1910 Schokko by Jawlensky
2008 SOLD for £ 9.4M including premium by Sotheby's
Narrated in 2021
Jawlensky takes as a model a very young woman from a Bavarian village. The workshop is cold and she asks for a cup of hot chocolate. The artist nicknames her Schokko. He likes to dress her with extravagant hats which are pretexts for new color studies. He paints Schokko in the Red Hat in 1909.
Schokko with Wide Hat, oil on cardboard 75 x 65 cm stretched on canvas painted in 1910, has been sold twice by Sotheby's : for $ 8.3M including premium on November 5, 2003, lot 20, and for £ 9.4M including premium February 5, 2008, lot 8. The image is shared by Wikimedia.
The portrait of Helene with a Green Fan, oil on panel 65 x 54 cm painted in 1912, already announces the post-Cubist stylization of the next phase. It was sold for $ 11.3M including premium by Sotheby's on May 3, 2011, lot 12. I narrated it before the sale.
The artist kept these two examples from this period of explosive creativity until his death.
1910 VAN DONGEN'S SOUTHERN WOMEN
2010 SOLD 7.1 M£ INCLUDING PREMIUM
Van Dongen is the painter of the pleasures of life, with humor and no flattery. The marked lines and the vivid colors resemble the style of Matisse. The art market is gradually becoming aware of the originality and importance of this artist and upgrade his early works to the highest rank.
Coming from the harbour of Rotterdam, he settled in Paris in 1899 and painted scenes and portraits of cabaret. He early began to imagine the women of the South, in more and more expressive portraits. He discover them, and uncover their breast, in enticing nudes without vulgarity.
In 1910, he will see them on the spot in Spain and North Africa. The oil on canvas, 100 x 81 cm, for sale by Christie's in London on February 2, dates from this period. It shows a gypsy woman ("Gitane") of Spain in traditional dress, brown, proud ... and unfriendly. It is a beautiful portrait, estimated £ 5.5 million. It is shown in the release shared by AuctionPublicity.
POST SALE COMMENT
Van Dongen confirmed his position on the art market, according to the trend indicated at the beginning of my article. £ 7.1 million including premium for this Spanish portrait.
1911 Augusta van Dongen in Poiret Outfit
2018 SOLD for € 1.8M including premium
This large size oil on canvas 145 x 145 cm passed at Drouot on June 25, 2018. It had been introduced in a video shared by Drouot Presse. It is now estimated € 1.5M for sale by Sotheby's in Paris on October 18, lot 18.
Augusta is wearing an outfit by Poiret which is obviously the theme of this intimate artwork. Before the Drouot sale, I narrated as follows the relationship between Kees van Dongen and Paul Poiret.
By removing the corset in 1906, Poiret forever modifies the look of the Parisian woman. This conception is transmitted in 1908 in a pretty booklet made up of ten color engravings by Paul Iribe. Poiret is inspired by the artistic avant-gardes. He thus appears as a leader of modernism just when the Ballets Russes put in fashion a luxurious imaginary exoticism.
Compared to other paintings made by van Dongen around that date, La Lecture stands out for its themes and style. The fine line evokes the illustrations from Iribe's catalog. The atmosphere mixes Fauvism and exoticism. The striped areas are in Matisse's taste and a wall painting could have been a marine in Collioure. Orientalism is brought by the profile of the dark haired woman and by the hand of Fatima that she wears as a pendant.
The intention to please Poiret is obvious. The title of the book in the hands of Augusta is Rabelais. This reference may be an unidentified connivance with Poiret. The curled cat in the foreground makes a friendly wink.
The influence of fashion is helping to shift Van Dongen from anarchism and cabarets to the elegant society. 'Deauville' is published in 1931 with five engravings by Van Dongen and a text by Poiret.
1911 The Giacomettis in the Garden
2011 SOLD 1.92 MCHF including premium
His family scenes are a pretext to beautiful studies of sun light filtered through the foliage of his garden in Stampa, the village in the Grisons where he originated.
In 1908, his wife Annetta breastfeeds the baby Bruno. The other two boys are sitting quietly in the grass before her.This oil on canvas, 70 x 65 cm, was sold CHF 2.5 million including premium at Christie's in Zurich on 1 December 2008.
Three years later, Giovanni painted the same subject again in the same dimensions by restricting it to the mother and child. More moving in its simplicity, this nearly allegorical motherhood was sold for CHF 3.2 million including premium on 3 December 2007 by the same auction house.
The children grew up. In 1911, Annetta holds Bruno on her lap. The eldest daughter, Ottilia, talks with her mother.The light and shadow fall pleasantly on the faces and clothing. The two elder boys are attentive. Although less visible, one behind the mother and the other hidden by a bush, they contribute to this scene of intense and quiet family life.
This oil on canvas, 76 x 86 cm, estimated CHF 1.8 million is to sell at Christie's in Zurich on March 21.
The boys were to be famous artists: Alberto and Diego Giacometti. Bruno Giacometti will be an architect.
POST SALE COMMENT
The result, CHF 1.92 million including premium, is close to the estimate, at no surprise.
Here is the image of the painting shared by Artdaily before the sale.
1912 The Gaze of Jawlensky's Wife
2011 SOLD 11.3 M$ including premium
Alexej von Jawlensky expresses this tendency in beautiful paintings of female faces, which were to remain his most spectacular art. The head is turned toward the artist, the eyes underlined by large rings provide a very effective sense of presence.
On May 3 in New York, Sotheby's sells a portrait of the artist's wife. Her confident and intimate attitude is made strange and attractive by her yellow cheeks and neck, red nose, blue and red clothing, and the green of the fan.
This oil on board, 65 x 54 cm, is one of the masterpieces of the master, who kept it until his death. It is estimated $ 8M, lot 12. The image is shared by Wikimedia.
POST SALE COMMENT
Excellent price, $ 11.3 million including premium, confirming this beautiful portrait as one of the masterpieces of the sale.
1912 Die Rache der Tänzerin by Kirchner
2021 SOLD for £ 7.1M by Christie's
For a few years he had been captivated by cabarets and entertainment in Dresden. Berlin offered a night life in a much larger scale. He early took as models two statuesque cabaret dancers, the sisters Gerda and Erna Schilling.
In 1912 Erna posed for him in the nude, a theme which was another early interest for Kirchner. In 1913 she was the model for the risqué Tänzerin mit gehobenem Bein, a 66 cm high painted oakwood figure sold for $ 8M by Christie's on November 9, 2015, lot 2 A. She will be the lifelong partner of the artist.
On June 30, 2021, Christie's sold for £ 7.1M an oil on canvas 100 x 75 cm painted in 1912, lot 17A. The image is shared by Wikioo.
The title, Pantomime Reimann, indicates that it is part of a project for a programme for a risqué cabaret show operated by the then 22 years old Hans Reimann, for which watercolor sketches are also known. The subtitle, Die Rache des Tänzerin (the revenge of the dancer) is promising much excitement.
It stages a well dressed performer who is certainly one of the Schilling sisters. Towering like the Great Whore of the Apocalypse, she leans without compassion over a male admirer in tuxedo who is lying prone on the floor. An acrobat looks at the scene while a peeping viewer is only seen by his reflection in a mirror. The vivid colors are appealing for entering the show.
