1917 A Portrait for Fifteen Francs
2018 SOLD for $ 157M including premium
Modigliani was a prolific draftsman. He had learned during his artistic training to draw quickly. Close to the conceptions of the Académie de la Grande Chaumière where he will soon meet Jeanne, he knows how to carry out speedy studies of female nudes in poses where the natural prevails over the conventional.
Zbo organizes paintings of nudes by Modi. He chooses pretty women whom he leads into an apartment-workshop where he has installed Modigliani. The artist is paid 15 francs a day and the model 5 francs for the session.
The rest is easy to imagine. The woman has won her 5 francs and is in a hurry to leave. The artist has little time. His painting is based on a drawing that brings to his best images a great spontaneity. The bare skin partitioned by the lines is painted in a warm color. The woman is lying or sitting on the bed, very simply, without decoration and without narrative effect.
A Nu couché sur le côté, oil on canvas 90 x 147 cm painted in 1917, was sold for $ 27M including premium by Christie's on November 4, 2003. It will be sold by Sotheby's in New York on May 14, lot 18. The press release announces an estimate in excess of $ 150M. It is the largest painting in this series and the only reclining nude by Modigliani to be displayed in all the extent of her arms and legs.
The attitude is not very erotic. The woman is seen from behind. The head turned for looking at the artist and the firmly sealed mouth reveal some impatience.
On November 9, 2015, Christie's sold a 60 x 92 cm Nudo Rosso for $ 170M including premium. This nude reclining on her back dated 1917-1918 seems indeed later by its softer line, an even warmer color and also a friendly attitude of this model who exhibits all her charms in full front.
Please watch the video shared by Sotheby's.
1917 A Nude Woman sitting for Modigliani
2010 SOLD 69 M$ including premium
In 1917, having abandoned the sculpture, Modigliani focuses on the painting of the nude to express his vision of the ideal woman. Sometimes the model is standing or lying, but the woman sitting naked on a couch, known as La Belle Romaine, is undoubtedly one of the best.
This oil on canvas, 100 x 65 cm, shows a woman happy to be watched, confident, intimate. The painter is quite successful, with a purity of line and a warm tone of flesh which is the top of his art. It is illustrated on the press release shared by Artdaily.
Paris was quite prudish at that time, having probably already forgotten the friend women of Toulouse-Lautrec, and the exhibition of Modigliani's nudes at the Galerie Berthe Weill was forbidden for indecency at its opening. Our painting was perhaps one of them. Modigliani, a true great artist, had not deigned considering the academic decorum.
On 20 November 1987, the Parisian art market suddenly started to rise with the fabulous Georges Renand collection. La Belle Romaine, sold 41 MF, tripled the French auction record and leaved for Asia. At the same sale the other Modigliani owned by Renand, a Woman with Black Tie, was sold 34 million francs.
On November 11, 1999, la Belle Romaine is sold for $ 16.8 million including premium by Sotheby's in New York, world record at the time for a Modigliani.
It comes back on November 2 at Sotheby's in New York. The estimate is not published in the catalog but the press release told that it can fetch $ 40M.
POST SALE COMMENT
La Belle Romaine is a masterpiece that transcends all variations of the market. Whenever it appears on the market, its exceptional quality is confirmed. Its latest feat is at $ 69M including premium.
The file below is shared by Wikimedia :
1917 Brancusi at the Genesis of Art
2011 SOLD 14.9 M$ including premium
It is amusing to note that the great creative act of the metaphysical work of Brancusi is destructive. He breaks his wooden statue, keeping only the head. This new piece is ovoid, which is the perfect shape to symbolize the creation. Neither hair nor ears, nor neck.
With just the outline of an eye, of the nose and of the mouth, the egg becomes the head of a wailing baby, slightly larger than life, 26 cm long. It is entitled "le premier cri" and edited in 1917.
The copy for sale at Christie's in New York on November 1 is a polished bronze, with a high reflective effect. For such an outstanding work, the estimate, $ 8M, is conservative.
I invite you to play the video shared by Christie's.
POST SALE COMMENT
This bronze of a seminal sculpture by Brancusi was of course more outstanding than its estimate. It was sold $ 14.9 million including premium.
1917 The Marvelous Gates of Rodin
2010 SOLD 11.8 M$ including premium
The artist imagines a monumental bronze door 6 feet tall, with several registers as the famous doors of the Baptistery of Florence. This project was the thread throughout his work, and his most oustanding sculptures have been conceived according to their position in this group.
The desire for a collector to have a bronze cast in Rodin's lifetime and in the size of the original clay model is easy to understand: it is a bit like having a real part of the prestigious door.
Two of the best known figures have gone up for auction in 2009.
