1928 Wonderful Love
2017 SOLD for $ 28.5M including premium
The theme of lovers portraying his own couple is recurrent in the art of Chagall but this work is especially touching by the attitudes, the realism of the very recognizable faces and some discretion of the surrealist attributes.
In their beatitude the lovers are floating. The young man with closed eyes is resting his head between the cheek and the shoulder of the woman. She gently welcomes this enthusiastic impulse but her eyes wide open indicate the lucidity with which she guides in real life this innocent husband.
Paris is their nest. In that same year Marc painted Les Mariés de la Tour Eiffel where their dear little Ida is disguised as a floating angel to present the bouquet. This oil on canvas 90 x 117 cm was sold for £ 7M including premium by Christie's on February 2, 2016.
Let's go back to our Amoureux. Marc does not miss to express his gratitude to his host country. The tricolor dress of Bella ends with a blue in which is transposed the sky centered by a dazzling sun. In this sky a tiny bird comes to offer its auspices to the embraced couple. Leaves and flowers bring their frame to this ethereal scene.
Please watch the video shared by Sotheby's in which the love of Marc and Bella is commented by one of their granddaughters.
1928 View of New York by Edward Hopper
2013 SOLD 19 M$ including premium
On May 23 in New York, Christie's sells Blackwell's Island, an oil on canvas painted in 1928, 88 x 151 cm, estimated $ 15M. It is a very good example showing the independence of Hopper against any art trend.
Blackwell's is part of Manhattan, but this district without skyscrapers chosen by Hopper to symbolize New York was known for its prison and penitentiary hospital. Always in search of the past, the artist pretends to ignore that its name was Welfare Island since 1921 (to become Roosevelt Island later).
On East River shore, buildings align with factory chimneys. A small motor boat, single direct example of a human activity, is almost out of field going to a future that does not concern us.
This is a very geometric composition with sharp colors. The sky is crossed by radiant tracks. All front sides of the buildings shine under the sun excepted one of them. The river is too blue, voluntarily, to capture all the attention. This landscape is not classical and is the opposite of impressionism. It is not far from surrealism. It is a Hopper.
Sunlight on the side of Hopper's houses is as artificial as stage lighting & sets the scene for the drama called American Loneliness.
— Lee Mamunes (@HopperAtoZ) May 18, 2013
POST SALE COMMENT
Hopper is always fascinating, and this painting is outstanding. It was sold $ 19M including premium.
1928 Odalisques jouant aux dames by Matisse
2010 SOLD for £ 11.8M including premium by Sotheby's
1928 Still Life with Lilac by Petrov-Vodkin
2019 SOLD for £ 9.3M including premium by Christie's
narrated in 2020
He is influenced by Matisse's La Danse, with its pure colors and also with the suppression of the perspective which creates a new poetry by eliminating the information of the dimension of the subject and its distance. After the October Revolution, he is one of the main organizers of art education in the Soviet Union.
Cézanne and Matisse had used still life to experiment with bold staging. Petrov-Vodkin chose as early as 1918 to display his tabletops in an almost vertical angle.
His works are very rare in private hands. On June 3, 2019, Christie's sold for £ 9.3M including premium over a lower estimate of £ 1M a Still Life with Lilac, lot 84. This painting had been bought around 1932 by an Italian art critic.
This oil on canvas 80 x 65 cm painted in 1928 is a synthesis of the artist's studies on this theme. The angle is bold and only the primary colors are used. The freshly cut branch of lilac is placed in a transparent glass, and the absence of perspective allows a lush vision on its blossoms. The rest of the composition is populated by various objects that are symbols of the artist's personal life.
At the end of 1928 Petrov-Vodkin is infected with tuberculosis. He considerably slows down his work as a painter for medical reasons and begins to write his memoirs. He will not give up teaching and becomes in 1932 the very first president of the Leningrad Association of Painters, just created to put a termination to all previous literary and artistic groups of the post-revolutionary period.
1928 Les Jours Gigantesques by Magritte
2012 SOLD for £ 7.2M including premium by Christie's
1928 Under the Romantic Protection of the Eiffel Tower
2016 SOLD for £ 7M including premium
The following years were very hard, but his return to Paris in 1923 with his wife Bella opens to this hypersensitive artist the happiest period of his life. His little family now lives in comfort thanks to a contract with the dealer Bernheim-Jeune and to the projects of illustrations undertaken with Vollard.