On terms of cabaret inspired art, some comparison may be made with Le Chahut painted by Seurat in 1889-1890.
1912 Head and Egg
2015 SOLD for $ 9.1M including premium
The young artist did not want to follow Rodin. His origins as a son of Carpathian peasants certainly helped him to reject the traditions of the art of Western Europe. When he carved in white marble the other seminal model of his art, the Sleeping Muse, in 1910-1911, he already sought to express a universal emotion.
The Sleeping Muse is also a vital egg. The figure is ovoid with a sweet protrusion granted to the nose and eyebrows. Finely chiseled lines synthesize the facial and hair features. The sitter is recognizable with no trend toward abstraction, but this artwork is already an interpretation of the ideal woman. The artist begins to realize some plasters and bronzes.
On May 14 in New York, Christie's sells a plaster of La Muse endormie I executed in 1912, 28 cm long, lot 11C estimated $ 8M. This example is one of the works that ensured the glory of Brancusi at the exhibition of the Armory Show in New York on the following year.
It is interesting to compare this specimen with a plaster from the same year entitled Une Muse where the head of the same model found a more traditional attitude as part of a bust. This sculpture 46 cm high was sold for $ 12.4 million including premium by Christie's on November 7, 2012.
2020 SOLD for £ 3M including premium
Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger become the theorists of the group. The new designs apply a non-rational geometry, qualified as non-Euclidean, and are experimenting with a multiple perspective.
In 1911 the participation of these artists in the Salon des Indépendants causes scandal, in particular because their style diminishes the legibility of the image. The word Cubisme results from the comment of a detractor. To better prepare for the future, Gleizes and Metzinger publish in 1912 a book titled Du Cubisme, illustrated with photos of artworks by eleven artists. Cézanne appears as the precursor and Léger as the most important artist alongside the two authors.
Seminal innovations on the visualization of time in painting are carried out in 1912. The movement is broken down by Duchamp in Le Nu descendant un escalier et by Balla in Dinamismo di Un Cane.
This rapprochement of Duchamp with the ideas of Futurism displeases the Cubists. Metzinger, who appears to be the best unifier of cubism through his relationships with Braque, Picasso and Apollinaire, tries however new experiences.
Painted in 1912 by Metzinger, Au Vélodrome, oil on canvas 130 x 97 cm, features the winner of the Paris-Roubaix cycling race in the effort of the final sprint. This sport is well suited to this new aesthetic research because the action of the man on the bike immediately evokes movement, unlike the driver in the automobile.
Au Vélodrome returns to a single perspective but loses the unicity of time. The character fleetingly masked the background without annihilating it. The image offers the two views in an effect of retinal persistence, as if the cyclist were transparent.
Le Cycliste, painted in the same year with a similar surimpression, displays another cyclist in the attitude of a victory lap. Experts believe recognizing the mustache of Octave Lapize, three times winner of Paris-Roubaix from 1909 to 1911. This oil and sand on canvas 100 x 81 cm is estimated £ 1.5M to be sold by Sotheby's in London on February 4, lot 5.
Braque and Picasso are absent from public exhibitions in application of exclusivity contracts with Kahnweiler. They will claim from 1914 to have been the creators of the Cubisme.
1912 Die Brücke in the Peat Bogs
2013 SOLD for € 2.7M including premium by Villa Grisebach
The group Die Brücke was founded in 1905 by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Fritz Bleyl and Erich Heckel. These young people want to change the life by taking inspiration from the original nature and they practice the nudism which becomes a major theme of their art.
Schmidt-Rottluff and Heckel spend their summer time in Dangast, a small spa near the North Sea. The region had preserved peat bogs that provide the young artists with the idea of what Mother Earth was in the prehistoric times of the appearance of life.
Artistic movements evolve quickly. Fauvism develops in parallel with the expressionism of Die Brücke which will gives way to the symbolic colors of the group Der Blaue Reiter with which Schmidt-Rottluff exhibits in 1912.
The oil on canvas 77 x 84 cm titled Watt bei Ebbe (peat bogs at low tide) painted by Schmidt-Rottluff in 1912 is at the confluence of these trends. The saturated colors are dominated by the red and orange of sky and water. The landscape is animated by a few sails and their reflections. The simplicity of the drawing evokes the period of Gauguin in Brittany.
This painting was sold for € 2.7M including premium by Villa Grisebach on November 28, 2013. It is estimated £ 2M for sale by Sotheby's in London on February 28, lot 12.
The Die Brücke movement is already out of date. It will be dissolved in 1913. Schmidt-Rottluff's art will become rare as a result of its persecution by the Nazis.
1912 Fauve Totem Poles by Emily Carr
2016 SOLD for $ 1.06M CAD including premium
Emily visits the coastal villages each year from 1908 to 1910 and realizes watercolors according to the good practice of the explorers. She takes her drawings with her for a training trip to France where she is in relationship for two years with the modern artists.
She is immediately interested in Fauvism, appreciated by her as an opportunity for an artist to interpret a scene in his or her own way, according to his or her own vision and temperament. She reinterprets her American watercolors into oils on canvas.
Emily's visits had included 'Yalis (in English: Alert Bay), a traditional despite recently created village. The Kwakwaka'wakw people often referred to with the less unpronounceable Kwakiutl name use some technological advances brought by white settlers while maintaining the traditional autonomy increasingly threatened by the growing progress of communications. The tallest totem pole in the world, 53 meters high, is currently in Alert Bay.
On November 23 in Toronto, Heffel sells an oil on canvas 65 x 47 cm painted by Emily Carr just before or just after her return to British Columbia in 1912, lot 261 estimated CAD $ 900K shown on the last page in the flyer announcing the sale.
The influence of Fauvism provides the additional mystical dimension desired by the artist. Compared with the watercolor that served as its model the line is simplified. The unreal colors express the sunshine flooding the street and turn into a ghost divinity the deliberately enlarged welcoming figure in the foreground.
High totem poles are frontally aligned before the facades of the white houses. The nearest pole has near its base a huge protruding head of a thunderbird with closed beak. We know through the essay by the auctioneer that a mechanism opening the beak offers an access inside the house. Only one visitor at a time could cross that ramp, for security : the Kwakiutl chiefs certainly had good reasons to be wary.
1912 Favour for Flowers
2009 SOLD 800 K$ including premium
The rose is a natural wonder and a puzzle for artists because of the complexity of its details and of its color shades.
Since the seventeenth century painters are striving to represent them in vases or thrown into a basket. Possibly accompanied by other flowers, roses were then the glory of Ambrosius Bosschaert, Abraham Mignon, Jan Davidsz de Heem, mostly in vertical compositions.
In the nineteenth century, Henri Fantin-Latour introduces more complex compositions in a horizontal viewing. On 7 November 2007, Sotheby's sold a basket of roses by this artist, 53x65 cm, $ 1.6 million including expenses. It was beautifully presented on a light background. On a dark background, a similar work, 62x74 cm, was sold 740 K € premium included on June 17 in Paris by Mathias.
In California, the specialist of painting roses was Franz Bischoff. On August 3 in Los Angeles, Bonhams and Butterfields is selling one of his compositions made in 1912, 100x125 cm. Roses are divided into two groups, in a vase and thrown from a basket. The originality of this lot is that the vase which served as a model is sold with the painting.