On 3 November, Christie's sold $ 6.3 million including premium an early cast of le Baiser (the Kiss), 87 cm high, made between 1887 and 1901.
On 17 June in Paris (Hôtel Drouot), Mathias sold € 3.1 million including premium le Penseur (the Thinker), 71 cm high, cast by Rudier in 1917 a few months before the death of Rodin. This copy is characterized by a beautiful brown-green patina. After the sale, it crossed the Atlantic: it is estimated $ 4 million in the sale of Sotheby's in New York on May 5.
Le Penseur had been in a continuous improvement during the 37 last years of Rodin's life. The last version is the plaster of 1917, of which 3 bronze copies were cast. The Kiss had been removed from the Gates before this last version. No kiss in Hell !!! The Thinker is at the place originally intended for a figure of Dante which was never made.
POST SALE COMMENT
Now it looks obvious. The Thinker (le Penseur) had not reached its true price in Paris last year. The fact of crossing the Atlantic led it to $ 11.8 million including premium.
1917 Antibes by Signac
2018 SOLD for $ 8.2 including premium by Christie's
1917 Indische Tänzerin by Nolde
2017 SOLD for $ 5.3M including premium by Christie's
1915-1917 Enfilade by Eileen Gray
2009 SOLD for € 4M including premium by Christie's
narrated in 2018 before the sale of another piece by Artcurial (see below)
She opens a workshop for lacquered wood in Paris in 1910 with the specialized Japanese craftsman Seijo Sugawara. They develop together new colors. In 1913 the refinement and originality of their Japan-inspired panels are praised by fashion designer Jacques Doucet, instantly making Eileen Gray a pioneer of the Parisian Art Déco.
During the war Gray and Sugawara work in London. In the auction of the Saint-Laurent Bergé collection in February 2009, Christie's sold for € 4M including premium a highly rare lacquered enfilade cabinet made in that transition period, lot 243. At the end of the war they restart the Parisian workshop.
On November 27, 2018, a lacquered console table passed at Artcurial from a lower estimate of € 1M. It had been made before 1920 with a 124 x 39 cm top and a total length of 169 cm including the retractable side shelves. It is entirely lacquered with various colors and the lacquer of the top is inlaid with silver powder.
The only known similar table, with slightly different dimensions, was also in the Saint-Laurent Bergé collection. In its auction already referred above, it was sold for € 2.3M including premium over a lower estimate of € 1M, lot 277.
1917 Crouching Female Nude by Schiele
2021 SOLD for $ 4M by Sotheby's
1917 The Erotic Drawings of Egon Schiele
2008 SOLD 2.2 M£ including premium
On February 4, in London, Christie's sold an important group of eight watercolors on paper, from the estate of a former associate of Ronald Lauder. For me, this sale was a test. I wrote in my blog:
"One may wonder why Lauder did not buy in private sale. If the sale is not a success, the price of the Viennese school will collapse."
In the catalogue, the top lot of the group was a dramatic naked woman from back, estimated £ 2 million, which was sold £ 2.5 million charge included. Five other works exceeded 500 K £. Buyers preferred at £ 2.9 million including fees a more original drawing, showing from back a nude mother with child behind her, which had been estimated £ 1.5 million. If I was right considering the sale as a test, we can fortunately conclude that the test was very successful!
Important Schiele drawings continued then to come on the market. By limiting it to Christie's, we note in the sale of May 6 in New York a simple pencil drawing depicting a nude contortionist female, pushed to $ 1.8 million including fees, on a low estimate of 600 K $.
In this trend, success is therefore assured for the four watercolors that Christie's sell in London on June 24.
The most erotic, a typical woman in shirt lying on her back with open legs, 30x46 cm, lot 61, is estimated £ 2 million.
A woman sitting with arms folded in a position expressing anguish, 56x37 cm, lot 60, expects £ 1.7 million.
The other two are less important, perhaps because less finished: Lot 62 is estimated 600 K£ and Lot 59: 400 K£.
POST SALE COMMENT
The most successful drawings of Schiele are now unsurprisingly valued around £ 2 million.
More exactly, Lot 60 was sold at £ 2.2 million and lot 61 at £ 1.9 million, including fees.
The signature is not enough, fortunately, to push up prices. The lot 59 was sold 480 K £ including fees, and lot 62 was not sold
1916-1917 The Striking Colors of Bitter Cold
2015 SOLD for $ 3.66M CAD including premium
This amateur who took care of organizing the Toronto arts community painted at first some sceneries of streets and of logging. His art that might appear to be basically Canadian was however triggered by his discovery of Scandinavian art and especially of paintings by Gustaf Fjaestad at an exhibition in Buffalo in 1913.
