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See also : Belgium II George IV to Victoria Turner Watercolor by Turner Sciences Sciences > 1800 Révolution and Empire Tintin
Chronology : 1800-1809 1830-1839 1926
1802-1816 Les Liliacées by Redouté
1985 SOLD for $ 5.5M by Sotheby's
His direct commitment to botany takes place in two phases : 486 watercolors on vellum on Liliaceae from 1802 to 1816 followed by 168 Roses from 1817 to 1824. His scientifically accurate drawings are taken from life in the gardens of La Malmaison, Saint-Cloud, Versailles and Sèvres.
All the watercolors of the Liliacées, bound in 16 volumes 48 x 35 cm for a total weight of nearly 150 kg, were originally entrusted to Joséphine's library in La Malmaison.
The lot was sold on November 20, 1985 for $ 5.5M by Sotheby's after a sensational opening bid of $ 5M, the highest at that time in an art sale.
The buyer was a young dealer of rare books and prints named W. Graham Arader, who immediately made him known. To carry out this operation, he had created a syndicate of clients. Each share gave the right to own four watercolors, some were still available and he kept 30% of the whole. He had been the only bidder but according to his statements gathered by the New York Times he was covered up to $ 20M.
The pieces were chosen in turn by Arader's clients according to a priority determined by a draw. Arader has not disclosed the names of his shareholders. Steve Jobs was probably one of them.
On October 10, 2020 Arader Galleries sold several Liliacées watercolors. The two top lots were sold for $ 530K each, including premium : cultivated pineapple, plate 456, lot 91, and banana, plate 444, lot 90, both linked here on LiveAuctioneers bidding platform.
1835 Ehrenbreitstein by Turner
2017 SOLD for £ 18.5M by Sotheby's
He is also a keen traveler. When touring all over Europe he deliberately walked in the fictional footsteps of Childe Harold, the disillusioned young man of Byron's poem who visited the sites wrought by wars to satisfy his need for freedom.
In 1835 Turner finishes his sublime view showing Rome from the Aventine, oil on canvas 93 x 126 cm. Extending to the oil the traditional technique of watercolor, the superposition of very thin layers of paint brings a transparency that simulates the sunny mist without weakening the details of the drawing. This painting was sold by Sotheby's in 2014.
The artist has reached an agreement for an image of Germany with the engraver John Pye after he had appreciated the quality of the effects of light in his prints. When he receives the promised work, Pye is frightened but it is too late to give up : Turner did not execute a watercolor but an oil on canvas of large size, 93 x 123 cm, with the same subtle hues as in the Roman view. Meeting the requirements of the patron is virtually impossible.
This painting is a view of Ehrenbreitstein, subtitled The Bright Stone of Honour and the Tomb of Marceau from Byron's Childe Harold. The ruined fortress of Ehrenbreitstein which still dominates Koblenz is a symbol of the vanity of the old wars. Marceau is that young French general killed at the age of 27 near Koblenz who had deserved such a reputation for chivalrous bravery that the two hostile armies participated together in his funeral.
Contrary to the Roman view, the view of Rhineland does not seek an overall topographical truth. It is a set of scenes where peasant girls cohabit peacefully with soldiers of both armies.
The painting was finished in 1835. Nine years later Turner became impatient with Pye who succeeded in convincing him that his work was not abandoned. The engraving was printed in 1845 under the pressure of a collector who wanted to buy the original painting to Turner.
The Ehrenbreitstein view was sold for £ 18.5M by Sotheby's on July 5, 2017, lot 21. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
1841 Heidelberg by Turner
2013 SOLD for $ 4.6M by Sotheby's
At 65, Turner is at the top of his art. He expresses in his watercolors the exceptional light and iridescence from poor weather conditions. The landscape is always identifiable and improved with small characters engaged in their daily tasks.
To respond to the order, he sketches Heidelberg when the rain has stopped and the rainbow is just beginning to rise. This large watercolor, 35 x 53 cm, was probably made in 1841. It will be published in 1846 by Prior.
The artwork presents a curiosity that is not a fantasy. Several characters are in medieval costume. Turner remains a witness of his time : in Heidelberg, university students used to dress in that way.