The expected price, $ 600 K, appears to be high for this artist.
POST SALE COMMENT
Very good result for this painting: $ 675 K without fees, $ 800 K premium included. Bischoff does not have the reputation of Fantin-Latour, but the quality of his work was acknowledged in the market.
1912 The Soul of the Totems
She discovers the totem poles during this first trip. Hypersensitive, she wants to understand why and how these gigantic carved masts were created, and what they mean.
Her art will be able to disclose this threatened culture that is unique in the world. She stays several times in Alert Bay, a village that has the advantage of being close enough to Vancouver. Entirely devoted to this new vocation, she leaves for Paris in 1910 to be introduced to the latest trends in modern painting. She appreciates how the saturated colors of Fauvism can reinforce the pictorial message.
Back in Canada, she copies her watercolors of Alert Bay into oils on canvas. This cannot satisfy her from the ethnographic point of view. Alert Bay certainly has the highest totem poles, but they are recent and therefore cannot provide Emily with an empathy with the spirit of the ancestors.
She makes another expedition in 1912, visiting fifteen villages in six weeks. The abandoned site of Skedans in the Queen Charlotte Islands is responding to her quest with a great row of totem poles by the sea. Most have been hollowed to insert a coffin. They are of varied heights, and nicely carved with human effigies and animal heads.
On November 19 in New York, Sotheby's sells a close-up view of the Skedans totem line painted by Emily Carr in 1912, lot 18 estimated $ 3M. The format of this oil on canvas, 90 x 148 cm, is very large for this artist. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
Emily Carr was too much ahead of her time. Discouraged by the failure of an exhibition in Vancouver in 1913, she abandoned her artistic career until 1927. The next phase revisits in a powerful style the most typical symbols of her discoveries but without the enthusiastic freshness of the first trips.
1912 under the sky of el greco
Staying in Spain, Diego observes the timeless character of El Greco's art. Hostile to Christian mysticism, he tries a modern application of the solutions found by El Greco. The great hagiographer painter of the late sixteenth century had never revealed if he had religious beliefs. This certainly suits Diego, an ardent socialist activist and the descendant of a Jewish family forcibly converted to Catholicism.
Diego painted in 1912 a view of Toledo in a direct imitation of El Greco. In the same year he found in the 23 years old Spanish binder Hermenegildo Alsina the elegant and long-limbed young man of very tall stature who could be a modern incarnation of the mystical characters by El Greco. His umbrella supersedes the holy cross.
On November 21 in New York, Sotheby's sells Retrato de un español, oil on canvas 199 x 165 cm painted by Diego Rivera in 1912, lot 7 estimated $ 3M. The man is standing in life size in front of a tormented sky in the style of El Greco and of the low horizon of an arid Spanish landscape.
After this very short period inspired by El Greco, Diego participates from the following year in the modernist Cubist researches.
Please watch the video shared by Sotheby's.
1912 THE SIMULTANEOUS NUDES OF MARCEL DUCHAMP
In 1912, the limelights of art were accessible to young artists. Aged 25 years only, Marcel Duchamp disrupts not only all the traditions but also the avant-gardes.
Early that year, he made his first major breakthrough, brilliantly, with the Nude Descending a Staircase. It went fully against the Cubism, that was looking for volume. For Duchamp, the fourth dimension is movement. His character is shown several times on this painting. His human body shape is imprecise, but the different positions attest to the human attitude in motion.
Nobody had such thoughts before him. This work relies on the photographic analysis of movement by Muybridge and Marey, but transparency and blur of the body comes from the X-ray pictures, known for less than twenty years.
Also Duchamp intends to scandal, or at least to do the opposite of all his contemporaries. It is encouraging him to prepare immediately his next work, The King and Queen surrounded by swift nudes.
Here, several characters are each shown only once, but they intermingle in the positions which, according to the artist, are suggesting the movement. The impact was less, but the first preparatory drawing, 32 x 40 cm, is an important indicator of awareness of the movement by graphic artists. The handwritten title of the drawing (2 naked, one strong and one swift) indicates that Duchamp had not yet chosen the title of his future artwork. It is to be sold by Christie's in London on June 23 The estimate, 800 K£, is conservative.
Shaken by Picasso, Duchamp, Kandinsky, Malevich and all those who were immediately inspired by these pioneers, the art world got in those years an irreversible trend, and an incredible surge of creativity.
1913 Group of Nudes in the Woods
2017 SOLD for £ 5.5M including premium
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner is the most active of the group. Residing in Berlin since 1911 he cannot adapt to the conditions of life in the big city. With his friends and their female companions, they spend much of summer in tents or huts and practice an integral nudity in daily occupations, recreational bathing, play and art, in accordance with the Freikörperkultur theories.
On March 1 in London, Sotheby's sells Vier Akte unter Bäumen, oil on canvas 120 x 90 cm painted in 1913, lot 14 estimated £ 3.5M.
The scene stages four nudes in the woods, three of them in full frontal position not hiding the sex. The man is a self-portrait. The three women around him display a varied maturity that unquestionably evokes the Judgment of Paris. In the freedom of the life that he desires, Ernst Ludwig will invite whoever woman he prefers. The youngest is nicely approaching from behind.
This painting is executed with thick lines and a wild color of the naked skins attesting to the influence of Matisse whose artistic advances were much appreciated by these young people. The simplified style of bodies and heads also evokes the stylization of tribal art six years after the breakthrough of Picasso's Demoiselles d'Avignon.
1913 Expressionism in the Streets of Berlin
2009 SOLD 5.4 M£ including premium
1913. You know, it's one of my preferred periods of art history.
In Berlin, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner painted street scenes. Passers-by are there, but what are they looking for? Like Munch, but with vibrant colors, he does not show anything else than their anguish. Kirchner came from Dresden. His vision of Berlin is a terrible expression of the anonymity of people in large cities. At the next generation, Giacometti had the same kind of inspiration for his bronzes.
The best known painting by Kirchner on this topic, 120 x 91 cm, is at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Sotheby's said in its press release that another painting, 121 x 95 cm, was sold $ 38 million in 2006.
The oil on canvas that Sotheby's sells in London on February 3 is smaller, 70 x 51 cm, but it would be the last of this 1913 series still in private hands. Sotheby's already knew it: they sold it 1.9 million pounds in 1997. That was before the craze of buyers for expressionism, characterized by spectacular auction results also recorded on Jawlensky and Marc. Now this painting is estimated 5 million pounds.
POST SALE COMMENT
The major lots still get buyers. The result, £ 5.4 million including premium, confirms my observation on the growing enthusiasm for expressionism.
1913 Swiss Lakes by Hodler
2010 SOLD 2.32 MCHF including premium
As Lawren Harris in Canada, Ferdinand Hodler knows that nature is a perfect mathematician. His line is simple, without care for details. Indeed his subtle colors provide an undeniable feeling of presence to his works.
In Zurich, fans of Hodler's lakescapes are lucky in this June, as two oils on canvas have already gone to auction, and a third one is awaited.
Both sold paintings show Lake Geneva about 1911, with a structured composition that anticipates by four decades Diebenkorn's abstract landscapes. On June 7, Christie's has registered 2.6 MCHF including premium on its piece, 46 x 57 cm, followed on June 14 by Sotheby's with CHF 4 million including premium for a larger work, 71 x 90 cm.
