to consider it as a masterpiece, but this strange painting deserves its estimate of £ 7M. Its first owner was Gustave Fayet, it is one of the best possible references.
1904 Flims by Giovanni Giacometti
2016 SOLD for CHF 4.05M by Koller
Tourism is developing rapidly in the Swiss mountains, with hotels, spas and swimming baths. Giacometti receives in 1904 a major order from the Waldhaus Hotel in Flims.
According to a usual theme in tourism at the Belle Epoque, he shows the immediate vicinity of the hotel with mountains and lakes. The work is a triptych. The curved central panel and the stylized lines are close to the graphic style of the posters, very popular at that time.
The large size is suitable to its decorative use: 180 x 200 cm for the central view and 150 x 100 cm for both side views. It had been specially ordered for the inauguration of the hotel's casino and a permanent display was not considered. This important work executed by the father of Alberto and Diego fell into oblivion for eight decades.
The triptych was sold for CHF 4.05M from a lower estimate of CHF 3M for sale by Koller on June 24, 2016, lot 3057.
Giovanni Giacometti develops soon afterward his more personal style inspired by Hodler reinforcing by aggressive colors the geometric structure of his landscapes. A view near his native village, dominated by a very blue river, tempera 120 x 120 cm, was sold for CHF 3M by Sotheby's on June 14, 2010.
1904 the artist of strandgade
2016 SOLD for kr 3.7m before fees, equivalent to € 535k
The young couple moved in 1898 in an old building of a historic district of Copenhagen, at Strandgade 30. Their large apartment with high ceilings is furnished in a minimalism that contrasts with the admiration of Vilhelm for the scenes of the Dutch golden age.
The gigantic portrait of five painters painted in 1901-1902, 190 x 340 cm, shows his closest colleagues including his own brother with austere and gloomy attitudes. Vilhelm and Ida have no more friends and no need for them.
The apartment at Strandgade 30 is their world. It is poorly lit and Vilhelm observes its dull colors. He becomes a colorist of subtle hues and the art critics like now to compare him with Morandi. Ida is often present, from back, sometimes busy reading, in an attitude that systematically excludes any anecdote and emotion.
They are however not recluses. Their outings are the subject of landscape paintings. The dreary countryside is of extreme coldness without any animation.
On March 1 in Copenhagen, Bruun Rasmussen sells an interior view without window of Strandgade 30, oil on canvas 70 x 54 cm painted in 1904, lot 10 estimated Kr 4M. The reading brunette is for sure Ida, the only person who is still accepted in Vilhelm's privacy.
The artist improves his technique. His painting becomes glossy, bringing in a showroom the dramatic effect of the presence of the empty apartment. An oil on canvas 51 x 56 cm painted shortly before their departure from Strandgate 30 in 1909 was sold for £ 2,05M including premium by Sotheby's on May 21, 2015. The artist had accepted the intrusion of sunlight through the carefully closed window.
1904 THE PLASTER OF Gérôme
2008 SOLD 450 K€ INCLUDING PREMIUM
Jean-Léon Gérôme is appreciated for his Orientalist works: paintings and sculptures.
On December 17, 1993 at Drouot-Montaigne, a chryselephantine sculpture of a model entitled Corinthe (a nude woman abundantly adorned of jewelry, sitting cross-legged on a decorated pedestal) was a highlight of the estate of Nourhan Manoukian. 50 cm high, it had been sold 1.68 MF excluding fees by Maître Boisgirard (source on paper: La Gazette de l'Hotel Drouot of that time).
Shortly before, on June 23, 1991, a 73 cm high gilded bronze inlaid with gems and enamels had obtained a fair price at Aubagne: 382 KF excluding fees under the hammer of Maître Germain (same source of information). The previous year, according to Artvalue database, there are two other examples of similar description, at 120 and 200 K $.
Why, then, today Sotheby's is so excited about the opportunity to present on June 25 in Paris for 200 to 300 K € the polychrome plaster of this model, originating from the artist's studio? (Lot 38).
In general, when the auction house devotes two whole press releases, one in French and the other in English, to a single lot presented as a masterpiece, the estimate is not as low. The excellent site Artdaily forwarded the information, and Sotheby's devoted also to his sculpture a full advertisement page in the latest issue of La Gazette de l'Hotel Drouot.
Dating back to 1904, this work was carried out by Gérôme, then aged 80, shortly before his death, and the artist did not live the completion of the marbles and bronzes that were issued afterwards.
I forward an assumption: Sotheby's is probably already aware that several buyers are interested at much higher prices, and prepares a triumphant press release for the sale result.
