1896 Repetition of the Dawn
2018 SOLD for $ 20.5M including premium
Les Peupliers, like Les Meules in 1890-1891 and Les Cathédrales de Rouen completed in 1894, address all the hours of the day, offering too much contrasts between the paintings of the series. The success of these three sets is considerable with the public but the aesthetic result cannot fully satisfy the demanding artist.
During the summer of 1896 Monet gets up every day at 3:30am, operates up to 14 canvases in parallel with the help of an assistant always at the same place at the confluence of the Epte and the Seine rivers, paints the mists when they dissipate at sunrise and leaves for the rest of the day. The title of the series is Matinée sur la Seine. Some paintings are panoramic but others are square, which is bold for a landscape.
He has no luck. Summer and the beginning of autumn are very rainy. He finishes only four paintings at the end of this season. One of them, 89 x 92 cm, was sold for $ 5.7M including premium by Sotheby's in New York on November 9, 2000. It returns at the same venue on May 14, lot 15 estimated $ 18M. The poor weather brings soft contrasts without saturating the shadows.
Monet returned to the same river bank in 1897 without changing anything in his creative process from the previous year, bringing the total of the Matinées to 22 paintings. One of them on which the sun rays are just reaching the trees in the background, also 89 x 92 cm, was sold for $ 23.4M including premium by Christie's on November 13, 2017.
Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
A highlight of #SothebysImpMod Evening Sale in #NYC, Claude Monet's Matinée sur la Seine is now on view in London. Stop by 34-35 New Bond Street through 5pm GMT tomorrow to visit this dreamlike scene and head over to our website to learn more: https://t.co/5MHWXEdwzu pic.twitter.com/cSZJwSAYcf— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) April 9, 2018
1896 Gauguin keeping cool in Tahiti
2017 SOLD for £ 8.4M including premium
At the end of his stay in Brittany, the Vision of the Sermon (Jacob's Fight with the Angel) (1889) was a social and religious critical comment, one of the most powerful images from the metaphysical art, but also, of course, the expression of his own doubts and anxieties. It was urgent that Gauguin keeps cool.
The Tahitian vahines are not the gullible Breton women of the Sermon, whom they do not know. Their peaceful life, close to nature, provides a boost of inspiration to the artist.
A group of women is shown in the small oil on canvas 26 x 32 cm dated 1896 titled Te Arii vahine. The two women in the foreground are nude and quiet. It was sold on June 18, 2010 by Kornfeld for CHF 5.5M before fees and for £ 8.4M including premium by Sotheby's in London on March 1, 2017, lot 15.
It is an important work, one of those which prepared the two masterpieces of the Polynesian period of Gauguin: the calmed metaphysics of Where do we come from? Who are we? Where are we going? (1897) and the tribute to the women in And the Gold of their Bodies (1901).
1896 The Old Wyoming
2015 SOLD for $ 8.6M including premium
The village of Green River in Dakota Territory is served by the Pacific section in July 1868 before the famous transcontinental junction of 10 May 1869. Green River will be part of Wyoming in the later division of states.
Green River was incorporated as a city in 1868 and became a rallying point for geological and geographical expeditions starting with Powell in 1869.
Thomas Moran arrives by train to Green River in 1871 to join the Hayden expedition. The admirer of Turner is dazzled by the variety of colors: the reflection in water adds green and lavender to the yellow and orange of the cliffs. He immediately realizes a first watercolor. He does not seek realism but idealization and the result is sumptuous.
The Cliffs of Green River, Wyoming is one of the finest western landscapes and Moran painted this scenery in different sizes without changing the composition.
An oil on canvas 64 x 122 cm painted in 1878 was sold for $ 17.7M including premium by Christie's on 21 May 2008. A later version in the same technique, 51 x 76 cm painted in 1896, is estimated $ 6M for sale by the same auction house in New York on May 21, lot 7.
1896 Typically Far West : the bronzes of Frederic Remington
2008 SOLD 5.6 M$ including premium
Very animated, with two horses full speed and two riders on their backs, the lot 171 is titled Wounded Bunkie. Estimated 3 M$, it is a 51 cm high bronze of red brown patina edited in 1896.
Quite as dynamic with its rider on a pulled up horse, the 57 cm high Outlaw, lot 167, is awaited 2 M$. Edited in 1906, therefore still during the artist's life, it is a dark brown patina bronze.
These two lots will be sold for the benefit of a charitable foundation.