On June 24, a view of Lake Thun executed circa 1913, 63 x 86 cm, is estimated at 2.6 MCHF at Koller. The mountain is stylized but expressive. The highest point in the center of the composition provides a start for symmetry perfected by its reflection in the water of the lake.
POST SALE COMMENT
The lake landscape sold by Koller was nice, but it was the most realistic and therefore the least poetic of the three. It was sold 2 million CHF excluding fees.
1913 The new woman by Fernand Léger
The avant-gardes need a prophet. They find Cézanne's statement that nature can be represented by the cylinder, the cone and the sphere. The new art will be based on a grammar of elementary forms associated with pure colors. Each artist develops a personal style.
Fernand Léger is one of these pioneers of Cubism. He appreciates that if the composition becomes pre-eminent over the theme, painting can become an absolute art, free from sentimentalism and mysticism.
Cézanne had not reached abstraction. From 1912, for liberating his art from the influence of his predecessor, Léger indifferently applies his new pictorial grammar to a range of works between figurative and abstract. The title guides the observer to look for the form.
Femme en Bleu is almost abstract. Helped by the position of the sitter in La Dame en Bleu painted by Cézanne, the observer mentally reconstructs Léger's woman around her bright blue garment. A 130 x 97 cm variant dated 1912-1913 was sold for $ 39M including premium by Sotheby's on May 7, 2008.
Léger completes his post-Cézanne exorcism by preparing a few works with an abstract title, the series of Contrastes de Formes, which are his contribution to the birth of non-figurative art. An oil on burlap 92 x 73 cm painted in 1913 was sold for $ 70M including premium by Christie's on November 13, 2017.
The rejection of the narrative does not prevent the expression of life. Femme dans un fauteuil, oil on burlap 81 x 100 cm painted in 1913, looks at first glance like a Contraste de Formes but becomes readable by a moderate effort. It will be sold by Christie's in London on June 18, lot 8. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
1913 The European Trip by Hartley of Maine
Hartley leaves for Paris in April 1912. He meets Gertrude and Leo Stein, Picasso, Delaunay, Kupka and the others. It is in Paris that he falls in love with a young Prussian officer. He is initiated by his group of German friends to the spiritual arts of Kandinsky and of the Blaue Reiter and settles durably in Berlin.
Subject to all the influences as if he were still looking at 36 years old to construct his maturity, he is dazzled by Berlin which exudes a warm atmosphere so different from his cold former American landscapes and where young soldiers symbolize a vigorous homosexuality.
In Berlin, Hartley's art becomes abstract, with geometric shapes inspired by military parades. Explosive energies interact with a dominant figure that is a triangle or a mandorla and can represent the artist himself. The other elements may also be interpreted in many ways in the manner of Kandinsky's growing hermeticism and the shocks of colors are certainly influenced by Franz Marc.
On November 12 in New York, Sotheby's sells as lot 28 a Pre-War Pageant, oil on canvas painted in 1913, 106 x 86 cm including its artist's frame. The September 14 press release announces an estimate in the region of $ 30M.
Seeking happiness and wanting to express his introspection, Hartley does not appear as pro-German but as a naive, probably amazed by the realization of his own homosexuality. He did not understand in time that the pageants were preparing the war and hurriedly left Germany at the end of 1915.
Please watch the video shared by Sotheby's (below).
1913-1914 The Laurentian Hills
2016 SOLD for $ 2.2M CAD including premium
An intense creative phase starts as a friendly competition between Harris and A.Y. Jackson. The landscape will be more expressive if the colors are vibrant and laid on the canvas in high speed.
Harris takes as a model one of his own views of the Laurentians, painted in 1908. The dry rocks dotting the surface and the dead trees at the top of the hill bring an illusion of bitterness that art can accentuate. He reinterprets it in his workshop in 1913 or 1914 with autumn colors and a bright blue sky threatened by stylized clouds in a sharp white.
This new oil on canvas 77 x 89 cm is one of the founding works of this group of friends which will take in 1920 the name of Group of Seven. It is estimated $ 1.2M CAD for sale by Heffel in Vancouver on May 25, lot 142. It is illustrated in the flyerannouncing the sale.
Becoming the painter of ice and cold, Harris will be along with Tom Thomson the first great artist of the Canadian artistic differentiation.
1914 Gothic Cubism by Feininger
2014 SOLD for £ 4.8M including premium by Christie's
Born in New York to a couple of musicians, Lyonel Feininger arrives in Europe at the age of 16. Interested in the graphic arts, he is at first a cartoonist, in the taste of his time for the lengthening of the bodies and the expressionist gesticulation.
To better express his feelings, he becomes an artist from 1907, at 36 years old. He lives in Berlin but finds his inspiration in Weimar where his second wife Julia has just finished her studies. The quiet little town is their promised land, their common discovery.
Lyonel is interested in all the avant-gardes to develop his own style. He is altogether close to Die Brücke, Der Blaue Reiter and Cubism. Unlike cubists in Paris, his approach is not constructivist but emotional. The view of a church only concerns him if it can transfer his psychological stimuli.
In 1913 Lyonel instals his easel on the Gothic bridge of Ober-Weimar. With the prismatic cubism, the small bridge becomes a majestic monument that exalts a moment of happiness. The light hues contrast with the gaudy colors with which the artist is accustomed to express an excitement. The oil on canvas Brücke I is kept at the University of St. Louis.
At the beginning of winter 1914-1915 Feininger retrieves his bridge. Now he exults to feel an artistic fullness that answers his questions. Brücke II, oil on canvas 81 x 101 cm, is painted in a cubism similar to Brücke I with the same pleasant tones. The angle of view is however different : absent from Brücke I, the roadway is a path of light that leads to hope.
Brücke II was sold for £ 4.8M including premium by Christie's on February 4, 2014 over a lower estimate of £ 2M. It is estimated £ 4M for sale by Sotheby's in London on February 26, lot 14. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
It is relevant to compare Feininger with Kandinsky. Both are inspired by music to define an absolute art. Weimar is the Murnau of Feininger. After the war both will teach for many years at the Bauhaus.
1914 Beat Up Boy Football Hero by Leyendecker
2021 SOLD for $ 4.1M by Heritage
#HeritageLive: J.C. Leyendecker's "Beat-up Boy, Football Hero,"the cover of a 1914 Saturday Evening Post, made its auction debut today in our American Art event. A long and heated bidding war pushed the final price to $4,121,250. https://t.co/ZFjNvVj2Ia #AuctionUpdate #Art pic.twitter.com/jXSnB5ErGN— Heritage Auctions (@HeritageAuction) May 7, 2021
1914 The Ranger of Algonquin Park
2016 SOLD for $ 1.53M CAD including premium
His life changes in 1914. His artistic patron Dr. MacCallum, a friend of Lawren Harris, offers him a place in the collective workshop and ensures the purchase of his paintings. Thomson arrives in Algonquin Park in late April for a stay of several months during which he becomes a ranger of the park.
This subtle mixing of stability and adventure immediately improves his artistic vision. His views of forest details in Algonquin Park are highly emotional, with unprecedented colors that renounce realism to better express the feeling. The hard conditions of his artistic creation require him to work on canvas of small size 22 x 27 cm which will serve as models for larger compositions executed in the Toronto studio during the next winters.