The item for sale is small (47 cm high), in plaster, without pedestal, and its ornaments are made of wax and not of gems.
POST SALE COMMENT
Sold 450 K € fees included, this Corinth by Gérôme was obviously not an exceptional piece, and it could hardly expect more.
1905 Meetings before the Automne
2016 SOLD for $ 16.4M including premium
Matisse's visit to Signac in Saint-Tropez in 1904 is another milestone of modern art. Matisse explores pointillism while using pure colors with which expression will supersede realism.
All these elements converge to make 1905 a key year in modern style. Derain spends several months studying artistic creation with Matisse in Collioure, leading to progressively giving up of the pointillism.
Meanwhile Maurice De Vlaminck remains in Chatou in the workshop which he was sharing with Derain. Vlaminck is an excessive character, physically and in his behavior. His works from this period display large variations of style around a technique of divisionism.
On May 9 in New York, Sotheby's sells a Sous-Bois painted by Vlaminck during the summer of 1905, oil on canvas 60 x 72 cm, lot 14 estimated $ 12M. This artwork whose composition is as nicely balanced as a Cézanne is spectacular through the use of colors as bright as what Derain was doing in Collioure. Divisionism is pushed up to a meticulous pointillism quite surprising in the corpus of this impatient artist.
A few weeks later at the Grand Palais, the third Salon d'Automne promotes the promising vision of these young artists. The famous "cage aux fauves" wording probably refers to a painting by 'Douanier' Rousseau but the use of pure colors in art in a style closer to impressionism than to Gauguin and Signac becomes the Fauvisme.
The Sous-Bois is not among the five paintings exhibited by Vlaminck at the Salon d'Automne. This canvas did not surface until 1951. It is quite possible that the artist concerned about the search of an original style did not appreciate that he had made a rare masterpiece of Fauviste pointillism.
Vlaminck concluded soon after that he must be inspired by Cézanne but he did not understand that Cézanne was confronting light colors. Vlaminck's palette became dark and dull with a sad repetition of unidentified empty villages. He became embittered up to an outrageous rejection of that modernism for which he had however made an outstanding contribution in 1905.
1905 The Collioure Style
2018 SOLD for £ 10.9M including premium
Vlaminck and Derain share a small workshop in the suburbs of Paris. During the summer of 1905 Matisse invites Derain to spend two months with him in Collioure. They confront their young experiences and work together on the same themes. This season is very prolific : Derain executes about 30 paintings during this short period.
At the beginning of this phase Matisse appears as a continuator to Seurat while using pure colors as Gauguin had done. Derain wants to interpret the blinding sun light without shadow from the middle of the day as Signac had done in Saint-Tropez. Derain excessively increases Seurat's dots until they are re-attributed with figurative forms such as small boats in the harbor.
This synthesis in an unprecedented artistic daring baffles the visitors of the Salon d'Automne. The art critic who utters a horror cry when entering the "Salle des Fauves" was probably in complicity with the artists. Fauvisme is born. It will be ephemeral but its place in the evolution of modern art is extremely important. Losing the reference to Impressionnisme, it ensures a transition between Cézanne and Kandinsky.
Arbres à Collioure 65 x 81 cm painted by Derain with splendid colors was sold for £ 16.3M including premium by Sotheby's on June 22, 2010. By the same artist but closer to Matisse and Seurat, Barques au Port de Collioure 60 x 73 cm was sold for $ 14M including premium on November 4, 2009, also by Sotheby's.
From the same series by Derain, Barques à Collioure, oil on canvas 39 x 46 cm, was sold for £ 5.9M including premium by Christie's on February 9, 2011 and is now estimated £ 7.5M for sale by Sotheby's in London on February 28, lot 11.
Please watch the video shared by Sotheby's.
1905 Boldini's Belle Epoque
2011 SOLD 1.87 M$ including premium
In Paris, a feature of the "Belle Epoque" was that all hopes were possible for the ambitious.
Giovanni Boldini made chic portraits of young women at the dawn of their careers as actresses, demimondaines or bewitching muses. Dressed in sumptuous gowns, these bold and authoritarian women were mostly dreaming to their future success, which often never occured.
These portraits of women sometimes generate strong heartfelt bids at auction. Boldini made circa 1898 the portrait ofa false aristocrat. Discovered by chance in an apartment that had been untouched for 70 years, this oil on canvas, 147x 114 cm, was sold for € 2.1M including premium by Choppin de Janvry in Paris, Hôtel Drouot, on 28 September 2010, a result also remarkable by the fact that the sale was uncatalogued.
The next candidate, on October 12 at Christie's in New York, was named Marthe Régnier. In 1905 she was 25 years old. Stage actress, she also played in films. Her portrait, an oil on canvas 231 x 121 cm, is estimated $ 2M.
