2007 SOLD for $ 39M by Sotheby's
The colonial atmosphere of Papeete is nothing authentic. Gauguin finally finds in the village of Mataiea the living conditions which he can consider as an unsoiled civilization. He admires the innocent nudity.
Gauguin paints a lot in Mataiea. He is very inspired by the beautiful colors of these shaded landscapes and by the amber skins of the women. He selfishly sees the sexual life as the central theme of his ethnico-mystical exploration. His very young mistress certainly helps this European in exile to understand the exotic traditions.
Te Poipoi, oil on canvas 68 x 92 cm painted in 1892 in the early fall, was sold for $ 39M including premium by Sotheby's on November 7, 2007, lot 18. The image is shared by Wikimedia.
Te Poipoi means The morning. The very bright colors painted in solid style anticipate the fauvism. Two women, one crouching in the foreground and the other standing further away, do their ablutions in the blue water. The landscape is made complex by the reflections of trees and foliage.
Nafea Faa Ipoipo?, meaning When shall you get married?, is a genre scene from the same series, showing a woman protecting or presenting a girl. This oil on canvas 101 x 77 cm was sold in private sale in February 2015 to the sister of the Emir of Qatar. The price of $ 300M announced at that time would have claimed a record. After a legal action between the seller and the broker, the price of $ 210M was disclosed in 2019.
The Tropical Peace of Paul Gauguin
2017 SOLD for £ 20.3M including premium
In 1892 in Mataiea, he meets his dream of developing a new art based on a subtle blend between the observation of landscapes and people and an exaggerated imagination of colors that will soon influence Matisse. His ideal landscape is not a topographical reality. His characters and horses are fixed for eternity in a static occupation.
Te Hare (la maison), oil on canvas 73 x 92 cm, is one of these peaceful scenes. This house is the hut that the painter rents in the village. Or not : it does not matter. It is dominated by a tall hibiscus tree. The extreme colors of tree and hills express the tropical moisture.
The rejection of Europe by Gauguin is extremely violent but not final. He returns to France with the intention of showing how his art has evolved. The exhibition of his Tahitian masterpieces by Durand-Ruel in 1894 horrifies Monet, Renoir and Pissarro. In the sale organized in 1895 at Drouot to finance the last exile of Gauguin, Te Hare is acquired by Daniel Halévy, encouraged by the last master who still understood and encouraged the artist, Edgar Degas.
Te Hare was sold in November 7, 1991 by Ader Picard Tajan for FF 52M, a very high price for that time. This painting is estimated £ 12M for sale by Christie's in London on February 28, lot 18. Painted in the same year, Le Vallon, 42 x 67 cm, was sold for £ 6.4M including premium by Christie's on June 21, 2011.
Please watch the video shared by Christie's :
Christie’s Announces £12m Gauguin, Matisse for March in London https://t.co/C91maVwpfp pic.twitter.com/z1lTJOJtU4— Art Market Monitor (@artmarket) February 7, 2017
Nature Morte aux Fruits et Piments
2007 SOLD for $ 12.4M by Christie's
It is dated '92 by the artist. The elongated format 32 x 66 cm was also used for a few vertical landscapes. It must be correlated with a period in that year when the artist was not in shortage of canvases.
Gauguin owned and kept in France a Nature morte au compotier by Cézanne. Nevertheless, that Gauguin still life is not in the complicated style of Cézanne. It expresses the quiet serenity of life in the Polynesian countryside.
Gauguin painted by memory and imagination. The fruits in the dish are probably Tahitian oranges. They are surrounded by hot red and green peppers. Both are not a memory from his food : he refused gifts from the natives in Mataiea who were innocent of trading money and he relied for his diet upon tinned goods sold by the local Chinese merchant.
1892 Charms of a Shiny Sun
2019 SOLD for £ 19.5M including premium
In 1891 Seurat suddenly dies at 31 years old. Signac, very shocked, tries unsuccessfully to promote the art of his friend. In the same year Cross settles in Le Lavandou for therapeutic reasons. He advises Signac to come back to vigor under the sun of the South.
A great lover of yachting, Paul Signac leaves Brittany in the following year and sails to the Mediterranean Sea through the Canal du Midi. He is dazzled by Saint-Tropez, a small fishing village that is at that time only accessible by boat. He settles therein permanently. The beauty of this place isolated from the rest of the world satisfies his quest for an anarchist paradise on earth.