Few figurative artists managed to express a perfect happiness. On February 2 in London, Christie's sells Les Mariés de la Tour Eiffel, oil on canvas 90 x 117 cm painted in 1928, lot 24 estimated £ 4.8M.
The title is nice. Marc had married his muse thirteen years earlier but their couple in the lower right of the image retains the freshness of tenderly embraced newlyweds. Both gaze out towards the viewer while their daughter Ida aged 12 flies with her angel wings through a window to present to her parents a big bouquet of flowers.
Paris provided them the happiness and the colors are joyous. The Eiffel Tower is viewed beyond the gently animated green lawn of the Champ de Mars. The surrealism in the manner of Chagall is included : behind the Tower, trees float like clouds, bringing an additional lightness to this romantic composition.
1928 Magritte at the Edge of the Wall
2014 SOLD 6.6 M£ including premium
In 1928, René Magritte is in Paris. Same as Dali and Ernst, he expresses his vision of life by creating parallel universes. He is passionate about Poe but he is also still shocked by the suicide of his mother in the Sambre river 16 years earlier when he was 14.
On February 4 in London, Christie's sells Les chasseurs au bord de la nuit (Hunters at the edge of night), oil on canvas 81 x 116 cm estimated £ 6M. It was the largest format used at that time by Magritte.
Two bulky men with boots and rifles are desperately clinging to a wall. On the right, the space is free to the horizon. Nothing explains why these men do not circumvent the edge of the wall excepted the hostile vacuum of this endless landscape.
It was assumed that the wall came suddenly for separating them from any logical reality, as the Pit and the Pendulum in Poe's short story. A hunter is a killer who does not have to attract sympathy but the attitude of these men is a masterpiece of the surrealist expression of anguish and a beautiful symbol of the impotence of humanity.
The artist plays with day and night. The angle of the shadow is from twilight but the blank light does not come from the sun which just set off at the opposite.
POST SALE COMMENT
The result, £ 6.6M including premium, is in line with the estimate.
1928 A Best of Show Mercedes-Benz
2013 SOLD 8.3 M$ including premium
A very early Mercedes-Benz high end car was sold for $ 8.3M including premium by RM Auctions on August 17, 2013. It has been illustrated in the pre sale report by Sports Car Digest.
In perfect condition after a stunning restoration, it was awarded the highest honors : perfect with 100 points and Best of Show at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Restoration of the Year at the 2012 International Historic Motoring Awards and First in Class at the 2013 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.
This car is now estimated € 6.5M for sale by RM Sotheby's successor to RM Auctions on May 27 at Villa Erba, lot 144.
I discussed it as follows before the 2013 sale :
In the history of industry, the merger in 1926 of DMG (Daimler) and Benz is an exemplary case. Their product lines took benefit from the quality of their manufacturing but the German crisis could lead them to bankruptcy. Their combination, including the creation of a single Mercedes-Benz brand for the group, provided the new company with the critical size needed for a restart.
The ambition of Daimler Benz no longer had limits. Their high end models, S for sport and SSK for racing, bodied by the best craftsmen, could rightly appeal an international clientele. The Mercedes-Benz Type S is the successor to the Mercedes Model K.
Made in 1928 and sole survivor from three built with a low windshield, a Mercedes-Benz 680 S coachworked by Saoutchik as a Torpedo roadster is a great example of the perfection and modernism that could be achieved at that time.
Its mechanics are German but the elegance of its body is French. It is an early masterpiece by Jacques Saoutchik, a former cabinetmaker inspired by the Parisian Art Déco who knew to combine style and innovation. Made on order for an American businessman who failed to take it after a reversal of fortunes, it was exhibited at the New York Auto Salon in 1929.
1928 Teaching the Circle
2019 SOLD for £ 6.1M including premium
Kandinsky is throughout his career a theorist in search of the absolute art. At the time of the Blaue Reiter, the predominance of the colors and of the lines of force led him to abstraction. In the Bauhaus he consolidates his theories by a detailed analysis of the elementary forms : plane, straight line, angle, circle, semicircle.