Harris worked in his studio at that time. He imagines the pure colors of snowy landscapes in cold weather. On November 26 in Toronto, Heffel sells a Winter landscape, lot 120 estimated CAD 1.2 million. Here is the link to the auction house's website.
This oil on canvas of large size for this artist, 121 x 127 cm, was painted in 1916 or 1917 at a time when Tom Thomson was interested in similar themes. The picture is divided into well-structured sections of homogeneous texture that contrast sharply with each other from the heavy white snow of ground and of fir branches up to the bright blue of the sea (or lake) through the tissues of forests and cliffs.
This creative period gives Harris the urge to explore by himself the far north in winter. From 1918 he organizes auto trips of his group. The light on Lake Superior is even more blinding than it was in his imagination. His increasingly purified style becomes the most dramatic expression of the chilling landscapes of Canada.
1917 Oh Morgan's Men by NC Wyeth
2019 SOLD for $ 2.3M including premium by Christie's
1917 Early Spring at Canoe Lake by Tom Thomson
2009 SOLD for $ 2.75M CAD by Heffel
His life changes in 1914. His artistic patron Dr. MacCallum, a friend of Lawren Harris, offers him a place in the collective workshop and ensures the purchase of his paintings. Thomson arrives in Algonquin Park in late April for a stay of several months during which he becomes a ranger of the park.
This subtle mixing of stability and adventure immediately improves his artistic vision. His views of forest details in Algonquin Park are highly emotional, with unprecedented colors that renounce realism to better express the feeling. The hard conditions of his artistic creation require him to work on canvas of small size 22 x 27 cm which will serve as models for larger compositions executed in the Toronto studio during the next winters.
On November 23, 2016, Heffel sold Sleet Storm for $ 1.53M CAD from a lower estimate of $ 1M CAD. Painted in 1914, this oil on canvas mounted on board 22 x 27 cm is arguably one of the first achievements in his phase of top creativity. Spring is about to win over winter. Melted snow is still hanging on the branches but already dispersed by the wind.
Painted on panel in 1917 in the same size and also featuring the snow in its melting phase, Early spring - Canoe Lake was sold for CAD $ 2.75M on November 26, 2009 by Heffel from a lower estimate of CAD $ 600K.
The ranger of Algonquin Park was a pioneer of Canadian modern art. His new style greatly inspired his Toronto friends who will create the Group of Seven in 1919. Thomson had died by drowning in Algonquin Park in July 1917 in circumstances that were never established.
1917 Two Human Beings The Lonely Ones by Munch
2016 SOLD for £ 1.56M by Sotheby's
Melancholy and silence are among his favorite themes. The Young Woman on the Beach and Two Human Beings (the Lonely Ones) must be considered together and were probably designed simultaneously by the artist. The tall blonde woman in white dress is the same in both scenes. Watching the ocean, she turns her back to the artist, to the viewer and to life.
In the second version a man has come from behind, dressed in dark. He bends his head without looking at the woman. These two people are in a close vicinity one another and psychologically indifferent.
From 1894 Munch uses the prints to disclose his distress. Coloring techniques are varied. He tries all of them with a great technical skill. A very rare aquatint and drypoint 29 x 22 cm of the Young woman on the beach, finished in 1896, was sold for £ 2.13M including premium by Christie's on March 20, 2013.
From 1899 the artist uses the woodcut to republish the Two Human beings. Different states allow a more or less figurative vision of the beach, the ocean and the horizon. Hues become softer, expressing both the absence of conflict and the impossibility of communication in that peaceful scene.
The artist originally used two techniques. The monotype applied through a stencil is linking the ground between the two characters, highlighting that their separate lives occur in the same place at the same time. The rest of the image is printed by three wooden blocks. The surroundings have become abstract.
On September 27, 2016, Sotheby's sold for £ 1.56M a print 40 x 55 cm on 47 x 60 cm sheet of the Two Human beings, state Wolf V of VIII, completed by Nielsen around 1917, lot 141. It had been estimated £ 400K.
2013 SOLD for £ 990K by Sotheby's
This copy 40 x 55 cm on a 47 x 70 cm wide margin sheet had been printed by Nielsen circa 1917 on thick wove paper from an monotype from the first state, designed in 1899.
1917 Standing Lincoln by Saint-Gaudens
2020 SOLD for $ 1.58M including premium by Sotheby's
"Abraham Lincoln: The Man (Standing Lincoln)" by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907) sold for $1,580,000 (est. $600,000/900,000) at @Sothebys (6/26/20) The 40" high bronze with brown patina was cast in 1917 https://t.co/dEh21j7UsU #antiques #antique #art #artist #Lincoln pic.twitter.com/WGoIyqSMGx— Maine Antique Digest (@AntiqueDigest) August 31, 2020