Sotheby’s Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in New York on 4 November 2009 presents an amazing range of work from a group of classic Impressionist pictures by Renoir, Pissarro and Sisley from the family of famous dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, to key works by modern masters such as Picasso, Giacometti, Derain and Joan Miró.
Many are fresh to the market as they come from private collections and estates and . Prior to the auction, the works will be on view in Sotheby’s 10th floor galleries from 30 October to 4 November 2009.
Late works by Pablo Picasso have been very successful at auction this year and Sotheby’s is offering one of the artist’s greatest monumental interpretations of the musketeer, Buste d’homme (est. $8/2 million). In October 1969, Picasso executed several canvases on the theme of a man seated in an armchair and the present oil is the largest of the group (195 x 130 cm). The canvas was included in the 1970 exhibition of the artist’s recent work at the Palais des Papes in Avignon and has not been shown publicly since. The recent exhibitions Picasso et les maîtres at the Grand Palais in Paris, and Picasso: Challenging the Past at the National Gallery in London have led to a critical reappraisal of Picasso’s late years which are now recognized as one the most fertile and inspired periods of the greatest artist of the 20th century . The present work has been consigned by a Private European Collection and has never before been offered at auction.
Another classic Impressionist work from a private Belgian collection is Claude Monet’s Clématites (est. $2.5/3.5 million). Painted in Monet’s garden at Giverny in the summer of 1887, the present work belongs to a series of paintings in which flowers dominate the picture space to the exclusion of any sort of landscape or contextualizing background. In its scale and focus, the present painting prefigures the artist’s later fascination with waterlilies. The single-minded concentration on leaf and petal spread out across the picture plane provides a precedent for the waterlily compositions, leading ultimately to the dissolution of form by light and color which led Monet to the limits of abstraction.
Seven paintings from the Durand-Ruel Family encompass works by a number of the Impressionist masters that legendary art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel represented — Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley. All but one work were acquired by Durand-Ruel directly from the artists and all have remained in the family ever since. This direct line from the great champion of Impressionism is a truly impeccable provenance. Three works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir will be offered including Femme au Chapeau Blanc which belongs to a series of oils that Renoir completed in the early 1890s of young women wearing elaborate chapeaux (est. $2.5/3.5 million).
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