Chronology : 19th century 1850-1859 1890-1899 1900-1909 1909 1916 1917
1857 The Only 3-Skilling Yellow
1996 SOLD 2.875 MCHF including premium by David Feldman
2010 SOLD over 2.3 M$ in private auction sale
No other copy will never be found, making this stamp the rarest and most desired piece on the philately market. Its story is told on the Treskilling Yellow page of Wikipedia, where it is illustrated. It was canceled in 1857.
It is a mistake and not a fake. This sample has all the characteristics of an 8 Skilling stamp, yellow, unless it bears the engraving of the 3 Skilling, which is green for all other known copies. The hypothesis to keep is that one of 100 clichés of a printing block of 8 Skilling was damaged, and the operator has inadvertently changed it by a 3 Skilling cliché. Nobody went aware of the error, and there is no way of knowing how many wrong copies were produced.
It was sold in 1996 2.875 MCHF including premium by David Feldman.
A scoop of the Telegraph has just announced its forthcoming sale without giving details, and it took me a few navigation tips to find the source: the 3 Skilling Yellow comes on May 22 in Geneva at private auction by David Feldman, with a specific catalog. You are now part of the happy few: here is the link to the catalog shared by the auction house.
David Feldman has done a quick calculation. Reduced to its weight, this small artefact of 26.75 milligrams is valued $ 70 billion per kilogram! Who says better?
POST SALE COMMENT
The Treskilling was sold for over $ 2.3 million to a group of buyers who required that the exact amount was not disclosed . I remind that it was a private auction.
Shared by Wikimedia :
1894 The most beautiful of Vampyrs (was made by Munch)
2008 SOLD 38 M$ including premium
Chance of the sales or rediscovery of Munch? A week ago, I devoted an article in the Prints group to a lithographic copy of the "Scream". The next day I announced in my weekly preview the arrival of a Vampire, at Sotheby's in London on October 2! (300 K£, lot 81). But now it's even better: I do not speak of an engraving, but of an oil on canvas.
Munch was a very important artist, who knew perfectly how to mingle love and death. His extraordinary lithograph "Madonna" has also been a few months ago the subject of an article on these networks. He was an illustrator concerned about the disclosure of his work, who made his oils on canvas in a small number of examples and added lithographic issues with a virtually identical drawing. As a result, this female "vampire", with her flame-color long hair, kissing on the neck of her lover, is an image that the auction news bring us often.
The Vampire was painted in four copies in 1893-1894, and the example to be sold is the only one in private hands. It is well known in New York, where it had been loaned during ten years to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Sotheby's expects more than $ 35 million.
On 7 May 2008, a painting with peaceful subject, Girls on a bridge, was sold in the same auction room at $ 30.8 million including expenses.
POST SALE COMMENT
In the chronology of the sales, the first is the print : 325 K£ including fees.
It is always nice to see an important work acknowledged by the verdict of the market. This is the case for this remarkable Vampire, sold $ 38 million charge included.
The image is shared by Wikimedia :
1894 Strindberg in the Storm
2014 SOLD for SEK 14.3M including premium
Strindberg was an amateur painter. He understood that creating some art is a major form of expression of the feelings and considered that it must provide an ecstatic pleasure to the author.
In 1893, he painted landscapes where sky and sea form a continuity without horizon. He positioned his colors with a knife by scars.
In 1894, his tribulations led him with his very young pregnant wife in a hut in Dornach, in the upper valley of the Danube. Waiting for the childbirth, he decorated this home by seven paintings of various subjects.
The local scenery is spectacular. Alplandskap, oil on panel 72 x 51 cm, is one of the paintings made for the house at Dornach. As in the maritime scenes, the horizon disappears in the color transition between mountains and clouds. The swirling motion of the knife reminds the starry sky of van Gogh. Alplandskap was sold for £ 2.1 million including premium by Sotheby's on June 27, 2007.
Strindberg is aware that his art is totally new. The title is only a guide, and the artwork is a tour de force that expresses both the external environment and the inner torment of the artist. He outlined the theory of his creations as Art fortuit (in French, meaning chance art), which opens the way for the much later role of emotion in abstract art and to the abstract landscapes by Zao Wou-ki.