POST SALE COMMENT
This painting remained below its estimate. It was sold $ 1.87 million including premium.
1905 The Scottish Colourists
2011 SOLD 937 K£ including premium
The long tradition of friendship between Scotland and France influenced art. The group of Scottish Colourists had assimilated the innovations of the Impressionists. Their bright colors are are however more cheerful than those of their French contemporaries.
Among them, Samuel Peploe is essentially a painter of still lifes and table tops. Of course, we have Cézanne in mind. But not only. The canvas for sale by Christie's in London on May 26 features a coffee pot, some fruit, some utensils and a large stain on a white tablecloth whose luminosity evokes Manet. It is illustrated on the press release shared by Artdaily.
A scene of such banality is a pretext for the symphony of colors. The date of the work is highly interesting : in 1905, nobody has yet dared to step into the non-figurative. A few years later, Kandinsky became famous and our Scots will be threatened by oblivion.
This painting by Peploe has another asset: measuring 64 x 84 cm, it is large for this artist. It is estimated £ 800K.
POST SALE COMMENT
Good price, without excessive passion: £ 937K including premium.
1905 Amélie's Kimono
Henri Matisse and his wife Amélie spend the summer of 1905 in Collioure. Under the sun, the village and thecountryside have wonderful colors. In his frenzy of painting, Matisse has the great intuition to invite André Derain to join them.
Derain is 25 years old. Just released from three years of military service, he is idle. He accepts with enthusiasm. In thiswonderful summer in Collioure, the two friends shake the traditions of painting.
Both begin by freeing their art from the pointillist style of Signac, too structuring. The flat areas of pure color byGauguin did not inspire them. Color becomes dominant over figure. Even Cézanne and Van Gogh did not go so far.
On May 8, a portrait of Amélie by Derain is for sale by Christie's in New York. The young woman is wearing akimono. One can easily imagine the two friends together watching the model as in an art school, trying to express the basic essence of painting.
In that summer, Derain is the boldest of the two artists. The real theme of this artwork is not the woman but thearabesques in violent colors which are distorted by the folds of the garment. The vibrant colors on the ground and in the backside have no more a figurative meaning.
This oil on canvas, 89 x 65 cm, is estimated $ 15 million.
Color has won, it will be the most important element of the painting of the twentieth century. In 1905, Matisse and Derain are still pioneers but already influential. In the famous Salle des Fauves at the Salon d'Automne of 1905, their works are accompanied by paintings by Vlaminck, Manguin, Camoin and Marquet.
On the same year at the other end of Europe, Peploe and the Scottish colourists have a similar approach.
I invite you to play the video shared by Christie's.
POST SALE COMMENTS
Too expensive for a portrait by Derain. Unsold.
Tweet by Christie's :
Didn't take long - a savvy collector has snapped up Derain's Fauvist portrait of Madame Matisse after sale @christiesinc
— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) May 10, 2013
1904-1906 Intérieur de Forêt by Cézanne
2017 SOLD for € 6.9M by Touati-Duffaud
The majestic landscape of the Montagne Sainte-Victoire, near his hometown of Aix en Provence, is one of his favorite themes for two decades. His images in the quarries of the mountain are considered are precursors to Cubism.
He chose a place in the countryside where the mountain view is beautiful and moved his studio, built there in 1902. He did not live there but walked every day from Aix for his work. Until his death in 1906, art of all themes by Cézanne are made in this quiet cabin of the Chemin des Lauves where his creativity can no longer be disturbed.
Cézanne made nine oils and seventeen watercolors of Sainte-Victoire from the Lauves. He works outdoors at short distances from the studio but his perception of color shades offers in each of them a renewed harmony.
He has always enjoyed watercolor for its transparency and for the purity of its colors over the white paper. His pathetic approach is no longer commercial. In this final period he often works on the reverse of previously painted papers. The lightness of the watercolor allows such a practice without damage to the other side.
In 1904 his friend Emile Bernard came to admire the mastery of execution. Over a rough pencil drawing, the artist positioned successively the colors, meticulously waiting each one to dry before continuing the work, to prevent any unintentional overflow.
He observes the juxtapositions of colors on the Montagne Sainte-Victoire without abandoning other themes. The Baigneuses will remain until the end his demonstrator for still unexplored possibilities in figurative art. A quiet undergrowth is conducive to the sharing of meditation.
One of these watercolors of the Montagne Sainte-Victoire, 43 x 54 cm, was sold by Christie's, for $ 4.5M on November 6, 2007, lot 33, and for £ 3.55M on June 24, 2014.