On November 23 in Toronto, Heffel sells Sleet Storm, oil on canvas mounted on board 22 x 27 cm, made in 1914, which is tentatively one of the first achievements in his phase of great creativity. Spring is about to win over winter. Melted snow is still hanging on the branches but already dispersed by the wind.
Sleet Storm is estimated CAD $ 1M, lot 212, illustrated on page 6 of the flyer announcing the sale.
The ranger of Algonquin Park was a pioneer of Canadian modern art. His new style greatly inspired his Toronto friends who will create the Group of Seven in 1919. Thomson had died by drowning in Algonquin Park in July 1917 in circumstances that were never established.
1914 A Romanov Dream
2016 SOLD for £ 410K including premium
Makovsky's favorite theme was Russian history and its associated epic legends. Ivan Susanin was that elderly peasant who led the Poles in the wrong direction for protecting Mikhail Romanov. Ivan's murder by the soldiers in the wild forest inspired playwrights and opera composers including Glinka in 1836.
The oil on canvas that comes for sale is monumental: 301 x 464 cm. It was executed in 1914, the year following the celebration of the tercentenary of the Romanov dynasty. The animation in the snowy forest is abundant and tragic. The appearance in the top right of an apotheosis of Mikhail Romanov on the Red Square leaves no doubt about the wish of the artist to please the Tsarist power.
This work probably painted in Paris did not reach Russia, first because of the accidental death of the old artist in 1915, then of course because of the Revolution. It was exhibited for the first time in London in 1926, at a time when history painting was well out of fashion.
It appears now as a masterpiece by a contemporary to Alma-Tadema and Cormon.
Please watch the video shared by Sotheby's before the previous sale :
1914 RAOUL DUFY WITH BELLE EPOQUE BATHERS
The mother of the director Gérard Oury was closely linked to Raoul Dufy. It is therefore not surprising that the painter's works form the bulk of the sale of the collection of the filmmaker, on 20 and 21 April at Artcurial in Paris.
All the classic themes of Dufy are present: Deauville, horse racing, casino scenes, still lifes.
Among this set, I chose to present one of the earliest, a large gouache and charcoal, 155 x 131 cm, made circa 1914. At that time, Dufy has already enjoyed the influence of fauvists, of Cézanne, and of his own work for wallpapers that led him to a softening of the lines.
The subject is a young bather lady. by night in front of a lighted building which is probably a casino. She is dressed in strict black bathing costume, according to the fashion of her time, short-sleeved but covering down to just above the knees.
I hope that the estimate, 350 K €, will be achieved. If so, this is a nice price for a gouache.
POST SALE COMMENT
The first day of the sale was a success, with a total of € 5.5 million including expenses.
However, the gouache that I had described was the only one unsold among the 38 presented lots. I noted that the expected price was "nice" for a gouache.
1914-1915 PICASSO ATTRACTED AND REPELLED BY ABSTRACTION
In 1914-1915, they do not laugh in Picasso's home. It's War, moreover his girlfriend is critically ill. His so clear art of previous years is a memory. He produces dark paintings, where only the title remains figurative.
This is the case of these "Instruments de musique sur un guéridon" (Musical instruments on a pedestal), where even the experts from Christie's who expect € 25 million are unable to agree on the nature of the instruments and the position of the furniture.
This oil and sand on canvas, 129 x 89 cm, resembles a stack of paper sheets, some of which would be transparent. The balance of the composition is reminiscent of earlier works of Malevich.
Before I knew it, I had already given the secret of this work in this Group, in my article on the remarkable Gris painting sold $ 21 million charge included in Christie's in New York on November 6. After being inspired with collages for a short period that corresponds exactly to the date of our Picasso, both artists come forward to a style that will allow them to display a three-dimensional illusion again.
This work is the top one of the outstanding sale of this semester: the Yves Saint-Laurent collection, which will be dispersed in Paris by Christie's and Pierre Bergé from 23 to 25 February. The expected price, if obtained, will include this painting among the ten most expensive Picasso's sold at auction ... and the only of them to match this style of transition.
POST SALE COMMENT
In this highly successful historic sale, the Picasso was not sold. I indicated that I had found in the databases no work of Picasso in this style at this price.
Interviewed after the sale, Mr. Bergé is happy to keep this painting. This may explain it!
1915 Sorolla at Bathing Hour
2009 SOLD 1.65 M£ including premium
Sorolla loved the beach scenes of his hometown of Valencia.
In 2003, Sotheby's sold at £ 3.7 million premium included La hora del baño, an oil on canvas 84 x 119 cm painted in 1904. The colors are bright, as always with this painter, but the topic, which includes a naiad, children, a bull, a boat, is difficult to decode.
I prefer the work more intimate, more simple, that Sotheby's presents in London on June 3.
Entitled Niña entrando en el baño, painted in 1915, it shows a young woman ready to enter the sea, dressed in a long shirt fashionable in the seaside at that time. The dynamic movement assesses that Sorolla is sensitive to the best art trends of his time.
Although its dimensions, 86 x 106 cm, are comparable to those of the painting sold in 2003, the estimated 1.7 million £ seems high.
POST SALE COMMENT
The estimate seemed high although the work is nice. Lovers of Joaquin Sorolla bought this painting at £ 1.65 million including expenses.
1915 Thomson in Winter
2009 SOLD 973 KCAN$ including premium
Like many of his countrymen, he was sensitive to large panoramic spaces. On this point, the oil on panel for sale on November 24 in Toronto by Joyner Waddington is an exception. The trees heavily laden with snow of this "Winter Morning" do not allow to go through. Instead, the branches join to form a continuous highly decorative pattern.
The Group of Seven, which I discussed recently about Lawren Harris, acknowledged the pioneering role of Thomson, and we know that this Winter Morning painted in 1915 was particularly appreciated. As all the paintings of Thomson, it is small: 21 x 26 cm. It is estimated 800 KCan$. The image of the lot is shared by CBC News.
The mysterious death of the artist, aged 40, in 1917, is contributing to his legend. The condition of the corpse, found eight days after he disappeared when canoeing in Algonquin Park, has lead to consider a suicide or more likely a murder.
POST SALE COMMENT
Very good price within the range of estimates: sold 973 KCan$ including premium.
1915 a torrid californian summer
2015 sold for $ 305k including premium
These young artists meet regularly with a forester from Laguna Beach who provides them with the wood of their frames and with construction materials. Wendt loves the wildness of the small coves. Located near Santa Ana, Laguna Beach will become a popular summer resort for Hollywood producers and actors.
Wendt explores his new paradise whose warm colors seduce him. An undated oil on canvas 76 x 91 cm shows a panorama at sunset. In front of the sea along Old Coast Road, the cottage is very close to the place where he will install his own home and studio in 1918. This painting was sold for $ 1,56M including premium by Bonhams in Los Angeles on 28 April 2015.
On August 4, the same auction room sells an oil on canvas 103 x 128 cm dated 1915, lot 28 estimated $ 300K.
The title, the Silent summer sea, reflects the artist's ambition to express the torrid beauty of the Californian coast with methods inspired by Impressionism. The contrast between the deep blue of the sea and the clear blue of the sky reminds Monet's experiments in Antibes. The landscape is not located but the dry bare rock enables to suggest that Laguna Beach is not far away.
