Chronology : 17th century 1600-1609 19th century 1880-1889 1889 1890-1899 1890 20th century 1900-1909 1905 1907 1910-1919 1911 1914 1930-1939 1932 1940-1949 1982
Safavid - The Carpet of Senator Clark
2013 SOLD 34 M$ including premium
One of them created one of the most exciting surprises in the history of auctions. Surfacing in Germany in October 2009, it was estimated € 900 by a local auctioneer. Christie's had a small intuition about the importance of the piece by providing an estimate of £ 200K. They sold it for £ 6.2 million including premium on April 15, 2010.
Now known as the carpet of the comtesse de Béhague, this Kirman in wool 339 x 153 cm was made with one of the more complex techniques identified as the 'vase' technique. This name is unrelated to the decorative pattern.
The carpet of Senator Clark will not create the same surprise as it has already been described for nearly a century as a masterpiece of Persian textile art. It was exhibited after the death of its owner in 1925 in a museum that de-accessions it now. It is estimated $ 5M, for sale by Sotheby's in New York on June 5. Here is the link to the catalog.
Its red background is rare and perhaps unique in its class, the sickle-leaf pattern variant of the 'vase' technique. Its fine floral motifs and its palmettes make it a vibrant and sumptuous artwork in 267 x 196 cm size.
It is always difficult to date and locate an old carpet, if not by considerations of its technical characteristics. The Clark carpet is Safavid and probably Kirman. It is comparable to the best known pieces woven during the reign of Shah Abbas 400 years ago.
POST SALE COMMENT
There is no price limit for the most outstanding art pieces. This extraordinary carpet was sold for $ 34M including premium.
I invite you to play the video shared by Sotheby's.
It is also shared by Wikimedia.
1889 Iris by Van Gogh
1987 SOLD for $ 54M including premium by Sotheby's, sale canceled in 1990
1890 Wild Flowers for Dr Gachet
2014 SOLD for $ 62M including premium
In May 1890 Vincent moved into a room at the local inn in Auvers. He did not have a studio and regularly attended the home of Gachet, a friend of the Impressionists and Cézanne.
Since he is sick, Vincent is terrorized by the idea of failure and by the risk of a new crisis of dementia. With the energy of despair, he gives a new impetus to his old ambition to become the best painter of all time, the only one capable of a synthesis of all genres. Gachet has a painting by Cézanne showing a bouquet of flowers. Vincent wants to do better.
Spring brings forth the flowers into the fields. On November 4 in New York, Sotheby's sells an oil on canvas 66 x 50 cm painted by Vincent on 16 and 17 June 1890, lot 17 estimated $ 30M. Executed in the clear intention to thank Gachet for his help, this artwork shows a vase filled with daisies and poppies.
The composition is powerful and the colors are gorgeous, dominated in the center by the fiery red poppies. The groups of flowers shine like some characters within the ultimate tragedy of Vincent.
I invite you to play the video shared by Sotheby's :
1905 Garçon à la Pipe by Picasso
2004 SOLD for $ 104M including premium by Sotheby's
narrated in 2020
La Fillette, oil on canvas 155 x 66 cm, was sold for $ 115M including premium by Christie's on May 8, 2018. Le Garçon, oil on canvas 100 x 81 cm, was sold for $ 104M including premium by Sotheby's on May 5, 2004, lot 7.
The Garçon à la Pipe is a subtle blend of realism and dreamlike and, as such, will remain the archetype of the Période Rose. Dressed in blue overalls, the gloomy teenager is drawn in a fine line. The pipe marks his expectation of maturity. Picasso did not reveal his identity, because it is an allegory. He is however P'tit Louis, a boy from Montmartre who spent long hours watching the artists working at the Bateau-Lavoir.
The inspiration suddenly came to Picasso after a month of interruption of the work. In the blur of a dream, the character is positioned in front of a wallpaper with patterns of roses and wears a garland of flowers in his hair. A simultaneous use of a sharp image in a floral blur had also been attempted by Odilon Redon.
The little worker thus becomes a supernatural being. A relevant comparison was made with Verlaine's poem titled Crimen Amoris. In the dream of a delicious Orient where the seven sins supersede the five senses amidst the roses, the most handsome of the evil angels, indifferent to temptations and caresses, is a boy of sixteen who wears a crown of flowers. His ambition, annihilated at the end of the poem, was to be "the one who will create God".
1905 Water Landscapes
2015 SOLD for $ 54M including premium
The artist begins a synthesis of this new theme with his concern from the previous twenty years for the changing colors and reflections under various time and weather. He had the good fortune to catch in his own garden the most subtle theme of modern painting.
The paintings of the first year of the Nymphéas series are very rare on the art market. One of them, 81 x 100 cm, was sold for £ 18.5 million including premium by Sotheby's on 19 June 2007. In this close-up view, the edge of the pond is already off the field, also providing an impression of infinity that anticipates Mondrian.
In 1905, the water lilies are more sparse to offer a better role to reflections that became recognizable although the trees are still out of field. The plants form a floating cohort simulating a nice horizontal movement.
