Holland 2nd page
See also : Ancient painting Ancient drawing Ancient sculpture Orientalism Orientalism 1850-1900 Music in old painting
Chronology : 16th century 1520-1529 17th century 1620-1629 1630-1639 1660-1679 1904 1920-1929 1929 1930 1942
ca 1520s A Child Prodigy in Leiden
2018 SOLD for £ 11.5M including premium
A pupil of Cornelis, Lucas Hugensz is skilled for graphic arts. From his adolescence, he shows a great maturity. Beginning in 1508, his engraved work is important, with an abundance and sharpness of details and a beauty of contrasts that have enthralled Dürer. The colors of his paintings are the brightest of his time. He is known as Lucas van Leyden.
Lucas was born in Leiden. It is believed that his father was a painter. His date of birth is questioned. We do not know how he learned engraving or after whom he specialized in his genre scenes animated by crowds of characters. He married in Leiden in 1515 and died in 1533 at about 40 years old.
His biography is blurred by his praise by van Mander, born fifteen years after the death of Lucas, who could however have collected the memories of direct witnesses. Lucas appears passionate about his art from his childhood, working day and night until the exhaustion that will shorten his life.
The autograph works by Lucas van Leyden are extremely rare at auction. On December 4 in London, Christie's sells as lot 60 a 28 x 13 cm black chalk drawing of a richly dressed young man standing, probably a study for a detail of a composition that has not been identified. The watermark is known in Netherlands and Germany in the 1520s and 1530s.
This drawing belonged to the Rugby School and is sold for the benefit of its educational program. The September 10 press release announces an estimate in the region of £ 1.5M.
On 4 December Christie’s will present 'Old Masters/New Scholars: Works of Art to Benefit Rugby School,' led by a rare drawing by the Dutch Old Master painter and printmaker Lucas van Leyden.— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) October 7, 2018
Find out more about the sale here:https://t.co/AYcX38U2C7 pic.twitter.com/qNFrXbi61L
1626 A Mannerist Bronze atop a Fountain
2014 SOLD for $ 28M including premium
It is now listed by Christie's for sale in New York on December 11, lot 10 estimated $ 15M.
Here is my 2011 discussion (slightly reworded) introducing this lot:
During a routine visit to a castle in 2010, the expert from Christie's takes a look at the fountain in the middle of the yard. Thus a previously unknown masterpiece enters the art history.
The bronze 109 cm high adorning the top of the fountain had been in that place for at least 300 years. It is signed by Adriaen de Vries and dated 1626, the year of the artist's death.
Influenced by Giambologna, De Vries was spreading the new fashion for mannerism. Their bronzes give life to muscular bodies twisted in expressive attitudes inspired by antiquity, and which will be much later admired by Rodin.
The theme of the artwork is a naked standing mythological figure carrying a globe. This statue is shown on the article shared in 2011 by Antique Trader.
De Vries is particularly known for his statues for gardens and fountains. Working in Prague for the Emperor Rudolf II, he remained in that city after the death of his patron and accepted private commissions.
The arrival of such a lot on the art market is exceptional. We must go back over twenty years ago to find another authentic bronze by this artist. On 7 December 1989, the Getty bought at Sotheby's for £ 6.8 million including premium a Dancing faun 76 cm high.
1637 Purist Portraits by Frans Hals
2018 SOLD for £ 10M including premium
Hals did not leave Haarlem and his art reflects the very specific ambience wanted by Ampzing. Portraitist of bourgeois and merchants, he does not confuse wealth and luxury. His sitters wear dark clothes only embellished with a white collar.
The faces have the same pictorial quality as the portraits made by Rembrandt but the monotony of his theme bored the following generations. The importance of his work was restored in the mid-nineteenth century by Thoré-Bürger who was also the discoverer of Vermeer.
In the early 1630s, Hals reduces his palette to gray, brown and black with an infinite variety of shades in these three colors. He is by that way reaching the high end of purism without losing the pictorial quality. His palette of blacks will be admired by van Gogh.
On December 6 in London, Christie's sells a pair of oils on canvas forming pendants, 93 x 68 cm each, lot 10 estimated £ 8M, in an exceptional state of preservation.