1915 ELDERLY MAORI BY CF GOLDIE
2010 SOLD 195 KNZ$ BEFORE FEES
Like E.S. Curtis at the other end of the world, Charles F. Goldie wanted to be a witness to a vanishing civilization. He is the author of portraits of Maori elders at a time when only the old chiefs and their families still displayed traditional tattoos on their faces.
Goldie was not understood by his contemporaries: the meticulous realism of his paintings and their small size evoked photography, then considered as a minor art. Opinions vary: he is now greeted as the most important New Zealand artist of his time. However, he remains virtually unknown outside Oceania.
On July 28 in Auckland, International Art Centre sells the portrait of Kapi Kapi, an oil on canvas dated 1915, size 25 x 20 cm, estimated NZ $ 160 K. The alleged centenarian Arawa woman had been one of the artist's favorite sitters.
In March 2008, the same auction house had sold 454 K NZ $ including premium a particularly expressive male portrait.
POST SALE COMMENT
The price obtained, 195 K NZ $, is in the range of estimates. The auction house uses to publish its results before fees.
SWISS MOUNTAINS BY HODLER
2008 SOLD 1 MCHF BEFORE FEES
The recent auction results of landscape paintings by Ferdinand Hodler are a surprising mix of successes and failures, and I wanted to look at this phenomenon more closely.
This Swiss painter began to reach the peaks, it's relevant to say it so!, on November 29, 2005 with an almost abstract 69 x 93 cm painting, representing three prestigious peaks above a sea of clouds, sold 4.8 MCHF at Sotheby's in Zurich.
This trend is confirmed at the same venue on May 31, 2006 with a lake of Geneva that nearly reached 5 MCHF, and on December 5, 2006 with mountains reflected in the lake of Thun, painting sold 5.7 MCHF.
On June 5, 2007, still at the same place and at the same auction house there was the consecration, with a lake of Geneva viewed from Saint-Prex, a little larger (72 x 102 cm), which nearly reached 11 MCHF.
Prices quoted above include the premium.
Are the Hodler prices installed in a sustainable manner to these altitudes? No, not really. Let us continue to observe what is happening at Sotheby's in Zurich.
On November 27, 2007, a dynamic view of the Dents du Midi remains unsold at 5 MCHF.
On May 27, 2008, a Jura view from Lake of Geneva, almost abstract, but a little small (45 x 65 cm) suffered the same fate at 4 MCHF.
Such a phenomenon can happen when an important buyer arrives on the market and then withdraws. I do not know if this is the case here. It will be interesting to see what will happen for two landscapes to be presented by Galerie Kornfeld in Bern on June 6: A beautiful view of the Salève but which is, in 1887, a work of artist's youth (30 x 40 cm, lot 57) and a view of the valley of Saane (Lot 58, 62 x 47 cm). Both are estimated 1.25 MCHF.
POST SALE COMMENT
The results obtained by Galerie Kornfeld confirm that Hodler's paintings have become difficult to sell.
Lot 58, sold 1 MCHF before fees, is thus far from having reached its low estimate.
Lot 57 has not been sold. I am always a little bit surprised that buyers are not really interested in artworks from artists youth. The formation of their style seems equally important as their maturity, which is sometimes repetitive and commercial. This is a personal opinion.
These poor results are recorded in an auction sale which was wisely organized at the same time as Basel fair, and has otherwise obtained excellent results.
1916 Market in Portugal by Sonia Delaunay
2011 SOLD 496 K€ including premium
The theme of the Minho markets had inspired Sonia Delaunay. A painting from that series was sold for € 496K including premium by Tajan on October 22, 2011. It is now listed by Sotheby's.
Here is my previous discussion modified to include the date, estimate and link of the next sale :
The work of Robert and Sonia Delaunay was a real experimental workshop of modern art. Their collaboration was so close that it is unreasonable to consider them separately, although I have not seen an artwork signed by the two artists together.
Before World War I, they use the circle and color to express the pictorial language of life in an abstract vision.
Cubism led them to come back to figurative themes and to the simultaneous expression of form and movement, again through the circle.
A wax painting of 1915 by Sonia on the theme of the Minho market, 91 x 125 cm, was sold for € 4.1 million before fees on June 14, 2002 in Paris by Calmels Cohen over an estimate of € 400K. Brightly colored characters are moving withina vaguely architectured background. This composition rather difficult to decipher, just like the Cubist works of Picasso and Braque at the same time, is in full opposition to any photographic realism.
Another variation on the same subject painted in wax by Sonia in 1916, 93 x 128 cm, is for sale on November 5 by Sotheby's in New York. Its colors are less vivid but more subtle, and the country women at their market are more visible. It is estimated $ 600K, lot 194.
Confirming the relevance of simultaneous analysis of the work of both artists, I note a Portuguese with pumpkin painted in 1916 by Robert, 130 x 97 cm, sold for $ 657K including premium by Sotheby's on May 8, 2008.
1916 People of the Docks
Painted in 1912, the 114 x 161 cm oil on canvas titled Men of the Docks shows daily laborers hiring on Brooklyn Harbor with a huge boat in the background. This masterpiece of American socialist art was bought in a private sale in 2014 for $ 25.5M by the National Gallery of London.
In the summer, the artist enjoyed a relaxing atmosphere in Maine. The war is restarting the shipyards at Camden. Bellows is amazed by the construction of a four-mast cargo ship employing about a hundred workers. He paints a series of scenes on this theme, sometimes including the composite crowds who go about their daily lives. These brightly colored paintings appear resolutely optimistic, like an indirect contribution of Bellows to war patriotism.
Looking out to the sea, Dock builders, oil on canvas 77 x 97 cm painted in 1916, was sold for $ 3.9M including premium by Sotheby's on May 19, 2011.
Looking beyond the crowd to the colossal ship being built in its dry dock, Shipyard Society, oil on panel of the same size also painted in 1916, is estimated $ 4M for sale by Christie's in New York on May 22, lot 34.
1916 The Universal Garden of Claude Monet
Monet executed many preparatory paintings for the Grandes Décorations to see in first-hand the visual effects of his innovations. Even when the brush stroke is complex, these images have the spontaneity of a drawing.
On February 27 in London, Christie's sells as lot 11 Saule pleureur et bassin aux nymphéas (weeping willow and water lily garden), an oil on canvas 180 cm wide in the standard height of the Grandes Decorations, 2 m high. The composition is similar to the left part of the triptych Le Matin aux Saules, dated 1920-1926 but whose gestation in the workshop had already begun in 1916.
This study is an encounter between the elements of nature and the principles of geometry, with the rising vertical of the solid trunk, the descending vertical of the leaves hanging in the air, the horizontal plane of the water lilies on the water, the intangible mirror of the reflections.
The horizon is not visible but the dominant is an intense blue provided in reflection by a pure summer sky, in opposition with the pastel shades of dawn which will be applied to the corresponding picture of the Grandes Décorations. In this experimental work that provides inputs into the artistic process of Monet, each motif is painted with a different stroke, up to including tiny surfaces of bare canvas in some interfaces.
Please watch the short video shared by Christie's.
This painting is certainly anterior to the series of ten opuses on weeping willows executed in 1918-1919 in which the main theme, increasingly close to abstraction, is the light sifted by the foliage.