It was sold by Sotheby's for $ 4.6M on January 31, 2013, lot 101. The image is sourced from Sotheby's in Wikimedia.
1914 Beat Up Boy Football Hero by Leyendecker
2021 SOLD for $ 4.1M by Heritage
Some folk heroes are reminded as they were re-conceived by Leyendecker such as the jolly Santa Claus in a red garb. He prepared 322 covers for The Saturday Evening Post, beginning in 1899 and including his recurring New Year's Baby. The magazine went to four color printing in 1926.
He set his workshop in 1914 within the community of illustrators of New Rochelle NY and had a paramount influence on the 20 year younger Norman Rockwell who resided there from 1915.
The November 21, 1914 cover of The Saturday Evening Post is the Beat Up Boy - Football Hero by Leyendecker. The football game of a very young boy ended in a brawl that left him with a bandaged eye and with rags. The hero keeps the control of the ball, adamant to defend it against anybody.
The original art, oil on canvas 76 x 53 cm on its original stretcher, resurfaced after being treasured for nearly a century in a family. It was sold for $ 4.1M by Heritage on May 7, 2021, lot 67167.
#HeritageLive: J.C. Leyendecker's "Beat-up Boy, Football Hero,"the cover of a 1914 Saturday Evening Post, made its auction debut today in our American Art event. A long and heated bidding war pushed the final price to $4,121,250. https://t.co/ZFjNvVj2Ia #AuctionUpdate #Art pic.twitter.com/jXSnB5ErGN— Heritage Auctions (@HeritageAuction) May 7, 2021
2006 SOLD for $ 7.6M by Christie's
Daybreak, executed in 1922, is his biggest hit, a favorite image of Americans to whom it provides an idea of paradise.
The artwork is carefully composed according to the Golden ratio. In the background, the light of dawn bathes a landscape of mountains. In the foreground, between two big endless columns, two maidens wake up. One of them, recumbent, is dressed in a light coat like the antique Greeks. The other is standing, and leans over her friend. She is nude. The mountain is a view over the upper Connecticut river near the artist's home.
The original picture was prepared with a glazing technique that provided a luminous surface. The paint had been applied from the tube in multiple layers over a white ground.
This oil on board 67 x 114 cm was sold for $ 7.6M by Christie's on May 25, 2006. Coming back in the same auction house on May 20, 2010 on occasion (as gossiped) of the marital problems of a filmmaker, it was sold for $ 5.2M. The image is shared by Wikimedia.
2022 SOLD for $ 6.7M by Christie's
In the golden light of a late afternoon, the innocent girls take a rest in a contemplation of nature in the variegated shadows of a big oak. The models were the daughters of a friend. In the opposite of the Sapphic daybreak, there is no nudity. A special care was brought to the harmonic balance of the composition.
This oil on panel 91 x 56 cm painted and copyrighted in 1926 was sold for $ 6.7M from a lower estimate of $ 2M by Christie's on November 9, 2022, lot 47.
Hilltop was edited as an image in three sizes.
1936 Tintin's Le Lotus Bleu
2021 SOLD for € 3.2M by Artcurial
Hergé prepares for the cover a 34 x 34 cm drawing in India ink, watercolor and gouache. He is very proud of his new knowledge of Chinese culture, acquired through an effective collaboration with the Chinese diaspora from Brussels and Louvain. He chooses a scene in the vestibule of the opium den, with the image of a dragon in tapestry and a blue and white vase of monumental size.
Hergé has full confidence in Casterman but his cover design requires a perfect mastery of four-color printing. For the final version, he removes the pattern of thin clouds in which his dragon evolves, too complicated to print in yellow and red on a black background and unrelated to the story. The album is published with this second image pasted on the hard cover, in 6,000 copies.
The same album includes five full page illustrations for which Hergé did not work in direct colors. The black and white preparatory drawing of one of them was sold for HK $ 9.3M including premium by Artcurial on October 5, 2015.