This pair is the three-quarter length portrait of a couple, dated 1637, possibly commissioned for their wedding anniversary. The man and the woman each hold a pair of deerskin gloves that symbolize their union. They are not identified but their age is recorded : 37 years old for the man and 36 for the woman.
Please watch the video shared by Christie's showing four masterpieces from the Eric Albada Jelgersma collection.
1670 Young Woman seated at the Virginals by Vermeer
2004 SOLD 16.2 M£ including premium by Sotheby's
narrated in 2020
It can form a pendant with The Lacemaker. The two works have the same format, one of the smallest used by the artist, and may have been painted on pieces of canvas from the same cloth, too raw to be intended for commercial purpose. It is possible that each of them is the portrait of one of the artist's daughters, Maria and Elizabeth.
Both girls have a bright yellow shawl. That of the Young woman seated at the virginals was not convincing. Analysis has shown that this color was painted in two overlapping layers, probably several years apart, perhaps to repair a degradation. The removal of the upper layer gives this picture the three-dimensional intimacy of a real Vermeer.
The ultramarine blue was the most expensive pigment of its time, made from lapis lazuli. Vermeer appears to be the only artist who has made an intensive use of it, not only for the visible blue in his compositions but also to contribute subliminally to the hue of the background wall.
Present in these two functions in the Young woman seated at the virginals, this blue is also one of the arguments to authenticate the Saint Praxedis painted by Vermeer at the very beginning of his career. The fact that Vermeer never declared an apprentice to the Delft guild undoubtedly facilitates such considerations. Saint Praxedis, oil on canvas 102 x 82 cm, was sold for £ 6.2M including premium by Christie's on July 8, 2014.
Each year brought its fashion changes. The date of 1670 is plausible for both The Lacemaker and the Young woman seated at the virginals, with the curls falling on both sides of the bun.
1883 Antony and Cleopatra by Alma-Tadema
2011 SOLD 29 M$ including premium by Sotheby's
narrated in 2020
Alma-Tadema paints the antique passions, with a sharp drawing and bright colors that evoke the Orient. He depicts the most beautiful women and their lovers, languid to the limits of debauchery. He surrounds them with luxurious objects for which he accumulates a strong documentation through his trips to Greco-Roman sites, his visits to museums and his abundant collection of photographs.
In 1883 Alma-Tadema is inspired by Shakespeare's play to paint the First meeting of Antony and Cleopatra for a private commission. The queen displays her beauty as in a window, in a barge covered with a canopy. The lover docks in a sort of gondola driven by Roman soldiers. Between the two, a slave girl plays the flute.
The composition is bold, letting see through the boats the sea and some elements of antique architecture. According to historians, this scene took place in Tarsus in 41 BCE. Never mind : it especially gives Victorian England the envy of the scandalous pleasures which indulgently appealed the greatest characters of antiquity.
This Antony and Cleopatra is the opus CCXLVI in the chronological list maintained by Alma-Tadema for avoiding counterfeits. This oil on panel 66 x 91 cm was sold for $ 29M including premium by Sotheby's on May 5, 2011 over a lower estimate of $ 3M, lot 65. The image is shared by Wikimedia.
The display of an instant effect into a dramatic action is a specialty of Alma-Tadema and will influence the scenarios and even some framings of the cinema. He is in some way an orientalist precursor of Norman Rockwell.
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 :
1922 Mondrian on the Art Market
2009 SOLD 21.5 M€ including premium
Mondrian is one of the benchmarks in the market. His abstract technique, rigorous and thorough, is repetitive, even though the position of horizontal and vertical lines and of colored boxes is always different.
The oil on canvas from the collection Saint-Laurent, 80 x 50 cm, painted in 1922, is simple, as the market likes them. The space is divided into four parts: the top has three boxes including a blue one and a very thin red stripe, a narrow stripe on the right goes down in two boxes in turn yellow and black, two cases in the lower left repeat the pattern of the top, and a wide empty box holds the dominant center of the canvas to the left edge.
