1904 The Antique Nile of Alma-Tadema
2010 SOLD 35.9 M$ including premium
He followed a theme that appealed to the public of his time: the exotic antiques. He was amazed by the collections of the British Museum, and featured his characters amidst monuments for which he relied on photographs. He particularly liked the marble seats in which he showed languid ladies.
Strong personality, he had managed his career and became wealthy and famous. His name was Laurens Alma Tadema, which he adapted to be better positioned in alphabetical lists. He gave an opus number to each of his paintings, creating himself a record that protected his work against counterfeits.
He would not adapt to the trends of modern art, and was forgotten for more than half a century after his death.
Opus CCCLXXVII is best known in the art market, having been sold $ 2.7 million including premium at Christie's on May 25, 1995. This is a commissioned work for the benefit of the engineer who had invited him in 1902 at the opening of the Aswan Dam.
Completed in 1904, this large oil on canvas, 137 x 213 cm, shows a scene from the finding of Moses on the Nile. Pharaoh's daughter is surrounded by an opulent procession of servants and slaves. From the top of her carriage, she fondly looks at the baby in his basket, carried by two women.
This lot is again for sale, estimated $ 3M, by Sotheby's in New York on November 4.
POST SALE COMMENT
Two very high results were recorded in this sale of Belle Epoque art. The painting of Alma-Tadema, subject of this article, was sold for $ 35.9 million including premium. A woman's portrait painted in 1892 by Boldini, 201 x 101 cm, was sold for $ 6.5 million including premium on an estimate of $ 1M.
Analyses will certainly be made to understand this shift in the market for a period that seemed difficult to sell. We can already say with certainty that some artworks will reappear on the market. Expect Gérôme, Béraud, Bouguereau, ...
The image is shared post sale by Artdaily.
Shared on Wikimedia :
1904 Waterloo Bridge by Monet
effet de brume
2022 SOLD for £ 30M by Christie's
On June 28, 2022, Christie's sold for £ 30M Waterloo Bridge, effet de brume by Monet, lot 34.
This oil on canvas 65 x 100 cm dated 1904 displays a moment in the early morning on the scenery of the bridge viewed from the East. The yellow bursts of the sunlit break through a misty haze in a radiant glow promising a brighter weather, rarely found in the Waterloo Bridge paintings. Golden reflections appear in the river. The far bank is nearly canceled by the mist.
Belonging since 1851 to the Bulova family of watchmakers, this painting had been recently on long term loan to the Basel Kunstmuseum.
#AuctionUpdate #ClaudeMonet’s ‘Waterloo Bridge, effet de brume’ achieves £30,059,500. The work is a key painting from Monet’s landmark series, ‘Vues du Londres (Views of London)’, in which he evocatively captures the shifting character of the famous bridge. pic.twitter.com/EKPl0vOA9E— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) June 28, 2022
2007 SOLD for £ 18M by Christie's
Waterloo Bridge temps couvert, oil of canvas 65 x 100 cm dated 1904, was sold for £ 18M by Christie's on June 18, 2007, lot 14, from a lower estimate of £ 6M. The image is shared by Wikimedia.
This view displays three areas of bright yellow sun light, in the sky revealing the shore, under the arches of the bridge, and on the rippling surface of the river in front of the shadow of the bridge.
1904 Nymphéas by Monet
2007 SOLD for £ 18.5M by Sotheby's
Monet is an amateur but careful and skilled horticulturist. Without having his original preference, the water lilies impose themselves as his most prolific theme, up to obsession. Unlike the ivy on the wall, they will not cover the entire available surface. Spreading their leaves flush with water, they materialize in perspective the real surface of the pond.
From 1904 to 1908, Monet produced his first series of Nymphéas. With more than 60 paintings which he wants all different from one another, the artist expresses the most subtle variations of color and light, changing the distance and population of the flowers, the importance of the reflections from the trees and the expressive power of color.
The horizon disappears, the details become abstract but the botanical accuracy remains. An early example in this new figurative style, dated 1904, 81 x 100 cm, was sold for £ 18.5M by Sotheby's on 19 June 2007, lot 7. In this close-up view, the edge of the pond is already off the field, also providing an impression of infinity that anticipates Mondrian.
1904-1908 Lost Innocence
2021 SOLD for £ 16.3M including premium
His meeting in 1902 with Dr. Linde is a relief. Linde, a great fan of Rodin, immediately writes a monograph on Munch's art. In 1904 he commissions a series of paintings from the artist to decorate the children's room in his villa in Lübeck.
Munch achieves this project with about eleven pieces, mostly beach scenes. The artist's old demons have not been annihilated : Linde rejects the set because a few couples are too risque to be seen by his young sons. The paintings, which will be identified as the Linde frieze, are returned to Munch.
Sommertag, summer day, oil on canvas 90 x 195 cm, is an opus from the Linde cycle. Groups of girls symbolize innocence. Unlike Girls on the Bridge, the characters lose their individuality : white dresses and long blond hair are intertwined in blocks.
Munch reworks this painting at an undetermined date. The image becomes Omfavnelse, the embrace. A dark couple has been added to the foreground. The blurry man lowers his head to kiss the woman whose oversized black-rimmed eyes express partner rejection and fear. They are transparent ghosts through which we can see the sea and the shore. The Scream, in 1893, left the possibility of some rescue. Omfavnelse is the post mortem phase. Its terminus ante quem is the great breakdown of the artist in 1908.