The unused cover drawing is given by Hergé to the publisher's son who folds it in six to store it in a drawer. It surfaced in 1988 in Ixelles in an exhibition dedicated to the sixtieth anniversary of the Adventures of Tintin. It was sold for € 3.2M from a lower estimate of € 2.2M by Artcurial on January 14, 2021, lot 18. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
The dragon mutates for the reissue of the album in 1942. It becomes a black silhouette on a red background. On the vase, its barely legible figure is replaced by a little bird.
see dedicated page
1969 Egyptian Queen
2019 SOLD for $ 5.4M by Heritage
Frank Frazetta is a comic book artist. He also has fun with horror films. In Creepy No. 1, he illustrates in stripes a story titled Werewolf. His talents are undeniable. Warren now entrusts him with the illustration of most of the covers, including in a short-lived magazine of war stories. This initiative frees the artist's overflowing imagination from the constraint of respecting scenarios and stories. This is the great turning point in his career.
Barely dressed in a loincloth aside with some jewelry for the women, Frazetta's characters are extremely muscular, confident in their strength to face the unclean beasts that mark their daily lives.
The art of Frazetta is a collection of parallel universes populated by muscular women and terrifying creatures. Working primarily for book and magazine covers, he must capture the attention of bookstore customers by offering intense action moments.
Frazetta uses oil painting with brilliant colors and dramatic contrast, unleashing the eroticism of almost naked women. He excites the fantasies of the readers of his time, just as the horror films of Universal Pictures had made moviegoers forget the consequences of the great crisis.
Egyptian Queen is an oil on stretched canvas 50 x 66 cm. This scene contains all the ingredients for a dream : the woman is a queen from a mysterious other time, altogether haughty and slightly sulky, protected by an antique guard with a heavy sword. In the foreground a powerful wild beast is her pet, with a collar.
Frazetta worked very fast. With Egyptian Queen, he appreciates that he has all the elements of a masterpiece. He wants the heavily made-up eyes to have a hypnotizing power. After leaving the painting aside for several months, he suddenly finds his inspiration and finishes the work in a few minutes.
First published in 1969 as the cover of the horror comics magazine Eerie # 23, Egyptian Queen will then be widely reused for magazines and posters. Frazetta kept the original throughout his life. This painting was sold for $ 5.4M by Heritage on May 16, 2019, lot 91027. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
1976 Dark Kingdom
2023 SOLD for $ 6M by Heritage
Of course Kane is perfectly suited to inspire Frank Frazetta. In 1976 Wagner's Dark Crusade is illustrated by Frazetta in the cover page. The terrible warrior with the winged helmet and the blood-dripping ax is resolutely advancing over a field of skeletons.
Titled Dark Kingdom by the artist, this sword and sorcery image was used in 1979 as the cover of a rock album and reproduced in various formats by the Frazetta Art Museum where it was one of the most favored attractions.
The original art, an oil on pressboard 45 x 60 cm, was sold for $ 6M by Heritage on June 22, 2023, lot 91009 in a direct provenance from the Frazetta family.
1984 Spider-Man Secret Wars
2022 SOLD for $ 3.36M by Heritage
It features nearly all the major heroes and villains of the period. The No. 8 reveals why and how Spider-Man changed his suit seven months earlier in The Amazing Spider-Man magazine # 252.
The pages 24 and 25 of the Secret Wars indeed display one of the most thrilling events that happened to Peter Parker aka Spider-Man. The super-hero is choosing a new costume without appreciating that it is an alien symbiote, which is an artefact from enemy aliens for taking the control of the planet.
Page 24 ends by the astonishment of Spider-Man that his left glove is becoming black. Page 25 starts with a two third height image of Spider-Man taking flight in a full black uniform with a large white spider wrapped on the chest. The lower third is confronting two images, of Spider-Man thrown into the air in his new attire and of the desperate choir of the other heroes viewing it as the evidence that "Galactus is devouring the planet".
The original 25 x 38 cm ink over graphite drawings on bristol board had been prepared by Mike Zeck and co-authors. Treasured in a collection since the late 1980s, they were sold by Heritage on January 13, 2022. Page 24 was sold for $ 290K, lot 91028, and page 25 for $ 3.36M, lot 91029.