On December 3 in Stockholm, Bukowskis sells Stormlandskap, painting on paper 32 x 24 cm mounted on panel, lot 689 estimated SEK 5M. Stormlandskap was painted in Paris in October 1894, probably in order to prove his theories to a friend, and it is now rediscovered. The design is very similar to Alplandskap, but with a greater tendency to destroy the figurative.
If Strindberg had been a professional artist, he could have shaken forever the artistic theories. Kandinsky did it fifteen years later in Murnau.
I invite you to play the video shared by Bukowskis :
1895 The Scream of Nature
2012 SOLD 120 M$ including premium
The artist, exalted by the meaning of life, is constantly navigating the limits of a morbid insanity. In 1889, during the Exposition Universelle in Paris, he is fascinated by the intensity of emotions expressed by Van Gogh, Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec.
In early 1892, Munch lives his own road to Damascus. He sees the sky ablaze at sunset, like an indomitable force of nature which has invaded the fjord in a terrible explosion of colors. He writes in his notebook a short poem stating that the happening had generated an intense fatigue to him.
No doubt he will be mesmerized by this vision for over a year, before daring to translate the memory of his anxiety as a painting and a pastel with a title evocating his inspiration: the Scream of Nature.
It took him another two years to exorcise his anxiety. In 1895, he made a second pastel, 79 x 59 cm, to be sold by Sotheby's in New York on May 2. Now conscious of having created a masterpiece, he prepares on the same year the first lithography. The fourth and last version of Munch's Scream is much later.
The pastel of 1895 is exceptional, and Sotheby's expects $ 80M. This is the only version where the artist has included the poem, hand painted into the frame. The two friends are still there in the distance, but are not any more interested in the scene, leaving the main character lonely struggling with his own dehumanization.
This is the only one of the four artworks to be still in private hands, and it had been little seen outside Norway. It is illustrated on Sotheby's page announcing the sale.
I invite you to watch the video shared by Sotheby's International Realty.
POST SALE COMMENT
Ite missa est. In a few words, everything is told: world record for a work of art, $ 120M including premium.
Rarely a record has been so deserved: last original in private hands, this pastel also marks the top of the emotional maturity of the artist on this theme, with dazzling colors.
The image is shared by Wikimedia.
1895 Life, Love, Death and Scream
2014 SOLD for $ 2.4M including premium
This incident stimulates the creativity of Munch who understands to what extent his art is new and different. He will stay four years in Berlin. His work is a dialogue between painting and printed image. It was in Berlin that he edited his most powerful pictures : Madonna, Vampire, Scream and several versions of Melancholy and of Woman on the beach.
Among the top painters, Munch is one of those who have given the highest importance to engraving. He tried all the techniques and all the possibilities for coloring either by inks or by added watercolor.
The Scream is edited in 1895 as a lithograph on wove paper with a printed inscription in German: Ich fühlte des grosse Geschrei durch die Natur (I felt the great scream throughout nature).
A copy printed in black and uncolored, signed by the artist but undated, is estimated $ 2M for sale by Sotheby's in New York on November 4, lot 53. Its sharp and thick line is beautiful.
This picture is unusual because its production time was very short: the printer had cleared the stone for reuse without asking the authorization of the artist.
1896 Loneliness on Beach
2013 SOLD 2.13 M£ including premium
Threatened by melancholy, Munch starts at that time one of his most personal themes, loneliness. A couple is on the beach, but they are quite distant from one another and their mental solitude is complete. This first painting is lost.
In 1896, he comes back to Paris where he perfects his experiences of all printmaking techniques. Aquatint gives the possibility to vary the balance of colors from one copy to another of the same image. He will soon specialize in lithography and woodcut.
On March 20 in London, Christie's sells an aquatint of the young woman on the beach. Well centered, the lonesome figure turns her back to us as in 1891. She is tall, and her straight attitude in her beautiful white dress shows that she has no other problem than her solitude. The only communication she has with her environment is the wind that plays with her very long hair.
Printed in light blue, brown, gray and pink, this print is estimated £ 500K. The image measures 29 x 22 cm on a 45 x 31 cm sheet. Here is the link to the catalog.
This artwork carried out in eleven copies is very rare on the market. This print comes after a recent de-accessioning. During the Nazi forced sales of 1933, it had been purchased by the institute of which its owner had been the keeper.
POST SALE COMMENT
In its great simplicity, this image is one of the most iconic of the engraved work of Munch. The aquatint was sold £ 2.13 million including premium.