A view in clear weather under a gentle sun, oil on canvas 90 x 100 cm, was sold for $ 44M including premium by Christie's on November 7, 2012.
On May 5 in New York, Sotheby's sells an oil on canvas 81 x 100 cm, lot 30 estimated $ 30M. Also dated 1905, it shows the blocks at the water surface in an atmosphere of early or late hour providing a superb harmony of deep blues and greens.
1905 Monet overwhelmed by his Nymphéas
2012 SOLD 44 M$ including premium
Constable had been the painter of the wind. Monet was the artist of the water surface. After the development of Impressionism, the Nymphéas series is the second revolution brought about by Monet in art history.
In June 19, 2007, Sotheby's sold £ 18.5 million including premium an oil on canvas, 81 x 100 cm. Dated 1904, it demonstrates the first systematic experiments on this subject: the horizon disappears to let the water remaining alone in space. The green reflections are almost abstract, already.
The oil on canvas, 90 x 100 cm, for sale by Christie's in New York on November 7, is dated in the following year, 1905. The water lilies have a botanical accuracy, the more readable reflections are a better tribute to the pleasure of the garden. It is estimated $ 30M, and illustrated in the release shared by Artdaily.
Durand-Ruel was the first to understand and support the transformation of the art of Monet. In 1909, he assembled in an exhibition 48 Nymphéas by Monet, including the painting now for sale at Christie's. Through this unique theme, careful observers could detect the infinite variety of the artistic creation.
POST SALE COMMENT
By its date and quality, this painting is one of the most outstanding from the Nympheas series: $ 44M including premium.
1906 Monet and the Passion of Water
2014 SOLD 32 M£ including premium
Here is how I announced in 2010 this masterpiece that was previously sold in 2000 :
Claude Monet is the painter of the elusive. His studies of light variations have transformed the Western art. He should not be regarded as a leader, but rather as a great creator.
And the Durand-Ruel gallery was a great instigator of talent. In 1905, Monet is 65 years old, already. He departed from the excitement of the life in Paris to enjoy his garden at Giverny. An exhibition project for Durand-Ruel made his passion. The exhibition took place in 1909, and Monet found there the theme that monopolized his art until the end of his life: the water lilies in his garden.
This series of "Nymphéas" mark the total success of an impossible challenge: to show in painting the transparency of water. The flowers are seen obliquely, with perspective, lighting and reflections being different each time. They are widely spaced, and between them is coming the incredible illusion: the observer sees the surface of the water. They are not abstract, far away, but the lack of horizon has certainly influenced the non-figurative art.
On May 8th 2000, Christie's sold for $ 20.9 million including premium an oil on canvas, 90 x 100 cm. This painting has all the qualities. Made in 1906, it was one of the highlights of the exhibition of 1909. The light is established by very subtle pastel shades, and the reflections are superb.
POST SALE COMMENT
This painting is one of the masterpieces from Monet's early Nymphéas. It was sold for £ 32 million including premium.
I invite you to play the video shared by Sotheby's.
1907 Flowers for the Woman
2017 SOLD for £ 48M including premium
The Klimt and Flöge families are closely linked. Gustav Klimt becomes the brother-in-law of Helene Flöge in 1891 and her tutor in the following year. Helene and her sister Emilie open a business of couture and fashion in Vienna in 1904. Emilie was Gustav's companion from 1891 until the artist's death in 1918.
The Schwestern Flöge workshop is experimenting with new garments for the Viennese avant-garde, including loose dresses hung from the shoulders without using a corset. The very famous blouses of Gustav Klimt, which give him such a neglected attitude according to the conceptions of today's fashion, proceed from the same trend.
The shape of the garment is not enough : women also deserve a shimmering decoration. Gustav observes trees and flowers as patterns of texture. Their bright colors were created by nature. Gustav does not cancel the shapes of the flowers. If he had, he would have been the first abstract artist.
Gustav reveals the woman's head as the only realistic element in his portraits. The body is hidden by an ample garment whose limits loosely overlap the background of the image and whose details are luxurious and colorful. Adele Bloch-Bauer I, oil on canvas 138 x 138 cm painted in 1907, was sold for $ 135M on June 18, 2006 in a private sale by Christie's to Ronald Lauder.
On March 1 in London, Sotheby's sells as lot 11 Bauerngarten, oil on canvas 110 x 110 cm painted in 1907 during the holidays of Gustav at the Attersee. Poppies, daisies and zinnias spread their colors in an endless meadow with no horizon. These flowers are dominated by a triangle of roses that confirms the artist's intention for the design of a dress.
Please watch the very short video shared by Sotheby's.
1911 Les Coucous, tapis bleu et rose by Matisse
2009 SOLD for € 36M including premium by Christie's
1914-1917 The New Water Lilies
2018 SOLD for $ 85M including premium
Based in Giverny since 1883 the artist wants to create a water garden. In 1894 he purchases from Latour-Marliac plants from 32 different species including a yellow Nymphaea created in 1888 and a pink Nymphaea created in 1892. His interest in these hybrids is not immediate but his curiosity increases.