Reviewing the other bronzes of Remington presented in the same catalogue, one can think that the importance of the price is related to the model, and especially to the dramatic intensity of the action. It is what still makes it possible to envisage Mountain Man at 400 K$ (lot 158) but leaves a rather insipid Scalp, lot 179, at 250 K$.
But it is not so simple: in the past, the important biddings mostly went on Broncho Busters, these models culminating with the specimen sold 2,6 M$ fees included at Christie's, of course in New York, on November 29, 2007. There is well also a Broncho Buster at Sotheby's on May 22, lot 163, but it is estimated 500 K$ only. All these sculptures are of similar size and times, and it would be necessary to be in the passion of the subject to identify what makes the difference of price between these specimens.
POST AUCTION COMMENT
The auction house knew about it. Among the five bronzes that I had identified, the most expensive made the best gains. The three following lots were also sold beyond estimate.
Here are their results, including the fees: $ 5.6 million for Wounded Bunkie; $ 3.4 million for Outlaw; 710 K$ for Broncho Buster; 540 K$ for Mountain Man.
I was not entirely wrong either, even if my explanations do not yet understand everything about the ratings for Remington: Scalp, which from the photo was not of interest, did not find buyer, on an estimate of 250 K€. For this artist like everyone else, the signature is not enough to predict a price.
By the way, here is a competitor for Remington: on July 26 in Reno at The Coeur d'Alene Art Auction, a large bronze by Charles M. Russell is estimated $ 3 million. It shows Indians on horseback attacking cattle. (SOLD 3.6 M$ before fees).
1896 The Twilight of Shishkin
2013 SOLD 2.15 M£ including premium
He retired from teaching in 1896 and decided to devote more time to outdoor painting. He shares this activity between two residential sites, Vyra where he owns a dacha and Siverskaya which he had visited all along his career.
Gradually, his interest is shifting from realism to impression. The forest is now seen as a whole and not just as a juxtaposition of majestic trees.
An example comes from Vyra. A clearing in an oak forest, oil on canvas 119 x 171 cm, was sold for $ 3.2 million including premium by Christie's on 18 April 2008.
Also painted in 1896, a twilight in the pine forest of Siverskaya is for sale on June 5 by MacDougall's in London. This oil on canvas, 162 x 121 cm, is estimated £ 1.2 M.
Shishkin expresses the purity of the evening light after a storm. He is not a poet like Aivazovsky. His art and colors are totally realistic, but he now attaches the utmost attention to extreme lights of the day.
Unfortunately this highly productive period was too short. Shishkin died at work two years later.
1896 The Proof Sheets of the Educational Series
2011 SOLD 1.26 M$ including premium
On August 17, 2011, Stack's Bowers sold for $ 1.26 million including premium one of the most unusual sets of US bank notes. I had commented before the sale: Prestigious issue, full set, first copies, uncut, not circulated. All the qualities are in place for expecting $ 1M on this lot.
Here is the rest of my article of 2011:
The series of Silver Certificates of 1896, known as the Educational Series, is often considered as the most artistic engraving in the history of American paper money. It was issued in three denominations, $ 1, 2 and 5, by the Treasury.
On the observe, the $ 1 note shows History educating a youth at Washington DC. The $ 2 is devoted to Science: Electricity and Steam are two children looked favorably by the elder figures of Commerce and Manufacture. For $ 5, America dominates the World with the help of Electricity. The back is devoted to portraits of famous American people, two for each value.
The head of the Bureau of Printing and Engraving received an authorization from his administration to keep the first sheet of each of the three values, each sheet including the serial numbers 1 to 4 of these editions. He did not cut them, and had them bound along with a short explanatory typewritten text in a thin book of tall folio size, 20 x 34 cm.
After 2011, this volume has been reworked. The sheets of bank notes have been professionally removed from the book and analyzed by PMG (Paper Money Guaranty) which graded them AU55 (About uncirculated).
The complete set is coming back to auction in one lot estimated $ 1.5 million for sale in Chicago on August 7, again by Stack's Bowers. It is illustrated in the release shared by CoinWeek.
POST 2014 SALE COMMENT
Unsold. It was not a good idea to break up the document and increase the price.
1896 The English Trophy
2020 SOLD for £ 760K including premium
This competition is symbolized by a trophy which is entrusted to the winning club until the final of the following year. This heavy piece of silverware to be lifted by two large handles goes from club to club. It was stolen in September 1895. Despite a promised reward of £ 10, it was not found. Much later, a counterfeiter will declare without convincing proof that he had stolen it in order to melt it.
