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 The lot had been withdrawn from sale after a property dispute dating back to Nazi spoliation.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.
1902-1906 Breakfast at Les Lauves
2020 SOLD for $ 28.7M including premium
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 in New York, Christie's sells as lot 13 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 press release of August 26 announces an estimate in the region of $ 25M.
A 32 x 48 cm watercolor from the same period was sold for $ 25.5M including premium by Sotheby's on May 8, 2007 from a lower estimate of $ 14M. This close-up still life is focused in similar conditions on a green melon behind a goblet.
'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
1903 Fog on the Thames
2019 SOLD for $ 27.6M including premium
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.
1902-1906 Nature morte au melon vert, watercolor and pencil by Cézanne
2007 SOLD 25.5 M$ including premium by Sotheby's
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 Renoir stripped the Nurse !
2010 SOLD 10.1 M$ including premium
The languorous naked woman lying on a sofa is a classical theme in art. They all look alike, but the style specific to each artist makes them all different.
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 is estimated $ 7 million, for sale by Christie's in New York on May 4.
1903 The Theatre of John Singer Sargent
2013 SOLD 5.2 M$ including premium
Living mostly in Europe, he was one of the first Americans to build an artistic bridge between both continents. He loved the landscapes and scenes of Italy.
This worldly artist grew tired of social relations. As passionate for drawing as Goya was, he turned to a more personal art to such an extent that he closed in 1907 his portrait studio.
Marionettes (behind the curtain), oil on canvas 74 x 53 cm painted in 1903, is an intimate work created by the artist for his own pleasure, and was kept by his family until now. It is estimated $ 5M, for sale by Sotheby's in New York on May 22.
The scene is located in Philadelphia. Four Sicilian immigrants operate rod puppets. The bold composition has three registers, with an angle of view that would have pleased Degas. Separated from the men by the decor, two dolls play a medieval duel in the presence of an old woman.
Sargent loved the theater. This scene where the public is not visible is a juxtaposition between reality and play, with a rare spontaneity.
POST SALE COMMENT
Sold $ 5.2 million including premium, this nice painting has not reached its estimate. Its subject may be too unusual, and its size was small.
The picture is shared by Wikimedia :
1902-1906 The Studio from the Lauves
2014 SOLD 3.55 M£ including premium
The majestic landscape of the Montagne Sainte-Victoire, near his hometown of Aix en Provence, is one of his favorite themes for two decades. His images in the quarries of the mountain are considered are precursors to Cubism.
Cézanne chose a place in the countryside where the mountain view is beautiful and moved his studio, built there in 1902. He did not live there but walked every day from Aix for his work. Until his death in 1906, art of all themes by Cézanne are made in this quiet studio of the Chemin des Lauves where his creativity can no longer be disturbed.
Cézanne made nine oils and seventeen watercolors of Sainte-Victoire from the Lauves. He works outdoors at short distances from the studio but his perception of color shades offers in each of them a renewed harmony.
Throughout his life, Cézanne was a master of watercolor, a technique that enables the maximum transparency over the white paper. In 1904, his friend Emile Bernard came to admire the mastery of execution. Over a rough pencil drawing, the artist positioned successively the colors, meticulously waiting each one to dry before continuing the work, to prevent any unintentional overflow.
One of these watercolors, 43 x 54 cm, was sold for $ 4.5 million including premium by Christie's on November 6, 2007. It is estimated £ 3.5 million, for sale by Christie's in London on June 24.
POST SALE COMMENT
This watercolor from the later career of Cézanne was sold for £ 3.55M including premium.
1903 The Water Garden of L. C. Tiffany
2018 SOLD for $ 3.4M including premium
Trained as an artist, Tiffany is a great lover of gardens. The first release in his new line of products is the wisteria lamp, with an irregularly fringed lower edge that underlines the shape of the plants.
The Pond Lily lamp designed in 1902 is in line with another preference of Tiffany who maintained water gardens in his country estates. Its bell shaped shade is a technical feat because the upper part showing radiating stems on a blue background is an assembly made entirely of glass pieces not reinforced with bronze. Although it appears in the price list until 1906, it seems that its production has been stopped early.
14 lamps of this model have survived. One of them, with a 46 cm diameter lampshade and a 67 cm overall height, is particularly appealing in its colorful composition. It is estimated $ 1.8M for sale by Christie's in New York on December 13, lot 9. Please watch the very short video shared by the auction house.
This unit is dated 1903 with a near certainty by the rare conjunction of the new Tiffany Studios New York trademark with their old system of nomenclature of the elements.
1903 Shades and Vines
2018 SOLD for $ 2.3M including premium
In 1901 he entrusts the realization of lampshades in favrile glass to his Women's Glass Cutting Department. The shade will then be mounted on a bronze base. The whole will display exquisite floral patterns.
The wisteria lamp demonstrates the feasibility of the project. On a flared bell shaped wooden mould, the Tiffany Girls assemble about 2,000 tiles in all colors, with a fringed lower edge that underlines the descending bunches of flowers. Bronze vine shoots provide the rigidity to this fragile form.
The mould of the wisteria lamp is then used with other color combinations composed of bigger tiles. The diversified offering now includes Trumpet Creeper, Grape and Apple Blossom shades. Three of these four variants illustrate vines, obviously matching a botanical preference of the boss.
For each model, the units are distinguished from each other by the small details of their color schemes. The passion of the amateurs generates now the diversity of the auction prices.
Made around 1905, a wisteria lamp with gradual luminous colors was sold for $ 1.57M including premium by Sotheby's in New York on December 18, 2013 over a lower estimate of $ 600K. It comes to the same auction room with the same estimate on December 12, lot 326.
The same sale also offers a rare Trumpet Creeper lamp made around 1903. It is estimated $ 800K, lot 327.
RESULTS INCLUDING PREMIUM :
Wisteria lamp SOLD for $ 950K
Trumpet creeper lamp SOLD for $ 2.3M