These new water lilies will become the stars of his garden. Monet paints his first Nymphéas in 1895, displaying the plants on the water in close-up with a botanical accuracy on canvases less than 1 m wide.
The artist is delighted by his garden. In 1904 the nymphéa pond becomes one of his favorite themes. The water lilies float in a cohort, bringing in conjunction with the reflections a vision of the surface of the water. In the same year he buys four other hybrids to Latour-Marliac
1914 is a terrible year. His son Jean dies in February, less than three years after Alice. International relations are desperate. Fortunately his friend Georges Clemenceau pushes him back to work by suggesting the project of the Grandes Décorations.
This new phase includes a major modification in Monet's art, the use of large formats of canvas. He looks more closely at the details of the flowers in his garden. A group of giant iris at water's edge 200 x 100 cm was sold for £ 10.8M including premium by Christie's on June 23, 2015.
On May 8 in New York, Christie's sells as lot 10 Nymphéas en fleur, oil on canvas 140 x 180 cm painted in his signature style of 1914-1917. The large size enables here a synthesis of the two visions of the artist. Nine big flowers in five groups have retrieved the details of the earliest series while the leaves and reflections are positioning the surface of the water on the whole of this image with no horizon.
#LiveLikeARockefeller: ‘The closer you get to the canvas, the more you feel like you’re inside it. The rest of the world vanishes,’ says Rebecca Wei, our President of Christie’s Asia, of the Rockefellers’ ‘Nymphéas en fleur’ by Claude #Monet.https://t.co/mT8EnKHNAN pic.twitter.com/LrOsMEJU7F— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) April 24, 2018
1932 The Devil's Snare
2014 SOLD for $ 44.4M including premium
She is not a botanist but there is no need to be a scientist for being fascinated by the datura, a wild herb that is particularly abundant in New Mexico. Its trumpet flowers appear at the cool of the evening with subtle shades of colors on a white background. A powerful hallucinogen, this plant is locally called Jimson weed and most commonly Devil's snare.
Painted in 1932, Jimson weed - white flower No.1 is a beautiful portrait of a flower. Inspired by macrophotography, it is an invitation to enter full front into the intimate secrets of a disproportionately enlarged datura. This oil on canvas is measuring 122 x 107 cm, a large format for the artist at that time.
This painting is estimated $ 10 million, for sale by Sotheby's in New York on November 20, lot 11. It is deaccessioned by the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe NM with the consent of the donor.
I invite you to play the video shared by Sotheby's.
1932 Marie-Thérèse mingled with her Statue
2012 SOLD 41.5 M$ including premium
On March 2, he paints an oil on canvas, 130 x 97 cm, entitled Nature morte aux tulipes (Still life with tulips). Pablo remembers that he is a sculptor. The figure of this painting is an indistinguishable mixture of flesh and statue telling us that Picasso is a great Surrealist.
The expressively distorted face retains the features of the blonde and pops up from the head on a pedestal. The woman wears on her lap a vase of flowers along with three fruits that may be her breasts and buttocks. The contrast of light is one of the brightest in the art of Picasso.
Nature morte aux tulipes was sold $ 28.6 million including premium at Christie's on May 9, 2000. It is estimated $ 35M, for sale by Sotheby's in New York on November 5.
Here is now what followed, further demonstrating the importance of this lot. Less than one week later, on March 8, Picasso undresses the woman and separates her from the statue. This "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust" is one of the masterpieces of Picasso, sold $ 106M including premium at Christie's on May 4, 2010.
POST SALE COMMENT
When it comes to Marie-Thérèse, Pablo's creativity has no limits. This amazing surrealist composition has been sold $ 41.5 million including premium.
1982 The Bliss of Spring
2016 SOLD for HK$ 270M including premium
Zhang returned to Asia in 1976. He however sees that urbanization is threatening the tranquility of his residence in Taiwan. He reacts as a poet. Made in 1982, Peach blossom spring exposes his grandiose dream of a paradise that can no longer exist. According to the Chinese artistic tradition, he inserts a poem explaining his quest for bliss.
This artwork combining drawing and splash is somehow his artistic legacy in the form of a hanging scroll of very large size 209 x 92 cm. The dream realized with a malachite green pigment is a column of progressive splashes reaching a sumptuous intensity in the top of the image.
This magnificent burst of color removes up to the edges of the picture a landscape in sharp lines but without details excepted the little boat of a fisherman. At the bottom of the blue green column, the border with the real world is provided by a row of peach trees undertaking to grow their flowering branches upward into the dreamlike sky.
His use of increasingly expressive colors explains the considerable interest of the old master in the art of Zao Wou-ki. Their meeting, highly significant for appreciating the evolution of modern Chinese painting, took place in the following year a few weeks before the death of Zhang.
Peach blossom spring is estimated HK $ 50M for sale by Sotheby's in Hong Kong on April 5, lot 1273.