Cézanne is diabetic and his vision weakens. More than ever he manages to recreate an atmosphere. In the forest the depth is only brought by the curve of the path or by the diagonal of the wood edge.
The preliminary sketch in lead pencil is barely figurative. It is instead a configuration of geometric elements prepared for coloring. According to his traditional practice he painstakingly and gradually fills these surfaces while ensuring that the colors shall not mix. This method is a pointillism of Seurat or Signac in which the dots have been replaced by intersections of lines prepared in advance.
On December 20, 2017, Touati-Duffaud in cooperation with Beaussant Lefèvre sold as lot 43 an Intérieur de forêt for € 6.9M. Please watch the video shared by Drouot.
This watercolor 45 x 60 cm rich in warm colors of great brightness is one of the last realized by Cézanne on this theme, dated 1904-1906 by Rewald. It is glued on a cardboard but its inaccessible back side is probably blank.
The overall effect is figurative and this work demonstrates Cézanne's progress towards synthetic cubism. Is it Fontainebleau ? Is it Le Tholonet ? It does not matter. This corner of a forest does not imitate nature, it is built by the imagination of an artist for sharing his emotion.
A double sided watercolor over pencil on paper 48 x 31 cm executed in 1902-1906 with a vertical Route tournante on one side and a panoramic Montagne Sainte-Victoire vue des Lauveson the other side was sold for $ 6.8M by Christie's on November 6, 2007, lot 32.
“Intérieur de forêt”, une rare aquarelle de Paul #Cézanne trouvera un nouvel acquéreur mercredi. Pour l’une des dernières ventes de la saison, gageons un très beau résultat !— Drouot (@Drouot) December 18, 2017
Rendez-vous à 14h30 chez Touati-Duffaud => https://t.co/cdawsCKLjk pic.twitter.com/XKxQ5qTnuf
(1902)-1906 Bathers and Mountain
2019 SOLD for $ 2.05M including premium
This piece of paper 12.7 x 21.6 cm had been extracted in the 1930s by Cézanne's son from one of his sketchbooks and cannot been dated accurately. Sotheby's and Christie's concur to date it from circa 1902-1906.
I narrated it as follows before it passed at Sotheby's on June 21, 2017, lot 10.
Paul Cézanne is ill and anxious : perhaps he will never succeed in attaining the objective of perfection which he has set for himself.
In 1901 he opens a studio in the hills. In front of the Montagne Sainte-Victoire he tries to extract from the landscape the fundamental geometries accentuated by the varied colors of his palette.
In parallel with this tireless activity as a landscape artist, Cézanne reworks his traditional theme of the outdoor Baigneuses in oils on canvases that now reach large formats. Refusing that his colors intermingle, he disregards the realistic figuration and anticipates cubism. At his death in October 1906 three paintings are unfinished. One of them 210 x 250 cm is preserved at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The overall composition of the drawing for sale is close to the Philadelphia painting but the figurative style is not comparable. It was possibly an early draft for an oil on canvas which he will not have time to execute.
The bathers are divided into groups in a surrounding of trees. The center opens onto the landscape. Bodies, leaves and mountain are drawn in undifferentiated lines, leaving to the harmony of colors all the emotional power in this artwork. Having started from Impressionism and now reaching Expressionism, Cézanne is one of the deepest innovators in the history of art.
The tweet below was announcing the 2017 sale.
1906 The Genius of the Gates
2013 SOLD 15.3 M$ including premium
The artist worked immediately to the figure of the gatekeeper, who will monitor the upper register and rule the whole. 71 cm high, le Penseur (the Thinker) is both an allegory of the poetical mind and of the power of humans. This energetic man with colossal muscles is paradoxically in a rest position.
Rodin gave a new start to the art of sculpture. The other elements of the gates will be more anecdotal but with a similar emotional power.
Of course, bronzes are edited, first by François Rudier and, from 1902, by the Fonderie Alexis Rudier then headed by a son of the late founder of this company.
The most prestigious Rodin bronzes are those made under the direct supervision of the artist by the Fonderie Alexis Rudier in the original size planned for the gates, identified as 'moyen modèle'.
The Penseur for sale on May 7 at Sotheby's in New York has all these great features. This cast was made in 1906 as a single copy on commission by the American Ralph Pulitzer, son of the media owner. This bronze is estimated $ 8M.
On the same size, another Penseur bronze made in 1917 by Rudier just before the death of Rodin was sold for $ 11.8 million including premium by Sotheby's on May 5, 2010.
POST SALE COMMENT
This bronze made to order under the supervision of the artist was obviously better than an edited piece. It was sold $ 15.3 million including premium.