Summer day - the Embrace was sold for £ 6.2M including premium by Sotheby's on February 7, 2006, lot 34, and is estimated £ 9M for sale by Sotheby's in London on March 25, lot 115. The image is shared by Wikimedia.
1904-1906 Vallier by Cézanne
2007 SOLD for $ 17.4M by Christie's
The property around the new studio is tended by a gardener named Vallier. The artist has a friendship for this elderly man who represents the last age of life. Cézanne now works very slowly, ever in quest of the suitable color and luminosity for every stroke. Although the portraits of Vallier are a major theme of this phase, he realizes only six watercolors and three oils, still working on one of them when he dies in 1906.
Portrait de Vallier, watercolor over pencil on paper 48 x 31 cm, was sold for $ 17.4M by Christie's on November 6, 2007, lot 31. Interestingly, in this ultimate phase of Cézanne's ever innovating process, the forms are created by the colors, the underlying pencil lines being used as a mere sketching.
Vallier is seated on a chair. His white shirt attests of summer's warm weather. He is stooped and his eyes behind the straw hat's rim and his mouth behind the long white beard do not bring an expression to this allegorical figure. The foliage envelops him with no details, like a halo. Interestingly, another theme of the same period is the still life of skulls.
This watercolor is a preparation to an oil painting made in 1906 with the same cross hands and cross legs attitude of the sitter, kept at the Tate Gallery. Christie's proposes convincingly 1904-1906 for the date range of the watercolor.
(previous purchase 1904) Improvement of an Old Pink Diamond
2015 SOLD for CHF 14.8M including premium
Ancient diamonds have a potential for improvement. For example, Graff removed 4 carats from his Blaue Wittelsbacher to improve its clarity.
In her estate, the Clark diamond weighed 9.00 carats with a SI1 clarity that was indeed not exciting.
It is now offered by Sotheby's on May 12 in Geneva. It has been reduced to 8.72 carats to improve its clarity to VS2, guaranteed by GIA. Mounted on a ring between two small D color diamonds, this gem is estimated 13,65M CHF corresponding to US $ 14M, lot 460.
Its provenance was also researched and it received the name of Historic pink. This diamond had been bought by Dreicer at the auction of the estate of Mathilde Bonaparte in Paris in June 1904.
1902-1905 The Goddess of Chahut
2016 SOLD for £ 11.6M including premium
In an early version, she is lying on her back. She is a robust acrobat, a hand holding a foot and another ensuring the balance of her splits. Totally and explicitly nude, this woman is often compared with The Origin of the World of Courbet with whom Rodin shares an irrepressible desire to shock the bourgeois.
In 1891, Rodin works on commission on his monument to Victor Hugo. He designs a group of nudes in which the poet is originally surrounded by the three ages of life. It is a bit boring. The sculptor retrieves his Iris for bringing glory to Hugo by hovering over his head.
Iris becomes independent in 1896 with a larger version. Inspired by the dancers of can can and chahut, Rodin puts the statue upright. The erotic power is increased, but still not enough to the taste of the artist. In order to concentrate the viewer's attention to the open sex, he takes off the head and also the arm that ensured the balance.
Iris bronzes made during the lifetime of Rodin are very rare. One of them cast by Rudier between 1902 and 1905 in the large size model, 83 cm high, was sold for £ 4.6 million including premium by Sotheby's in London on June 19, 2007. This example comes back in the same auction room on February 3, lot 22 estimated £ 6M.
Posthumous casts were also executed. A bronze edited in 1966 in the same size by the Musée Rodin was sold for $ 2.9 million including premium by Sotheby's on May 5, 2015.
1904 The Mountains of a New Land
2014 SOLD 12.5 M$ including premium
Photos are black and white at that time, so it was left to the paintings of Moran to display to the Americans the extraordinary colors of the Rocky Mountains. Even the Congress is charmed by these images. In 1872 the first national park is established in Yellowstone.
Moran was seduced by this theme that occupied him for his entire career. Inspired by Turner's art, he expressed the deep sensitivity of the landscape in a sharp line that respected the geological realism.
Painted in 1878, the Wyoming mountain reflected in the Green River is one of his masterpieces. This oil on canvas 64 x 122 cm was sold for $ 17.7 million including premium by Christie's on May 21, 2008.
On May 22 in New York, Christie's sells a panoramic view in the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, expressive and contrasted. Painted in 1904, this oil on canvas 75 x 152 cm is estimated $ 8M.
POST SALE COMMENT
Great price for this late panoramic view by Moran: $ 12.5 million including premium.
1904 Le Repas Frugal by Picasso
2022 SOLD for £ 6M by Christie's
In 1904, Picasso's blue period ends when he appreciates that the clowns of the circuses cannot escape poverty. Le Repas Frugal (Frugal Meal) is his first trial in his mature period to create and distribute a pathetic and empathetic image with a universal impact. Its technical and emotional success is total.
The 46 x 37 cm images were printed individually from September 1904 to March 1905 by Auguste Delâtre on request by the artist. The total number is about 30. One of them was sold by Christie's for £ 620K on November 30, 2004, lot 251, and for £ 6M on March 1, 2022, lot 69. Another copy inscribed by Picasso to a friend in December 1904 was sold for £ 1.95M by Christie's on June 20, 2012, lot 16.
In addition to its extreme rarity, this first edition has another quality : it is also the best. When Vollard took over the plate and inserted it into the series of Saltimbanques in 1913, he strengthened it by electroplating so that it can support its production run of 250.