The estimate of this painting is € 8 million, making it one of the most expensive works by Mondrian at auction. This expectation is due to the extreme clarity of its composition. It is not comparable with the 1941 painting sold for $ 21 million including expenses by Sotheby's in 2004, a more original design where lines were the only highlights of the composition, with a large empty middle creating the haunting look of the picture.
POST SALE COMMENT
I regarded this Mondrian as a benchmark of the health of the art market. If I was right, we can conclude now that the art market is going fantastically well: € 21.5 million including premium.
The sale of the Saint-Laurent collection was announced just before the art market was beginning to doubt of itself. This sale of modern art, and particularly this Mondrian painting, masterfully demonstrate that the vendors, and not the buyers, have a loss of confidence in the market.
1929 Constructing the Balance
2015 SOLD for $ 50.6M including premium
In 1929, the artist manages to simplify this structure to the extreme without however reaching the ultimate outcome of the squares by Malevich. Only one vertical and one horizontal lines go from edge to edge, dividing the canvas into four nearly equal areas. The broken lines complement a square over the bottom right with divided stripes on their edges.
On May 14 in New York, Christie's sells a Composition No. III with red, blue, yellow and black, 50 x 50 cm, lot 6C estimated $ 15M, which is a prototype and perhaps the most outstanding painting using this new geometry. The deep red on the top left distracts the attention away from the non-colored central square. The other two colors along with the black and a non-color fill the narrow stripes on the bottom right of the figure.
Mondrian is happy. He presents this painting to Michel Seuphor, who is one of the first critics to actively support this new conception of abstract art, and reuses this effective geometry with other color schemes.
Painted in 1930 on a canvas of same size, Composition No. II with blue and yellow was sold for £ 12.4 million including premium by Christie's on February 4, 2014.
1930 Mondrian reaches the Infinity
2014 SOLD 12.4 M£ including premium
By studying the parallel lines, Euclid invited to consider the infinite through a figure executed on a small surface. In 1930, it becomes clear that Mondrian endeavours to implement a similar vision in art: the pattern of strictly horizontal and vertical lines is important, color is secondary.
On February 4 in London, Christie's sells an oil on canvas, estimated £ 8M.
At that time, two colors are now sufficient on the condirion that they appear at opposite corners of the canvas. The lowest line is very close to the edge, opening a mysterious area. Under such conditions, a small picture is sufficient to express rhe deletion of the limits : the size of this square canvas is only 50 cm.
There is no fantasy in an abstract painting by Mondrian. The thicker horizontal line at the top of the yellow zone is so short on the canvas that it is indeed the visible part of an endless journey.
I invite you to play the video shared by Christie's. It masterfully demonstrates that this painting is just one element in a series of different colors, put in a comparable manner on a similar pattern. In another artwork, yellow and blue are reversed compared with the painting that comes for sale.
In a less dogmatic way than Malevich, Mondrian also eliminates any emotional value of color. The only impression that remains is infinity.
POST SALE COMMENT
This small painting enables to appreciate Mondrian's quest. It was sold for £ 12.4 million including premium.
1941-1942 Boogie Woogie by Mondrian
2004 SOLD for $ 21M including premium by Sotheby's
narrated in 2020
During this last period of his life, he worked on six new canvases, which he tirelessly modified in his search for the perfect rhythm and the balance of colors. Three of these works remained unfinished.
The first opus, in 1941, is titled New York. This oil on canvas 95 x 92 cm composed of black verticals and horizontals is not dynamic enough and does not interest anyone. The artist understands that the cause of this failure is the large empty square in the center of the canvas. He completes it in 1942 by adding three red lines as well as a few colored punctuations along the edges which are his first expression of the city's neon lights.
This transformation deserves a new title. The work becomes Boogie Woogie by reference to this style of jazz in which the pianist punctuates with one hand the main rhythm brought by the other hand. This New York Boogie Woogie was sold for $ 21M including premium by Sotheby's on November 4, 2004, lot 7.
Mondrian's last two works, Broadway Boogie Woogie completed in 1943 and the unfinished Victory Boogie Woogie, energize his style by integrating small squares of color into his unlimited lines. His sudden death from pneumonia in February 1944 put an end to this short phase of intense musicality which paved the way for Action painting and Op art.