A new trophy was therefore needed for 1896. It was made by a Birmingham silversmith as an exact replica of the lost piece of which a cast had been preserved. It is 41 cm high, 51 cm overall with the plinth, and its cover is decorated with a footballer.
A design change is decided in 1910 with the intention of protecting a new model by copyright. The obsolete trophy, which bears the list of winning clubs from 1872 to 1910 spread over several cartouches, is presented to FA President Lord Kinnaird, a champion who had been a member of its council since 1868.
In the direct descent from the Lord, the cup was sold for £ 480K including premium by Christie's on May 19, 2005, lot 100. It is estimated £ 700K for sale by Bonhams in London on September 29, lot 6.
□Up for the Cup□— Bonhams (@bonhams1793) September 8, 2020
We're offering a piece of English football history in our Spectacular Sporting Trophies & Memorabilia auction on September 29 – the oldest surviving FA Cup presented to winning teams between 1896 and 1910 □https://t.co/g2VHODn6ds pic.twitter.com/FVX285eggD
□The oldest surviving FA Cup, presented to the winning teams between 1896-1910, sold at #Bonhams today for £760,000□️— Bonhams (@bonhams1793) September 29, 2020
The trophy charts the transformation of the game from one dominated by public school players to the popular mass participation sport that it became and remains. pic.twitter.com/W3ukAOdbs7
Prints by MUNCH
1896 Loneliness on Beach
2013 SOLD for £ 2.13M by Christie's
In 1896, he comes back to Paris where he perfects his experiences of all printmaking techniques. Aquatint gives the possibility to vary the balance of colors from one copy to another of the same image.
An aquatint and drypoint of the young woman on the beach had a production run of only eleven copies. Well centered, the lonesome figure turns her back to us as in the original design. She is tall, and her straight attitude in her beautiful white dress shows that she has no other problem than her solitude. She communicates with her environment through the wind that plays with her very long hair.
Printed in light blue, brown, gray and pink, one of them from variant Woll 3 was sold on March 20, 2013 by Christie's for £ 2.13M from a lower estimate of £ 500K, lot 70. The woman displays a striking contrast against the saturated colors of shore and sea. The image measures 29 x 22 cm on a 45 x 31 cm sheet.
1896 Evening Melancholy
2013 SOLD for £ 960K by Sotheby's
The woman finally discards her lover. Such a story is not uncommon. Edvard views Jappe's despair as a mirror of his own affair with another girl a few years earlier. Eager to express extreme feelings, Edvard begins a series of paintings on the theme of Melankoli. We do not know if Edvard's creativity comforted Jappe but their friendship survived.
In 1895 and 1896 Edvard collected his most significant pictures to prepare engravings. The lines are in conformity with the paintings but the colors vary from one copy to another, certainly for the use of the artist himself who finds by such a process an easy way to master the emotional impact.
On October 23, 2017, Sotheby's sold for $ 610K a copy of Evening - Melancholy I realized in 1896, lot 95. The woodcut print 38 x 46 cm was made from two blocks. This copy in black, gray and ocher is particularly gloomy.
A copy in softer tones was sold for £ 960K by Sotheby's on September 17, 2013, lot 107.
In 1902 Munch realized a new series in the same size, titled Melancholy III. The left-right composition is inverted from the 1896 version but in conformance with the original painting. A copy was sold for $ 470K on October 23, 2017, lot 84.
2008 SOLD for $ 890K by Sotheby's
The original edition of Angst is not a lithograph but a woodcut. The second edition is not a chromolithograph but a two-colored woodcut.
All characters are looking in the direction of the viewer with small hallucinated eyes while ignoring one another. They turn their backs from the fjord. The tormented sky which occupies all the upper half of the image makes this work a counterpart to The Scream. The artist is not mistaken : describing much later the preparatory phase of his Frieze of Life, he puts forward these two works along with Madonna and Vampyr.
After a first state, Vollard chooses Angst among the images to be published in his ambitious album of color lithographs titled Les Peintres-Graveurs. This second and final state of Angst is printed in 1896 by Clot in 100 copies 41 x 39 cm on wove paper. This lithograph is in two tones, a dismal black for the whole figurative part and a scary blood red for the sinuous lines that fill the sky.
The copy 16/100 of that second edition was sold by Sotheby's for $ 890K on May 1, 2008, from a lower estimate of $ 200K, lot 147.
The copy 4/100 with full margins 57 x 43 cm from the same edition was sold for $ 830K by Christie's on April 18, 2019, lot 151.
The copy 50/100 from the same edition had been sold for the same price by Sotheby's on October 27, 2016, lot 11.