The circle is the projection of the sphere on the plane. Its many mystical interpretations obviously fits the esoteric sensitivity of the artist. It is also the basic element of any astronomical figuration. It is empty or filled with any color, and can overlap other circles to simulate for example the chaos of the creation of the world.
With the revealing title Vertiefte Regung meaning thorough impulse, an oil on canvas 100 x 76 cm painted in 1928 demonstrates the dynamic effect of the circles. In various diameters, they juxtapose and collide over a black surface with totally irregular edges underlined by a blue halo.
This artwork was used as a wall ornament of the Meister living room used by Kandinsky and Klee in the new buildings of the Bauhaus after its transfer to Dessau.
Vertiefte Regung was sold for $ 6.4M including premium by Sotheby's on November 5, 2015. It is estimated £ 5.5M for sale by Sotheby's in London on February 26, lot 13.
1928 The Garçon
2016 SOLD for $ 6.5M including premium
Unlike Modigliani, Soutine varied his themes. The landscape did not really appeal him. The rotten meats brought to the artist some sensorial communion with his environment by their unbearable odor. For the human dimension, Soutine chose to highlight the humblest employees of hotels and restaurants.
These men have their own petty and miserable life beyond the disguise of their job. They are ugly and unintelligent in their sometimes ridiculous and always ill-fitting uniforms. It is the portrait of a pastry cook that drew at first the enthusiasm of Barnes onto the art of Soutine.
Soutine was hypersensitive. He did not plan to withstand the emotional stress of a sitting session with one of his few friends and could not become a worldly artist. Pastry cooks, hotel boys and valets interested him because he had no sympathy for them. Their defects are both picturesque and monstrous.
On November 16 in New York, Christie's sells Le Garçon d'étage (the floor groom), oil on canvas 78 x 67 cm painted circa 1928, lot 21 B estimated $ 6M.
The character is decidedly unfriendly with too little eyes under thick eyebrows, prominent ears and the flattened nose of a boxer or brawler. He is no longer an apprentice but his age is indefinable. He is uncomfortable in his coat and his collar is crumpled.
Soutine never commented his art. I cannot imagine that he spent time in front of such guys. He was possibly working from memory.
1928 A Wild Flower in New York
2018 SOLD for $ 6.3M including premium
From 1923 the calla lily becomes her favorite theme, and before the end of the decade her friends take fun in assimilating the woman and the plant. Both are wild, vigorous, sensual, authoritarian, independent.
In New York Georgia is surrounded by the group of photographers led by Stieglitz. It is interesting to note that at the same time in California, Imogen Cunningham enters the heart of flowers with her camera after selecting magnolia and calla.
Georgia revolves around her flower to get perspectives of the widest variety. The friends find sex symbols that Georgia will not seek to deny or confirm. An oil on canvas 81 x 43 cm painted in 1927 was sold for $ 9M including premium by Sotheby's on May 20, 2015.
On November 14 in New York, Sotheby's sells Calla lilies on red, oil on canvas of the same size painted in 1928, lot 15 estimated $ 8M.
This artwork shows a floral arrangement of two plants. The small bouquet that served as a model appears as placed flat on a red cloth, but the vertical vision of the painting brings great strength to its symmetrical composition.
The two flowers are huddled together and half wrapped in a large leaf. The similarity is clear with a drawing made in 1915, numbered XIII, considered as the abstract expression of a landscape. In the art of Georgia all themes are related.
Calla lilies on red is sold by the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum of Santa Fe NM for the benefit of its acquisition fund. From the same provenance, the Jimson Weed, large oil on canvas 122 x 102 cm painted in 1932, was sold for $ 44.4M including premium by Sotheby's on November 20, 2014 over a lower estimate of $ 10M.
1928 Bentley at Le Mans
2012 SOLD for $ 6M including premium by Gooding
At the first edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1923, Bentley achieved a satisfactory result with the 4th place of a 3-liter model. A car of that model wins this competition in 1927. The British brand develops the 6 1/2 liters in 1926. Problems of reliability of the 6 1/2 lead to finding a satisfactory compromise in 1927 with the 4 1/2 liters.