Signac immediately applies his artistic theories to the shiny sun of Saint-Tropez. On February 27 in London, Christie's sells as lot 26 an oil on canvas 65 x 81 cm painted in 1892, identified in his ledger as Opus 236 with the title "Le Port au soleil couchant". The splendid colors are enhanced in naive style outlines in the taste of Seurat.
The next Opus, 237, is titled Maisons du Port, Saint-Tropez. Signac applies here a less poetic drawing where the too visible dots come to blur the desire for a topographic realism. This smaller oil on canvas 47 x 55 cm was sold for $ 10.7M including premium by Sotheby's on May 9, 2016, lot 8.
Christie’s Says Signac Record Should Fall in February https://t.co/kiK5SLH1qb pic.twitter.com/Nn3ZvtUoCf— Art Market Monitor (@artmarket) October 26, 2018
1892 Le Portail (Soleil) by Monet
2000 SOLD for $ 24M by Sotheby's
Monet dedicates most of 1892 to the facade of the Cathédrale de Rouen. He will rework his paintings in the meantime between his visits and afterward until 1894. He selected his 20 preferred opuses for an exhibition by Durand-Ruel in 1895.
In his first visit in Rouen, he takes two views from the street. The rest will not be a homogeneous series but four sub-series successively taken from the window of different apartments or shops.
The artist is demanding. For Le portail vu de face, only one painting was completed. An unfinished Etude, oil on canvas 92 x 73 cm, was sold for $ 1M by Christie's on May 9, 2001, lot 2.
The next stay is a great demonstrator of the new conception of the series. The subject is the changing light on the stone of the portal from midday to twilight, with only a limited area left to the sky. Le Portail (Soleil), oil on canvas 100 x 65 cm, is arguably the most luminous of the series beside the other example kept at the Met. It was sold for $ 24M by Sotheby's on May 10, 2000, lot 15. The image is shared by Wikimedia.
From the next sub-series, Le Portail (Plein Soleil), oil on canvas 106 x 73 cm dated 1894 after completion by the artist, was sold for £ 7.6M by Christie's on June 26, 1995, lot 10.
1892 Les Joueurs de Cartes by CEZANNE
L'Homme à la Pipe
2015 SOLD for $ 21M by Christie's
Cézanne is an experimenter of the colors. They form flat areas that come together to build the figurative scene. He paints the Montagne Sainte-Victoire, and self-portraits, and still lifes, and bathers.
In his exile away from the bourgeois society, Cézanne watches the peasants. Each one has his physical look, his straight or vaulted attitude, his behavior, his hat. The artist observes them individually before bringing them together in the group.
He chooses the theme of the card players, his deepest attempt to express, not reality, but life.. He observes humble men, a worker or a gardener of his house. They do not cheat, do not joke, they smoke and drink peacefully. They no longer need to understand the universe : they are totally focused on their useless game.
The dates and even the chronology of the five oil versions are not identifiable. One of them was in February 2012 the most expensive work of art in the world when it was reported that Qatar purchased it privately for $ 250M in a private sale.
Cézanne made several preparatory watercolors for the Joueurs de cartes. Two of them, each showing one of the major players, have such a similar format and technique that they appear as pendants, certainly as the final study before one of the oils. They were made in 1892 or shortly after.
The watercolor of the taller fellow, 48 x 32 cm, was sold for $ 21M by Christie's on November 9, 2015, lot 7A. A portrait of Père Alexandre was made by the same artist on the back of this paper. The image below is limited to the upper part of that card player.
Paul #Cézanne, L'homme à la pipe, is another highlight from our Nov 9 Artist's Muse sale: https://t.co/K1dfaeJjwa pic.twitter.com/8dyzQjVSHv— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) October 23, 2015
2012 SOLD for $ 19M by Christie's
It features the small man who will be sitting on the right in the least animated three paintings, those showing only two players, which probably are the final versions. The sitter was identified : a gardener who worked for the artist.
1892 Two Women and No Man
2015 SOLD for £ 10.8M including premium
Lautrec soon becomes a familiar of the brothels of Montmartre. He develops a specific technique of paint à l'essence that gives to oil painting a look similar as pastel. Living permanently with the girls, he received some commissions for the decoration of brothels.
