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 :
1904-1908 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 Portrait de Vallier by Cézanne
2007 SOLD for $ 17.4M including premium by Christie's
(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 Grande Baigneuse aux jambes croisées by Renoir
2007 SOLD for $ 8.9M including premium by Christie's
1904-1906 Serene Woods of Paul Cézanne
2017 SOLD for € 6.9M including premium
He observes the juxtapositions of colors on the Montagne Sainte-Victoire without abandoning other themes. The Baigneuses will remain until the end his demonstrator for still unexplored possibilities in figurative art. A quiet undergrowth is conducive to the sharing of meditation.
He has always enjoyed watercolor for its transparency and for the purity of its colors. His pathetic approach is no longer commercial. In this final period he often works on the reverse of previously painted papers. The lightness of the watercolor allows such a practice without damage to the other side.
Cézanne is diabetic and his vision weakens. More than ever he manages to recreate an atmosphere. In the forest the depth is only brought by the curve of the path or by the diagonal of the wood edge.
The preliminary sketch in lead pencil is barely figurative. It is instead a configuration of geometric elements prepared for coloring. According to his traditional practice he painstakingly and gradually fills these surfaces while ensuring that the colors shall not mix. This method is a pointillism of Seurat or Signac in which the dots have been replaced by intersections of lines prepared in advance.
On December 20 in Paris (Hôtel Drouot) Touati-Duffaud in cooperation with Beaussant Lefèvre sells as lot 43 an Intérieur de forêt. This watercolor 45 x 60 cm rich in warm colors of great brightness is one of the last realized by Cézanne on this theme, dated 1904-1906 by Rewald. It is glued on a cardboard but its inaccessible back side is probably blank.
The overall effect is figurative and this work demonstrates Cézanne's progress towards synthetic cubism. Is it Fontainebleau? Is it Le Tholonet? It does not matter. This corner of a forest does not imitate nature, it is built by the imagination of an artist for sharing his emotion.
Please watch the video shared by Drouot.
“Intérieur de forêt”, une rare aquarelle de Paul #Cézanne trouvera un nouvel acquéreur mercredi. Pour l’une des dernières ventes de la saison, gageons un très beau résultat !— Drouot (@Drouot) December 18, 2017
Rendez-vous à 14h30 chez Touati-Duffaud => https://t.co/cdawsCKLjk pic.twitter.com/XKxQ5qTnuf
1904 Rolls-Royce 10 hp
2007 SOLD for £ 3.5M including premium by Bonhams
narrated in 2020
To design his first model, the Royce 10, Henry Royce disassembles and analyzes a two cylinder 1901 Decauville and makes three prototypes. With an intuition which can be described as brilliant, he takes a particular care to the silence and to the driving smoothness, which will be at the origin of the legendary reliability of the Rolls-Royce.
A Royce collaborator insists for a meeting with Rolls. The moment is opportune : weary of waiting from other constructors for his dream car, Rolls had set up a business of engine production in London since 1902. The meeting takes place in Manchester on May 4, 1904.
Rolls immediately understands the technological advantages of the Royce 10. He will market and sell the cars designed and manufactured by Royce, with a new trademark : Rolls-Royce. At the Paris Motor Show in December 1904, Rolls unveils the Rolls-Royce 10 hp alongside the Royce 10 and exhibits the six-cylinder engine of the future 30 hp.
That 10 hp of the Paris Salon is the fourth vehicle of the Rolls-Royce brand. Its reliability is already excellent : it will be used until 1930 by several successive owners. It was discovered in a farm building in 1950, in the original configuration of all mechanical elements except the gearbox. The original phaeton bodywork by Barker did not survive.
This car is the oldest Rolls-Royce in existence and the only surviving 10 hp from the first year. It is thus the only Rolls-Royce eligible for the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, in which it participated for the first time in 1954 : the rules of this picturesque annual event only accept vehicles made prior to 1905.