I invite you to watch the video shared by Sotheby's introducing three Rodin bronzes of the next sale:
1906 a fauve in London
2019 SOLD for $ 6.9M including premium
The exhibition in 1904 of the views of London by Monet is a great success for Durand-Ruel. Monet is no more a mere impressionist. He expresses the deep meaning of nature by extreme lights under heavy skies.
Monet remains a realistic painter but the post-impressionnisme already offers another path. Around Matisse, the Fauves blow up the colors. Art critics are surprised but the public appreciates this pictorial revolution that takes painting forever away from the influence of photography.
Vollard was always ready to support the avant-gardes, especially when they were represented by very young artists. Derain explores the new language of colors in 1905 with Matisse in Collioure. Vollard desires to compete with Durand-Ruel and commissions Derain for a series of views of London.
The view for sale stages a few sail boats against the light on a river, one of them in the foreground. It does not include any architectural detail but the shape of the sails meets the typical Thames barges. Their blazing red interspersed with blue responds with the usual Fauviste exaggeration to the reddish brown color of the models.
The pointilliste processing of water is reminiscent of the influence of the style of Signac that Derain had discussed with Matisse at the beginning of their cooperation in Collioure and anticipates the canals in Venice by Monet. The geometric segmentation of the sky between clouds, mist, sun and a patch of blue is a thoroughly modern vision.
1906 McCubbin inspired by Turner
2013 sold 550 K AUD including premium
Born in Melbourne, Frederick McCubbin is an authentic Australian artist who rarely went away from his native region.Landscape painter and pupil of Von Guerard, he is often referred to as the "Australian impressionist." The reality is more subtle.
In 1901, he moved to Mount Macedon, a small paradise in the bush 65 km north-west of Melbourne. He found in that place the tranquility necessary to complete his research.
In 1906, McCubbin painted an oil on canvas, 62 x 123 cm, showing the cleared forest around Mount Macedon. This work is a very thorough attempt to uncover the artistic secrets of Turner.
The very elongated format of the painting makes it a sort of diptych. Axial symmetry leads to a horizon worthy ofTurner, which despite the distance provides the ambience to the entire image. Australian local color is enhanced by a group of people around a fire on the left, and a flock of sheep on the right.
This bright artwork is estimated AUD 500K, for sale by Menzies in Sydney on March 21.
POST SALE COMMENT
The masterpiece by McCubbin did not reach its estimate. It was sold AUD 450K before fees, 550K including premium.
1906-1907 the thames without fog
Vollard, always eager to exploit the avant-gardes, then makes a surprising judgment error, believing that Derain would be able to provide a counterbalance to the huge popular success of the exhibition of the views of London by Monet at Durand-Ruel in 1904. In 1906 and 1907 Derain spends several months in London in three stays interspersed with returns to Paris.
The 26 year-old artist is alone to execute this new mission, without the emulation from Matisse. He had been excited by the exhibition at Durand-Ruel and must find a style opposite to Monet. To transpose onto London the success of the colors of Collioure, he deliberately ignores the fog.
His cloisonné figuration is now closer to Gauguin. He is gradually abandoning pointillism, rightly : the experience of Signac and Van Rysselberghe demonstrated that this difficult technique did only reach its best effects for extreme lights.
The thirty views of London painted by Derain are good examples of the expression of exacerbated colors and are part of this continuous progress of artistic movements that leads to Blaue Reiter and abstraction. They do not stand out anyway from contemporary experiences of other Fauvistes including Dufy, Marquet and Braque but also Vlaminck, Manguin, Camoin and Chabaud. Vollard recovered the paintings of London from Derain but did not display them.
Derain's stay in London had another influence on modern art. Inspired by the ethnographic collections of the British Museum, he understands that tribal art will allow the paintings to part away from the photographic realism, thus unintentionally opening the way to Picasso's Demoiselles d'Avignon.
Londres: le Quai Victoria, oil on canvas 66 x 99 cm, was sold for £ 7M including premium by Sotheby's on June 24, 2015. In the same color range, Londres: la Tamise au pont de Westminster, 66 x 75 cm, is estimated £ 6M for sale by Christie's in London on February 27, lot 30.
1907 The Pink Stone of Wyoming
2016 SOLD for $ 3.6M before fees by The Russell
In 1871 Thomas Moran joined the Hayden Expedition exploring Yellowstone. Influenced by the colors in Turner's art, he is seduced by Castle Rock, a spectacular peak that dominates the Green River valley in Wyoming.
For four decades, the artist wanders through Wyoming, Montana and Arizona in search of extreme landscapes. His paintings with subtle pink, yellow, orange, lavender and vermilion hues of the cliffs in the beautiful morning light make him famous while appealing tourists to Yellowstone National Park, created in 1872.
