1903 London by MONET
Through his window at the Savoy Hotel, Monet watches Waterloo and Charing Cross bridges in the pink fog of the morning. On one of the first evenings he sees the sunset above the neo-Gothic buildings of the Houses of Parliament and the river. Like Constable, he will be an extraordinary interpreter of the English sky.
The best view is selected in February 1900 from the garden of St. Thomas's Hospital. The artist is already famous. He easily gets the authorization to work every day in this place. Every afternoon at 4:00, he leaves the hotel to retrieve or resettle his easels at the hospital.
The light changes at every moment with the clouds pushed by the wind and the instability of the fog. As for the poplars in 1891, Monet works on several paintings in parallel. His control is total and even his method for applying his brush varies depending on the desired effect.
This project is the most amazing in the history of painting. By considering the three motifs altogether (the two bridges and the Parliament), Monet maintains a hundred paintings during this 1900 stay. He leaves London before spring when the sun is now higher and the light has changed. He returns with his paintings in the following year but snow and cold prevent a new progress.
Monet finishes his paintings at Giverny and scrupulously notes the year of completion beside his signature. He considers the whole as inseparable until the 1904 exhibition by Durand-Ruel that gets a considerable success, anticipating his famous uncompromising attitude before the first exhibition of his Water Lilies series.
2022 SOLD for $ 76M by Christie's
Le Parlement - soleil couchant, numbered 1603 by Wildenstein, was sold for $ 40.5M by Christie's on May 11, 2015, lot 24A. Dated 1902, this painting is one of the first that was completed by the artist, perhaps because the very expressive sky is particularly successful. Despite the clouds, the sun plays behind the high tower and the soft pink shades apply to the edges of the clouds and to the reflections in the river.
The Wildenstein 1604, with the same title and subtitle, was dated 1903 by the artist. Both were included in the 1904 exhibition of Monet's Vues de la Tamise à Londres at the Galerie Durand-Ruel.
Both sceneries were captured at about the same time at around 5 o'clock in another twilight, W1603 at a later date. W1603 displays a striking appearance of the sun amidst dramatic clouds while W1604 is foggy in violets, lilacs, blues and deep pink with a ghostly silhouette of the Parliament buildings.
W1604 was sold for $ 76M from a lower estimate of $ 40M by Christie's on May 12, 2022, lot 10C.
2021 SOLD for $ 48M by Christie's
As early as 1900 he counted in his hotel room 65 canvases covered of paint with his impressions from all kinds of weather. He reworked them simultaneously in his studio at Giverny and signed them with the date of the completion. He thus painted 41 views of the elegant Waterloo bridge, 37 views of Charing Cross bridge and 19 views of the Towers of Parliament. He considered that work as a whole and did not give visibility before the last of them was finished in 1904. He also made pastels.
On May 13, 2021, Christie's sold for $ 48M Waterloo Bridge effet de Brouillard, oil on canvas 66 x 100 cm dated 1903, lot 8 B. The March 18 press release announces an estimate in the region of $ 35M. Please watch the video shared by Christie's.
The intense fog displays here an ethereal blue iridescent with soft hues of violet, pink and orange, dissolving the animation of the passing carriages and reducing the shores to mere shadows. This significant opus had been included in 1904 in the ground-breaking Durand-Ruel exhibition entitled Claude Monet : Vues de la Tamise à Londres.
Charing Cross Bridge
2019 SOLD for $ 27.6M by Sotheby's
In 1891 he had made 23 paintings of his Poplars with only four angles of view for recording all the variations of the day, passing from one canvas to another when the light changes. In London, taking advantage of the benevolent welcome of the hotel, he prepares dozens of canvases to translate in parallel all the shimmers of the morning on Waterloo Bridge and of the early afternoon on Charing Cross Bridge. He observes that some effects of light through the fog do not last more than five minutes.
During this stay he adds a third theme, the late afternoon on the Parliament, probably to offer the public a more traditional view of London than the strict silhouettes of the two bridges. This activity requiring the outdoor installation of his easels is obviously less comfortable. Monet is definitely not a tourist or a stroller : the rest of the city does not interest him.