In 1928 Bentley prepares three 4 1/2 coachworked by Vanden Plas in Le Mans configuration for its factory team. The shortened shape of its engine cowling is one of the modifications necessary to meet the rules of the competition and brings to this rare variant the nickname of Bobtail. Impressive in its speed, the Bobtail # 2 leads the race for several hours before being forced to abandon by overheating.
The development continues with the Speed Six, direct successor to the 6 1/2 liter, and with the supercharged version of the 4 1/2 designated as the Bentley Blower which becomes a formidable competitor to the Mercedes-Benz which were using a similar improvement of the engine.
The 1929 edition of Le Mans is a triumph for Bentley. The competition is won by a Speed Six followed by three 4 1/2. The Bobtail # 2 of the previous year, renumbered # 10, is in the third place.
This car which is still being presented with its # 10 was sold for $ 6M including premium by Gooding in August 2012. It is estimated $ 6.5M for sale by RM Sotheby's at Amelia Island on March 11, lot 266.
Its image is shared By Sémhur (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons :
1928-1929 A Road Jersey of Babe Ruth
2019 SOLD for $ 5.6M including premium
The players used two jerseys, a home jersey for the games on their field and a road jersey for trips. A jersey could be used throughout one season or more, which further increases their rarity.
Compared to the next period, documents allowing photo-matching are rarer. The experts thus pay the greatest attention to the details of making which allow an identification of the year or a range of years, rather than on the shears in the textile or on misalignments in the inscriptions.
A jersey marked 'New York' used by Babe Ruth was sold for $ 4.4M including premium by SCP on May 19, 2012 after being exhibited for many years at the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore. This New York Yankees road jersey was dated circa 1920.
A Spalding road jersey of size 46 attributed to Babe Ruth has just surfaced. It will be sold by Hunt Auctions on June 15 at the Yankee Stadium, lot 47. The sale is essentially devoted to a personal collection of Babe Ruth, perhaps to be correlated with the very recent death of his second daughter. Here is the link to this auction.
The 'Yankees' mark on the front side enables to date the garment between 1927 and 1930. A label inside the collar is marked 'Ruth'. A number 3 has been erased at some point while leaving some traces.
The photos of Babe Ruth in 1927 show another placement of the buttons. The photo-matching orients rather towards 1928 or 1929. It is in 1929 that the Yankees began to sew a number on the jerseys to facilitate the identification of the players by the public. Ruth had received the number 3.
UPDATE: Babe Ruth NY Yankees Jersey added to Ruth Collection Live Auction at @yankeestadium. Professional model Yankees Road Jersey Worn by the #Bambino dates to the 1928-30 era with Potential to Set World Record Pricing in Excess of $4,000,000! @NewYorkYankees #SultanofSwat @MLB pic.twitter.com/0dx9NChNR4— Hunt Auctions (@HuntAuctions) April 23, 2019
1928 From Daimler to Mercedes-Benz
2017 SOLD for $ 4.8M including premium
The high-end was offered since 1924 by the models 24/100/140 and 15/70/100. A sports variant 24/110/160 was introduced in 1926. This denomination which may now seem odd indicates successively the fiscal power and the real power in hp without and with compression.
Pushed by the prestige of the competitions, the power is gradually increased. The new Mercedes-Benz company introduces the Typ S (Sportwagen) in 1927 and the Typ SSK (Super Sport Kurz) for competition in 1928. The Typ S is usually equipped with the huge 6.8-liter engine.
In terms of bodywork the Sindelfingen factory offers the high-end but the customer may also buy the chassis and have the body realized by a craftsman.
A Typ S 26/120/180 of 1927 by Sindelfingen was sold for $ 5M including premium by Gooding in August 2011. A car of same power coachworked as a torpedo roadster by Saoutchik was sold for $ 8.3M including premium by RM Auctions on 17 August 2013.
On January 19 in Scottsdale, Bonhams sells a Mercedes-Benz Typ S 26/120/180 made in 1928 still fitted with its original engine. It was coachworked as a sports tourer in Berlin by Erdmann and Rossi. It is estimated $ 5M, lot 54.