This 10 hp from 1904 was sold for £ 3.5M including premium by Bonhams on December 3, 2007, lot 604.
1904 Art and Tourism in Grisons
2016 SOLD for CHF 4.05M including premium
Tourism is developing rapidly in the Swiss mountains, with hotels, spas and swimming baths. Giacometti receives in 1904 a major order from the Waldhaus Hotel in Flims.
According to a usual theme in tourism at the Belle Epoque, he shows the immediate vicinity of the hotel with mountains and lakes. The work is a triptych. The curved central panel and the stylized lines are close to the graphic style of the posters, very popular at that time.
The large size is suitable to its decorative use: 180 x 200 cm for the central view and 150 x 100 cm for both side views. It had been specially ordered for the inauguration of the hotel's casino and a permanent display was not considered. This important work executed by the father of Alberto and Diego fell into oblivion for eight decades.
The triptych is estimated CHF 3M for sale by Koller in Zurich on June 24, lot 3057.
Giovanni Giacometti develops soon afterward his more personal style inspired by Hodler reinforcing by aggressive colors the geometric structure of his landscapes. A view near his native village, dominated by a very blue river, tempera 120 x 120 cm, was sold for CHF 3M including premium by Sotheby's on June 14, 2010.
1904 As Simple as a Mercedes
2016 SOLD for $ 2.8M including premium
Only the richest can buy cars. The first Phönix is provided to Emil Jellinek, Austro-Hungarian consul in Nice and motor sport fan. A pioneer in automotive marketing, Jellinek endeavors to study the needs of the wealthy residents of the French Riviera and becomes the exclusive distributor of DMG in the area.
Customers do not call for a technical feat. They wish a user friendly vehicle, reliable, stable, comfortable. Jellinek understands that the manufacturer must lighten the engine and the body, increase the wheelbase and lower the center of gravity. He forwards these specifications to Wilhelm Maybach, the designer of the Phönix. Jellinek creates in 1901 and deposits in 1902 the name of the first model produced by DMG for his needs : Mercedes.
Again with the technical involvement of Maybach, an improved model appears from 1902. This luxury car is named Mercedes Simplex, which looks anachronistic today for a luxury vehicle but the high society of that time appreciated that the use of an automobile became simple. The operation performed by Jellinek is a great success : customers are accepting to pay an expensive price if they get quality and easiness.
A range of Mercedes Simplex is offered. The top power is increased to 60 hp in 1903. The 28-32 hp is among the high end. A Mercedes Simplex 28-32 hp made in 1904 is estimated $ 2.5M for sale on August 19 by Bonhams at Quail Lodge, Carmel CA, lot 27.
After its rediscovery in the mid-1970s, this vehicle has undergone many changes made necessary after half a century of storage in an English farm. It is now a frequent entrant of the London To Brighton Veteran Car Runs. It is offered in a five seat rear entrance tonneau body.
1904 Artist's Life in the Bateau-Lavoir
2012 SOLD 1.95 M£ including premium
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 by Delâtre on request by the artist, and the exact number is unknown: about 30.
One of them was sold for £ 620K including premium by Christie's on November 30, 2004. Another copy inscribed by Picasso to a friend in December 1904 is estimated £ 1.5 million, for sale by Christie's in London on June 20. Here is the link to the catalog.
Meanwhile, the art market has changed, not only for Picasso: the collectors crave for multiples when they are of excellent quality. A copy of La Femme qui pleure (the Weeping Woman), 1937, was sold $ 5.1 million including premium by Christies' on November 1, 2011.
In addition to its extreme rarity, this first edition has another quality: it is also the most perfect. When Vollard took over the plate and inserted it into the series of Saltimbanques in 1913, he wisely strengthened it by electroplating so that it can support a large quantity of prints.
POST SALE COMMENT
The estimate of this exceptional print had been correctly targeted. It was sold £ 1.95 million including premium.