Throughout this period he also idealizes with many variations his Castle Rock, bringing an additional majesty to the mountain by reducing its width. Painted in 1878, an intensely colored 64 x 122 cm oil on canvas was sold for $ 17.7 million including premium by Christie's on May 21, 2008.
Another variant is less arid, with some trees on both banks. In this peaceful and slightly hazy atmosphere, Moran added an animation, a rare feature in his work : a caravan of Native Americans on horseback is crossing the river on a ford.
This oil on canvas 51 x 76 cm painted in 1907 was sold for $ 3.6M excluding fees in March 2016 in the annual sale organized by The Russell in Great Falls for the benefit of the C.M. Russell Museum. It is estimated $ 3.5M for sale in Scottsdale AZ on April 6 by Scottsdale Art Auction, lot 229 here linked on iCollector bidding platform.
1907 View of Sydney by Arthur Streeton
2016 SOLD for A$ 2.07M including premium
Streeton resided in Mosman, 8 km northeast of the city. In between, the graceful headland of Cremorne enables to create pleasant and balanced compositions in the panoramic views.
On August 31 in Sydney, Sotheby's Australia sells a view of Sydney from Mosman, oil on canvas 61 x 122 cm painted by Streeton, lot 31 estimated A $ 1.5M.
This technique in large size is rare for this artist who liked to practice painting on wood. It was realized in 1907 for his main patron of that time, Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer. A similar artwork painted in the same year is kept at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.
This painting is a fine study of the shades of blue from sea and sky in dialogue with the ocher and green of the land. On the horizon the smoke of the factories discretely symbolizes the industry of the big city. The boats offer their reflections in the water of the bay.
Mosman is since 1916 the location of the Sydney Zoo from where visitors still admire this view that has not changed except that the skyscrapers and the bridge reinforce the modern character of the city.
1907 Water in Northern Arizona
2014 SOLD 1.5 M$ including premium
Moran has also often visited Arizona and New Mexico. Curiously, his art is different. He finds the human element, and studies the role of water in these arid regions.
On July 26 in Reno, The Coeur d'Alene Art Auction sells an oil on canvas painted in 1907, 51 x 76 cm, showing a scenery in Northern Arizona. Executed in the studio from sketches taken during his trips, it recreates the warm light of the extreme hours of the day as Aivazovsky had done before him in the other end of the world.
Here, the hostility of the spectacular landscape is softened by the Indian village of mud brick that appears above the cliffs. The foreground in the shadow is occupied by an ephemeral water pocket created by scarce rainfalls, providing a refuge for the trees like an oasis in the desert. Indian women are watering.
This view offering both a stunning scenery and an observation of local life is rare in the art of Moran. It is estimated beyond $ 1.5 M.
This painting is illustrated in second position on the release shared by Fine Art Connoisseur.
POST SALE COMMENT
This rare landscape of Arizona by Moran was sold for $ 1.3M before fees.
1908 Lailla from Morocco
2012 SOLD 3.7 M£ including premium
In full front standing, she is protected by a large cloth covering the hair, the lower side of the face and half of the body. She loves life. Her eyes with heavy makeup are proud. Each finger bears a ring. The naked half body has a perfect line accented by a bright color.
This oil on canvas, 131 x 97 cm, is estimated £ 3.5 million, for sale by Sotheby's in London on June 19. It has fascinated collectors once known for their demanding requirements: Polo, Vernes, Dray.
Yes, but Lailla never existed outside the imagination and talent of the artist. Its real title is La illa ella Alla, which is a traditional Moroccan song.
In 1908, Van Dongen has not yet made his journey in search of the southern women, the Andalusians, the Ouled Nails. His inspiration gets its source in the Parisian pleasures.
Especially, at age 31, the artist realizes an extraordinary synthesis of the avant-gardes, treated in the Orientalist theme. Van Dongen frequented both Fauvists and Expressionists and, among them, Pechstein who was much attracted by Oriental lifestyles.
Setting prostitutes and semi-worldly in glory is also a popular theme of the time, the theme for which the Demoiselles d'Avignon just opened a new dimension in the freedom of treatment.
Lailla must be recognized as a masterpiece of Van Dongen. Here is the link to the catalog.
POST SALE COMMENT
Good result, but not excessive: £ 3.7M including premium.