1916-1919 THE NYMPHEAS OF THE BEYELER COLLECTION
The Nymphéas by Claude Monet are not similar. They differ from each other by the presence or absence of thehorizon or of the edge of the pool, by the more or less realistic or more or less quiet line.
The artist did not date, but the evolution of his art allows a fairly accurate assessment. The oil on canvas, 150 x 200cm, for sale on June 21 by Christie's in London, was painted between 1916 and 1919.
Here the theme is minimized to better exalt the colors. The surrounding only exists through the reflections of thetrees. The work is rather large so that the viewer can immerse in its atmosphere, just like later masters like Rothko orRichter will wish it.
Its pedigree is impeccable. Coming directly from the Beyeler estate, this lot is estimated £ 17M.
It is quite different from the 1919 canvas sold £ 41M including premium at Christie's on June 24, 2008, where thesurface of the water is so admirably rendered by the position of the flowers. Less realistic, less "botanical", the choice of Beyeler fits perfectly in this transition toward abstraction that characterizes the art of the 1910s.
1917 Meeting Point for Artists in Taos
2010 SOLD 735 K$ including premium
The small town of Taos in northern New Mexico is a blessed place of artists who are fascinated by its luminous landscapes and by the beauty of the Indian village. From the early twentieth century, visitors from around the world visited and resided here, forming and renewing some particularly active communities of artists.
On July 24 in Reno, Coeur d'Alene Art Auction sells a painting made in 1917 by the first President of the Taos Society of Artists, Eanger Irving Couse.
E.I. Couse always shows close ups of Native Americans, peacefully busy at their everyday occupationals. A little bit too clean, his compositions have an inside home mood that does not meet the cultural strength of the Curtis photographs but is intimate and sweet.
The artist from Michigan met here an Indian artist drawing a kachina. This oil on canvas, 90 x 115 cm, is estimated $ 800K. It is illustrated in the catalog shared by iCollector.
Twice in recent months, I discussed works made at Taos by residents who went from far away. Fechin came from Tatarstan and Agnes Martin from Saskatchewan.
1917-1933 Alexandre Iacovleff, the Last Wandering Artist
2014 SOLD for £ 300K including premium
At that time when photography has trivialized the images of distant countries, Iacovleff is still a draughtsman and a painter. He produces a prodigious quantity of drawings.
He looks at everything. In the theatre, he is not only interested in the show but also in the attitude of the spectators in the boxes behind their cups and teapots. An oil on canvas 90 x 134 cm was sold for £ 1M including premium by Sotheby's on 28 November 2006. In a bold diagonal, a scene located in Pékin (Beijing), tempera on canvas 108 x 118 cm painted in 1918, is for sale byBonhams in London on November 26, lot 41 estimated £ 500K.
In France, the ethnographic content of his work is recognized. He participates as an artist in two expeditions organized by Citroën to demonstrate the robustness of their vehicles, la Croisière Noire through Africa in 1924-1925. la Croisière Jaune visiting Asia in 1931-1932.
On November 24 in London, Sotheby's sells 97 sketchbooks and journals 18 x 10 cm by Iacovleff covering all his travels from 1917 to 1932 in one lot estimated £ 250K, lot 15.
I invite you to play the video shared by Sotheby's (below).
RESULTS INCLUDING PREMIUM
Sotheby's sold for £ 300K the lot of sketchbooks and journals.
Bonhams sold for £ 300K the Beijing painting.
1918 Vallotton in the Naked Sun
2010 SOLD 2.4 MCHF including premium
An oil painting by Félix Vallotton, 54 x 73 cm, dated 1918, shows that landscape. The Sun is seen from the front, round, orange, violent. The artist had attended the Nabis group, and painted his best landscapes to the extreme limits of the possibilities of color. In this example, the sky, orange and violet, is magnificent.
Vallotton's landscapes are sometimes impersonal. This one is uninhabited, indeed dehumanized. In the darkness, a discreet barrier is the only witness from the civilization. The atmosphere is definitely romantic.
The lot is estimated CHF 1.8 million, for sale by Sotheby's in Zurich on December 6. It is shown in the press release shared by Artdaily.
POST SALE COMMENT
This beautiful sunset is a masterpiece of the artist. It was sold CHF 2.4 million including premium.
1918 the petrified hermit of karelia
He found in Karelia an appropriate place to face the raw forces of nature and develop a new artistic style. Man is very small, drowned into a grandiose setting, yet he dominates the scene by the strength of his mind.
Roerich finds an inspiration in the legend of St Simeon Stylites, the ascetic who prayed for almost forty years without leaving his pillar. On November 26 in London, Bonhams sells The Praying Stylite, tempera and oil on canvas 154 x 129 cm painted in 1918, lot 30, a masterpiece of the Karelian period of the artist.
The holy man almost disappears within expressive mountains with highly saturated colors. He is alone. He prays by standing for so long that his feet are petrified. His silhouette is withered and his beard reaches the knees.
Roerich is a painter of mysticism, not only of Christian mysticism. After Karelia, he traveled extensively, particularly in Asia. His Lao Tze and his Confucius painted in tempera on canvas around 1924 have a similar theme as the Karelian stylite but with lighter colors. These paintings were sold for $ 2.2M and $ 1.25M including premium by Sotheby's on April 26, 2006.
1919 Construction in Red by Rodchenko
2016 SOLD for £ 3.65M including premium
The black square on white was created by Malevich in 1915, two years before the revolution. This seminal piece of the suprematism provides a self-consistent existence to the painted surface devoid of any other meaning.
The October Revolution brings a short lived impression of freedom to the artistic avant-garde. In 1918 Malevich goes further in his process with his white square on white.
Meanwhile Rodchenko endeavors to define a socialist art that must result in practical achievements. His constructivism, based on the predominance of the line, offers the geometric structures on which architectures, furnishings or lamps can be built.
Rodchenko supports his theories with oils on canvas, meticulously realized with the ruler and compass to avoid any trembling of the hand. The principal figures are divergent bundles of lines which are superimposed over grids without however their position responding to any logic of a space arrangement.
On November 29 in London, Sotheby's sells Construction No. 95, 65 x 40 cm, painted in 1919, lot 10 estimated £ 2.5M. The work was titled 'on scarlet' by the artist by reference to its reddish-orange background. This color is not the bright red of the Revolution. It is the symbol of a call to activity according to the theories of the colors by Kandinsky, of whom Rodchenko is very close at that time.
In 1921 the ultimate culmination of the constructivist approach was a series of monochrome paintings in pure colors by Rodchenko. Abstract art began to be considered as a bourgeois threat. The artist then abandoned painting and developed a new career as a socialist decorator, illustrator and photographer.
1919 The Cubist Intelligentsia
2010 SOLD 1.77 M£ including premium
The First World War and its Russian corollary the October Revolution come at a time when modern art invents new languages. Yuri Annenkov managed the feat of showing the Russian personalities of his time with a clever synthesis of realism and cubism.
His sitters are the politicians of the Revolution, and his circle of friends in the arts and letters.
In 1919, the editor Zinovii Grzhebin is one of the protectors of Annenkov. He seeks a middle way between the traditional society and the hope just born from the Revolution. He will not find it. His portrait by Annenkov, an oil on canvas 67 x 54 cm, shows him as an attentive reader with a serious face furrowed by the cubist expressionism of the artist.