The cripple artist is welcomed to such a point that he may attend the moments of rest and relaxation of the prostitutes. An observer of sensuality like Degas and Rodin, Lautrec is excited by the transgression of the bourgeois prohibition of the homosexuality. When they are not working, the girls in his brothels live their intimacy between them, without a man.
On February 3 in London, Sotheby's sells Au Lit : Le Baiser, an intimate scene where the viewer cannot dispute that the artist did not disturb the women in their erotic action. The sensuality emanating from this picture is strengthened by the fact that they are not naked.
This peinture à l'essence on panel 39 x 58 cm painted in 1892 is estimated £ 9M, lot 18.
Within the theme of lesbian intimacy by Lautrec, it anticipates L'Abandon (Le Repos), painted in 1895, sold for £ 6.2 million including premium by Christie's on 4 February 2009, and also the portfolio Elles printed in 1896.
#Toulouse-Lautrec's painting of #Paris's 'maisons closes' makes its auction debut, selling for £10.8m #AuctionUpdate pic.twitter.com/3YC4yBsfqc— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) February 3, 2015
1892 Slightly More than a Chat on the Pillow
2015 SOLD for $ 12.5M including premium
The maisons closes are on the decline. The holders rely for their business on a fragile and ephemeral respectability compared with the street walkers, young provincial girls who transmit their diseases in an uncontrolled freedom and who are named the insoumises by their customers.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec appreciates that his infirmities prevent him from starting a family. His dwarfism which had been aggravated by an accident to the legs could indeed be hereditary.
In 1892, the madam of the rue d'Amboise takes some interest in the small man who is different from the other customers and whose artistic skill is already recognized. She commissions him with small portraits of her residents. Lautrec quietly observes them in their daily occupations.
These women who spend their professional time with men are homosexual, as their fellow women who run other exposed jobs like in circus, cabaret or music hall. In their time off, far away from the money of the males, they find together the only intimacy of their lives.
The artist takes advantage of his whereabouts in the maison of the rue d'Amboise for capturing scenes of female couples in bed which he realizes in paintings on boards according to his own technique à l'essence that imitates the pastel.
One of these paintings, quite hot although the women are not naked but in their underwear, 39 x 58 cm, was sold for £ 10.8 million including premium by Sotheby's on February 3, 2015.
A more tender scene also painted in 1892, 46 x 59 cm, is estimated $ 10M for sale by Christie's in New York on November 9, lot 16A. The two young brunettes, with their bodies comfortably laying within the linen, are closely embracing and make a sustained kiss on their shared pillow.
#HenriDeToulouseLautrec reaches estimate and sticks for a $12,485,000 final @ChristiesInc pic.twitter.com/x3poq29nAC— Art Observed (@ArtObserved) November 10, 2015
1892 Light on the Scheldt
2017 SOLD for £ 8.5M including premium
The followers of this movement early reach its limits. The brightness can actually be spectacular but only if the composition is overwhelmed by yellow and orange. The weakening of the other colors considerably reduces the themes.
Seurat died prematurely in 1891. Signac left to meet the sun. His oil on canvas 47 x 55 cm painted in 1892 showing Saint-Tropez under a top midday sunshine was sold for $ 10.7M including premium by Sotheby's on May 9, 2016.
Théo van Rysselberghe is a friend of Signac with whom he shares the anarchist opinions. He is convinced by the divisionnisme without joining its luministe variant promoted by Emile Claus and other Belgian néo-impressionnistes.
In 1892 and 1893 van Rysselberghe achieved some sensational luminosity in his oils on canvas. Decidedly attracted by the sun he settled in Provence in the late 1890s but already his art had become classic again.
On June 21 in London, Sotheby's sells L'Escaut en amont d'Anvers le soir, oil on canvas 67 x 90 cm painted in 1892. The composition is very simple, only displaying four poles and their reflections and a small sailboat that merges into the twilight blue of the other bank of the river. Sky and water are glowing. Remaining in its original artist's frame this painting is estimated £ 7M, lot 59.
#AuctionUpdate Showing his mastery of the #pointilliste technique, one of Théo van Rysselberghe’s finest #landscapes sells for record £8.5m pic.twitter.com/a7lGnm4Dpg— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) June 21, 2017