1908 Nadezhda in Russian Costume
2017 SOLD for £ 3.65M including premium
On November 28 in London, Sotheby's sells a portrait of Nadezhda Sapozhnikova painted by Nikolai in 1908, oil on canvas 142 x 90 cm, lot 39 estimated £ 1.2M. In line with Nikolai's interest in rurality, the young woman wears an ample Russian costume typical of the 1840s. A little older than Nikolai, Nadezhda is his pupil in Kazan and no doubt also an inspiration for his new style.
She is sitting and leaning in a dynamic attitude accentuated by a diagonal composition. The vigorous impasto by the knife blurs the lines. This portrait already displays the vibrant energy and psychological intensity that characterize the art of Fechin throughout his career, first in Russia and in the United States from 1923. This painting exhibited in 1910 in Pittsburgh will be able to compete with Manet and Sargent.
By its quality and its originality the art of Fechin has keen followers. Painted in the same year as Nadezhda's portrait, an ambitiously sized rural wedding scene 186 x 282 cm was sold for $ 3.3M including premium by Sotheby's on November 1, 2011. A cheerful portrait of a boy in a costume and attitude of cowboy painted in 1940, 76 x 51 cm, was sold by Macdougall's in December 2010 for £ 7M over a lower estimate of £ 500K.
The lot is being sold for the acquisition fund of the San Diego Museum of Art. The image is shared by Wikimedia.
1908 Meeting the Cat
2006 SOLD for $ 3.4M including premium by Sotheby's
2020 SOLD for $ 2.2M including premium
A hypersensitive artist, Mary Cassatt stages scenes of intimate happiness between a young mother and children. Her stroke remains impressionniste. Hats and dresses are overflowing and colorful in the fashion of the Belle Epoque. Babies are too young to be disturbed by their full nudity.
These important series are families recomposed by the artist with models from her neighborhood. The little girl is often Sara, recognizable by her wide face and golden hair, which was very fashionable at that time. Mary was childless.
Children playing with a dog, oil on canvas 100 x 73 cm painted in 1907, has been sold twice by Christie's, for $ 6.2M including premium on May 24, 2007 and for $ 4.8M including premium on November 11, 2018. The mother holds the baby and Sara holds the dog in the same delicate gesture, expressing by this image that the maternal instinct exists from childhood.
Children playing with a cat, oil on canvas 81 x 100 cm painted in 1908, was sold for $ 3.4M including premium by Sotheby's on November 29, 2006 and is estimated $ 2M for sale by Sotheby's in New York on December 11, lot 48. The image is shared by Wikimedia.
As in the above example, it is interesting to compare the positions : the baby is on the mother's lap and the cat on Sara's lap. The baby, who had been intimidated by the dog, extends a hand over Sara's elbow to reach the cat's head.
<1909 Ida in the Empty Room
2015 SOLD for £ 2.05M including premium
The rooms are sparsely furnished and not decorated. The walls are white. His wife Ida is present, often from behind, always quiet and never inactive although her occupation is not often identifiable. The interior doors are opened or closed, the sun sometimes penetrates through the tall glass windows.
Vilhelm is shy and austere, and the idea of a recluse life does not disturb him. His sharp compositions inspired by the Dutch interiors of the seventeenth century oppose the trends of modern art that he yet knew. His questions about the society of his time resulted in a rejection. He is now considered as having been a precursor to Hopper.
The glossy paint has an unexpected effect. The viewer enters the Strandgade apartment as if the artwork was a mirror in a frame and the exhibition room had been cancelled.
This impression is at its best when the contrast between light and shade is important. An oil on canvas 51 x 56 cm painted late in the Strandgade period is estimated £ 700K for sale by Sotheby's in London on May 21, lot 12.
1909 Buste de Napoléon by Rodin
The original patrons gave up whatever the reason and the marble remained unfinished until another client visited Rodin's studio in 1909. The client required the artist to finish the chiseling. A photo from that year features Rodin with his Napoléon.
This 70 cm marble has a significant difference with the plaster. In both, Napoléon is an ambitious young man with a resolute face without any regalia of his military fame. This impression is increased by the title of the marble carved by Rodin over his signature : Enveloppé dans son rêve. Indeed the detailed toga of the plaster has been replaced by a loose cloak that wraps the hero in his political dream.
The marble was sold at auction in New York in 1933 after a loan to the Met. It lost its attribution to Rodin in 1942 when it was bequeathed by Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge to the Hartley Dodge Memorial later becoming the city hall of Madison NJ. It was re-discovered after seven decades of oblivion in plain sight by a young intern who considered the Rodin signature.
It is estimated HK $ 70M for sale by Sotheby's in Hong Kong on October 9, 2021, lot 1016. Please watch the video shared by Sotheby's in which the sculpture is narrated by the expert who authenticated it a Rodin's lost masterpiece, Jérôme Le Blay, executive director of the Comité Auguste Rodin.