The change of light in the early spring terminates this session. He returns in 1901 during the same season for completing his preparation. The paintings are finished in the workshop at Giverny. The artist inscribes the year of completion beside his signature.
On November 12 in New York, Sotheby's sells one of the 37 oil paintings on canvas of Charing Cross Bridge, 65 x 100 cm, dated 1903. It is estimated $ 20M, lot 8. This example displays a thick fog made even more abstract by the lack of perspective of the unsightly bridge. The almost imperceptible steam of two trains is dissolved in the mist. A faint light illuminates the center of the image.
This set of nearly one hundred paintings executed in parallel on only three themes was a project without equivalent in the history of art. The Thames in London in the winter fog of was perhaps the only condition in the world worthy to manage such a feat. The mists of Venice are less fugitive, probably explaining the dismay of Monet at the beginning of his stay in the City of the Doges in 1908.
1903 In the Blue of Absinthe
2010 SOLD 34.8 M£ including premium
Les Noces de Pierrette (1905), sold 300 MF on November 30, 1989 in duplex between Paris and Tokyo by Binoche and Godeau, is a scene group charged with intense emotion.
The portraits of friends are extraordinary. The Absinthe drinker of the Andrew Lloyd Webber collection, painted in 1903, 70 x 55 cm, in one of them. There is a wonderful contrast between the cynical face twisted like a Van Gogh and the feverish activity of the hands that prepare the addicting drink. At that time, the dangers of absinthe were not yet known (or not yet accepted by consumers ...).
Lloyd Webber had intended to sell it on November 8, 2006 at Christie's in New York. The lot had been withdrawn from sale after a property dispute dating back to Nazi spoliation. The art market awaited with impatience the come back of this work.
It is now done to the satisfaction of all parties. Christie's will sell it in London on June 23. Estimated $ 40 million in 2006, it is now expecting £ 30 million. The sale is to benefit the charity foundation of the composer.
All the press will talk about it. For not creating jealousy (!!!), here is a link to its photo in 2006 in the Sydney Morning Herald.
POST SALE COMMENT
This remarkable work from the beginning of Picasso's maturity has been sold £ 34.8 million including premium.
1903 Birch Forest by Klimt
2006 SOLD for $ 40M by Christie's
2022 for sale on November 9 by Christie's
waiting for catalogue
Gustav's symbolism is charged with an eroticism which shocks the Viennese. He is not afraid of scandal but needs rest. He spends summers in Litzlberg on the Attersee, where he is the guest of the Flöge family.
In this tranquil atmosphere, Gustav maintains another art. He paints outdoors the landscapes of forests, clearings and ponds on square formats, like Monet is doing at the same time. He does not forget the application to women's clothing, for which depth and horizon are of no use.
An oil on canvas 110 x 110 cm painted in 1903 was sold by Christie's on November 8, 2006 for $ 40M from a lower estimate of $ 20M, lot 51 coming from the restitution to the heirs of the Bloch-Bauer family. The image is shared by Wikimedia.
The birch trees form an unlimited pattern of vertical streaks. The variable width of the trunks removes any illusion of distance and perspective. The leaves on the ground are painted with spots inspired by pointillism which bring a sparkle of colors. Klimt's attention to the applied arts has taken him beyond post-impressionism up to the limits of abstract art, which will be developed by others a few years later.
1902-1904 Fillette à la Poupée by Cézanne
2001 SOLD for $ 16.5M by Phillips, de Pury and Luxembourg
oil on canvas, in lush hues of dark and light blues.
In a pre-Cubist style, the heads of girl and doll are not detailed.
1902-1906 Watercolors by CEZANNE
2020 SOLD for $ 28.7M by Christie's
He is a perfectionist of geometric projection. The paper is flat but the fruits are volumes that the light reaches through their middle. Breakfast utensils, such as a teapot or sugar bowl, are also convex.