This painting is illustrated in the press release shared by AuctionPublicity. It is estimated £ 800 K, for sale by Sotheby's in London on June 7.
In 1922, Annenkov painted the portrait of another friend, the writer Aleksandr Tikhonov. The style and format are similar. Again, the psychological strength is achieved at the expense of a premature aging of the face. This work has been sold £ 2.2 million including premium at Christie's on November 28, 2007.
POST SALE COMMENT
It seemed logical that the portrait of Grzhebin approaches the price of the Tikhonov, which was less interesting to my taste. It has not quite reached it: 1.77 million pounds including premium. It is a good result.
1919 THE THREE TIMES OF THE GRANDE ARABESQUE
2008 SOLD 450 K€ INCLUDING PREMIUM
For Degas, observing the ballerinas is a passion. He seeks to express a synthesis of beauty and motion. The representation in statuettes of the three times of the Arabesque is a remarkable achievement.
He prepared the wax models, 40 to 50 cm high according to the position, around 1890-1895. In 1919, so two years after the death of the artist, Hébrard manufactured the original bronze issue in 22 copies of each of the three statuettes.
It would be fun to combine the three into a single lot at auction, but I have not found any case. We are going to look separately and successively to the three positions of the dance.
At first, she is upright, and she is greeting, with the left foot slightly lifted. This position with no balance effect is the least sought of the three and a price between 200 and 250 K$ is common.
At the second time, the body is bent over the tense right leg. the right arm and left leg are in an extension of the body, and the nice position of the left arm enables the balance. A copy presented by Christie's on November 6 was sold 540 K$ including fees.
In the third time, the right leg has not changed, but the body is now clearly bent down, still with the right arm and left leg in extension. A copy of this imbalanced position will be sold in Paris, Hôtel Drouot, by PIASA on December 12, Lot 3. It is estimated 350 K €.
And now, let's finish with a surprise, found in Artvalue: in November 2000, Christie's sold a fourth time, for 600 K $. The body and right arm are now up. But this is no longer a Grande Arabesque, because it is only 30 cm high. This figure has also been issued in 22 copies by Hébrard.
POST SALE COMMENT
I did not expect such a high result, so it is a pleasant surprise: 450 K € fees included.
1919 A Canna at Lake George
Georgia's approach to the details of nature is methodical and global. She prepares in parallel several supports, paper or canvas, on which she begins a realistic representation of her subject, in watercolor or oil, from the most varied angles. Seeking the purity of forms, she reworks them up to a level of abstraction that suits her.
In 1919 at Lake George, Georgia takes as a model a canna with a bright red flower and a purple leaf and executes six watercolors and eight oils on this theme. A very geometric composition with the triangular flower surmounted by the diagonal leaf, oil on canvas 42 x 26 cm, was sold for $ 960K including premium by Christie's on December 4, 2003.
On May 22 in New York, Christie's sells Inside Red Canna, an oil on canvas 56 x 43 cm estimated $ 4M, lot 12.
Georgia went at the closest of her flower up to satisfying one of her deepest artistic obsessions : achieving a perfect symmetry. The bright red petals protecting the brown and pink intimate center of this plant bring a cozy, almost carnal, impression.
This work is one of those that fed from 1923 the debates on an assimilation of the flower to the artist's sexual anatomy. This interpretation is not credible because the other opus of this series do not have such a characteristic. This fable was probably invented by Stieglitz to draw attention to his wife who was also the model of his photographs, mostly in the nude. Georgia denied, while painting other flowers that illustrated this fantasy of her husband.
THE FRIEND OF WILD BEASTS
2010 SOLD 2.1 M$ INCLUDING PREMIUM
Rembrandt Bugatti has created a unique bestiary. His sculptures have been cast in bronze by one of the best specialists, A. A. Hébrard, and are now much appreciated by collectors.
His passion for his subject led him to the largest zoo in Europe, in Antwerp. He worked by direct observation of animals, encouraged by the zoo director who entrusted him with a workshop. His subjects are active and expressive, the proportions are perfect. The stroke of the chisel of the young master is energetic, without excessive flexibility.
Sotheby's sells on 5 and 6 May in New York eleven sculptures from a collection. The four lots in the evening of May 5 were conceived at Antwerp in 1909 or 1910. The dates of the Hébrard cast are not identified.
The image of the mighty lion illustrates the press release shared by AuctionPublicity. 67 cm long, it is estimated $ 1.5 million. His female, 65 cm, is also there, estimated $ 1.2 million. Sculpted in every sense of the term, the walking baboon, 44 cm, expects $ 2 million. The giraffe with head down, 65 cm high, is announced in the catalog at 900 K $.
Bugatti was perhaps unconsciously one of the founders of modern sculpture. He committed suicide without having achieved fame, like van Gogh. The art market is always welcoming the collections: the sale will certainly push his value.
POST SALE COMMENT
The results are good, with no excess. The baboon received the best price: $ 2.1 million. The lioness and the giraffe were at par with each other: $ 1.4 million each. The lion has not been sold.
These prices include fees.
ETIENNE DINET IN SOUTH ALGERIA
2008 SOLD 1.4 M€ INCLUDING PREMIUM
Life in Algeria so excited Dinet that he was permanently established in Bou Saada, and went to take a Muslim name. For this French painter, life in the oasis is a permanent source of inspiration. The vegetation is tropical, clothes are colourful. Boys play, compete, fight; girls go about their work and bathe in the river, which is of course a good excuse to being naked.
For now twenty years Gros et Delettrez manage twice a year an Orientalist sale at Drouot, which loyal fans of this painter never miss.
The catalogue of the sale of 23 June is now online, and it is Dinet, as usual, which is its highlight.
The important works are a large painting (139x119 cm) showing a mother defending her daughters (Lot 29, estimated 800 K€), two wise girls at bath in the oued, (81x65 cm, lot 28, 500 K€), two girls drying their cloth (81x65 cm, lot 31, 450 K€), and the close-up portrait of an older bather (71x59 cm, lot 30, 600 K€).
There are good results in the archives of the auction house.
In December 2007, three very animated scenes made the best prices, at 1.08 M€, 1 M€ and 900 K€.
In June 2007, a panorama of the palm of Bou Saada with a child far away observing the landscape unexpectedly climbed to 1.55 M€ from an estimate of 450 K€. This work seems atypical in the production of Dinet, who is more accustomed to close-ups. A scene showing two girls jumping with rope was auctioned 850 K€.
POST SALE COMMENT
It is the passion of buyers and not the knowledge of experts who makes the prices of Dinet paintings. This trend in recent years has been remarkably confirmed this time again.
Our young bathers of lot 28, one of which is nude, stopped at 1.4 million €. The mother defending her daughters, one of which also is nude, was sold slightly above the expected price, at 850 K €. This tragic subject has attracted the attention of buyers.
The girl playing with her brother, which illustrated the news article in La Gazette de l'Hotel Drouot, was sold 400 K € on an estimate of 300 K €, and a portrait of an Arab man rose to 220 K € on an estimate of 30 K €.
All these results are given before fees.
The old woman and the scene of laundry remained unsold. I regret a little that the latter, which was nice, has been estimated too high: it would have been interesting to know its exact position in the results of the artist. The girls (nude, of course) were too far to claim the requested sum.