1909 Landscape with Horses by Franz Marc
On February 3 in London, Sotheby's sells a Grosse Landschaft by Franz Marc, lot 6 estimated £ 4M. This large oil on canvas 110 x 211 cm painted in 1909 is one of the earliest examples of the symbolist approach by the artist.
The main theme of this artwork is not indeed the landscape, a very ordinary meadow, but the group of four horses in attentive attitudes, all in the same color between orange and light red.
The meeting of Kandinsky and Marc in September 1910 is highly important for modern art. The quest for a new symbolism by Marc influenced the hermetic researches of Kandinsky. Marc tries in his turn to codify his own colors. Bright colors exacerbate the feelings: blue for the authoritarian male, yellow for the soft female and dark red for the unwelcomed violence that breaks the harmony of nature.
Their movement is identified from late 1911 as the Blaue Reiter, a striking image that symbolizes in two words the new art better than the complex theories of Kandinsky could have done.
1909 an oriental procession by ludwig deutsch
2017 sold for £ 310K including premium
I take as the evidence of this identification the fact that the illustrations announced in the literature are fully matching. I did not find a difference between the pictures in both Sotheby's catalogues.
I discussed it as follows in 2014 (size and estimate are changed in the text below that meets the latest information).
The Austrian artist Ludwig Deutsch, living in Paris since 1878, made frequent visits to Cairo from where he brought back sketches and photos. Influenced by the French Orientalistes, he first developed a realistic art based on meticulous drawing.
His paintings show Muslim scenes with a large differentiation of the characters according to their role in the Islamic liturgy. He pays a specific attention to the attitudes in a flexible realism. The Offering, oil on panel 62 x 80 cm painted in 1897, was sold for £ 2.15M including premium by Sotheby's on April 23, 2013.
On April 25, 2017, Sotheby's sells an oil on canvas 170 x 201 cm estimated £ 250K.
The theme, located in a street of Cairo, is the traditional procession of the Mahmal during which a Quran is carried in the palanquin of a camel. The artist observes the festive crowd, with its rhythms and colors.
This painting was done in 1909. Deutsch has changed his style, assessing that he is a contemporary of the post-Impressionists, Expressionists and Futurists. He gets rid of his classicism in favor of the effect of atmosphere and motion.
In this sun-bathed street, the distance is materialized by the haze of the incense smoke and by the contrast between the sharpness of the figures in front row and the lack of detail in the colored crowd.
1909 the decorative nude of the jugendstil
The self-portrait 74 x 30 cm by Egon Schiele thus offers a flat and unbalanced composition in an original attitude that demonstrates the intention of the young artist to make himself known. It was sold for £ 7.2M including premium by Christie's on February 2, 2016.
On May 16 in New York, Sotheby's sells Danaë, oil and metallic paint on canvas 80 x 125 cm considered as the first nude in Schiele's professional career. It is estimated $ 30M, lot 27.
Klimt had made two years earlier on the same theme an oil on canvas which is a masterpiece of his erotic art. With her buttocks and thigh in the forefront, the nude woman receives the rain of gold without hiding her sexual pleasure.
Schiele reuses for his Danaë several ideas from Klimt including the red hair. The spots simulating gold are suppressed but the abstract multicolored rain from the lower part of the image has become a heavy curtain that will wrap the woman. Her features are barely sketched giving to that naked body the appearance of a fetal mass.
1909 is definitely a year of transition in Schiele's access to his artistic maturity. Known since his adolescence for his sexual urges, he nevertheless keeps a restraint in his art. After meeting with his very young girlfriend Wally two years later, he will find for several years his difficult path between attraction and disgust for the flesh, with an intense psychological expression even in the explicite nude which in no way reduces the banality of his life and of the life of his characters.
1909 HARLEQUIN COMES OUT OF HIS HIDING
This portrait of Harlequin was painted by Picasso in 1909, two years after the Demoiselles d'Avignon. It is a true Cubist painting, which is well legible compared to other similar works from the same period. Picasso was particularly inspired by Harlequin, and wanted to consider him as his alter ego. The other figures of Harlequin in the work of Picasso are more dynamic than our character of today, whom I find a little bit too austere.
As always when a top Picasso comes to auction, all the press chats on it. Sotheby's announced that its price will exceed $ 30 million in New York on November 3.
Owned by a painter who had purchased it to Kahnweiler, this Harlequin painting will now be exhibited by Sotheby's in London from October 3. It had not been shown to the public for 45 years.
POST SALE COMMENT
Reuters has announced that this artwork was withdrawn from the sale by the seller for private reasons.