The work begins with a drawing of the outlines on a sheet of paper. Each surface is filled with colors that reflect the lighting zones without overlapping. This phase should be intermediate but Cézanne is never satisfied : the finished product, which is oil on canvas, becomes scarce. His rare visitors, like Emile Bernard, are disconcerted by the complexity and slowness of his creative process. His reinterpretation of nature is so innovative that he creates modern art.
On October 6, 2020, Christie's sold as lot 13 for $ 28.7M a still life in watercolor and gouache made in the largest paper size used by the artist, 48 x 62 cm. The focal point is the green melon, with its bright color and its central position in the image. It is however placed on the other side of the table, partially hidden by the milk jug and the sugar bowl.
'The greatest Cézanne watercolour to be offered in decades' — #Cézanne's Nature morte avec pot au lait, melon et sucrier from the collection of Edsel & Eleanor Ford House will be offered in the 20th Century Evening Sale on 6 October in New York: https://t.co/gJGcA3KMtr pic.twitter.com/Ss3mrhbAH9— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) August 30, 2020
Nature morte au melon vert
2007 SOLD for $ 25.5M by Sotheby's
This watercolor and pencil 32 x 48 cm was sold for $ 25.5M by Sotheby's on May 8, 2007 from a lower estimate of $ 14M, lot 8.
1901-1903 The Triumph of Spring
2016 SOLD for $ 20.4M including premium
This first version of L'Eternel Printemps (The Eternal Spring) is carved in the mid 1880s. With the excuse of the reference to Dante in the Gates of Hell and the desire for a total art inspired by Beethoven, Rodin injects in this nude couple an intense erotic surge. The kneeling woman is embraced by the powerful young man. Mouths are joined in a kiss. The title positions the mad love outside the time of our civilizations while evoking the season of sap rising.
Rodin has marbles carved in single blocks by his workshop in response to customer orders. The first marble of The Eternal Spring is started in 1896. The group is now built against a rock which ensures the robustness of the outstretched arm.
The fifth marble of The Eternal Spring is commissioned in 1901 by a friend of Rainer Maria Rilke and completed in 1903, the year when the poet wrote an essay on Rodin. This sculpture 66 cm high and 80 cm long is weighing 154 Kg. It is estimated $ 8M for sale by Sotheby's in New York on May 9, lot 17.
I invite you to watch the video shared by the auction house:
1903 Within the Head of Picasso
2015 SOLD for $ 12M including premium
The early successes of 1901 are now in the past. The blue period poignantly expresses the untimely discovery by this 20 years old artist of this inevitable decay of body and mind that spares nobody, affecting among others the clowns, entertainers and prostitutes. This crisis of melancholy will last three years. His art has probably preserved Picasso against his own suicide.
On November 5 in New York, Sotheby's sells a pastel and pencil on paper 58 x 46 cm painted in 1903, lot 15 estimated $ 8M.
The aging prostitute is seated, legs crossed. She needs customers for living but exhibits her nudity with such clumsiness that nobody will come. She neglects her body as evidenced by her too long hair and by the fact that only one of her legs is naked. The introvert gaze, the unpleasant mouth and the attitude modestly hiding the sex announce that her only possible fate is a further decline.
In 1905, Picasso's life becomes more consistent with his youth. His work amidst fellow artists at the Bateau-Lavoir and his meeting with Fernande pulled out Pablo from his morbid loneliness.
1903 Gabrielle by Renoir
2010 SOLD for $ 10.2M by Christie's
Renoir's brush is quite suited to show the flesh, to which his Impressionism brings softness and sensuality. He also loves the vivid and composed scenes, and takes bathing as a pretext for his female nudes.
In 1903, he ventures to indoor scenes. Seeking to illustrate the intimacy, he does not accept professional models. He turns to Gabrielle, the servant of his children, of whom he had already made pictures better suited to her social role.
But it is a success. Gabrielle in the nude of her 25 years expresses confidence and proximity. The artist has preserved her privacy by covering her thigh with a discrete white linen. The young woman healthy and replete is almost full size on this oil on canvas in horizontal format, 65 x 155 cm.
This painting was sold for $ 10.2M from a lower estimate of $ 7M by Christie's on May 4, 2010, lot 34.