The day before, a later print of that scene of loneliness with both characters including the same young woman was sold £ 990K including premium by Sotheby's.
1902 Four Girls away from the Guardrail
2016 SOLD for $ 55M including premium
The legitimate hope for a happy life mercilessly leads to the forbidden love with the Vampire, the untold abortion of Madonna and the open madness of the Scream. The line and color are a scathing expression, after Gauguin and Van Gogh, before Matisse, Kirchner and Kandinsky.
His characters play the tragedy of a mental loneliness which is not canceled by their presence in or near a group. Sometimes the stage is guarded on one side by an endless railing over which one or more actors will come at some time to meditate while leaning over the water. This theatrical similarity is the terrible common feature between the Scream, paroxysm of terror, and the very peaceful Girls on the bridge.
In 1901 and 1902, Munch painted several versions of Girls on the bridge, with various position of the characters. One of these artworks brings a little more hope than the other ones. Far away from the suicidal railing, it displays a tight group of four in an attitude conducive to opening a discussion but indeed still not to the exchange of secrets.
This oil on canvas 101 x 102 cm painted in 1902 was sold for $ 30.8 million including premium by Sotheby's in New York on 7 May 2008. It comes back in the same auction room on November 14, lot 12. The press release of October 21 announces an estimate in excess of $ 50M.
<1909 Ida in the Empty Room
2015 SOLD for £ 2.05M including premium
The rooms are sparsely furnished and not decorated. The walls are white. His wife Ida is present, often from behind, always quiet and never inactive although her occupation is not often identifiable. The interior doors are opened or closed, the sun sometimes penetrates through the tall glass windows.
Vilhelm is shy and austere, and the idea of a recluse life does not disturb him. His sharp compositions inspired by the Dutch interiors of the seventeenth century oppose the trends of modern art that he yet knew. His questions about the society of his time resulted in a rejection. He is now considered as having been a precursor to Hopper.
The glossy paint has an unexpected effect. The viewer enters the Strandgade apartment as if the artwork was a mirror in a frame and the exhibition room had been cancelled.
This impression is at its best when the contrast between light and shade is important. An oil on canvas 51 x 56 cm painted late in the Strandgade period is estimated £ 700K for sale by Sotheby's in London on May 21, lot 12.
1912 Interior with Daylights
2018 SOLD for $ 5M including premium
In 1909 the couple moves to a house in Bredgade 25, in another part of Copenhagen. In this short period that ends with a new move in 1913, Hammershøi seeks to renew his original creativity but exhausts his fragile health on female nude studies.
Dated 1910, an Interior with easel preserved at the National Gallery of Denmark shows a corner of an empty room in Bredgade, illuminated through a visible glass door on the left edge. The light projected on the dull wall is blurred. In this phase the artist experiments with the inclusion within grey of bright colors that are visible only by close inspection but contribute to the overall effect in the manner of the Impressionists.
In 1912 he paints an identical view that goes much further in the experimentation of lights like some tribute to the Dutch painters of the seventeenth century whom the artist admired.
The light of the beginning or end of the day comes from the same source but is here more sunny. Through an interior door, a similar light appears like an echo in a back room. Another luminous trace is visible on the floor, coming from a window out of field on the other side. The artist thus shows in a single view both the morning and evening lightings into the room where he has installed his easel, according to the new principles of multiple angles of the Futurism.
This seemingly simple composition is in fact a mystery to which the easel, already placed in the same position in 1910, contributes greatly. It is facing the wall, so we cannot see if a work is going on. The currently absent artist could only observe the other back wall, which we imagine as empty as the rest of the room.
This oil on canvas 78 x 70 cm is estimated $ 1.5M for sale by Christie's in New York on October 31, lot 14. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
#Bestof2018 #VilhelmHammershøi’s ‘Interior with an Easel, Bredgade 25’ – “The picture’s rarity and importance, coupled with the renewed market interest in 19th-century art, piqued the interest of 10 bidders and pushed the final price to $5,037,500”https://t.co/QxOvw7Ergg pic.twitter.com/TzYGzzMs5u— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) December 28, 2018
1916 Ploughed field by Edvard Munch
2015 SOLD for $ 2M including premium by Sotheby's
1917 Seated Female Nudes by Munch
2009 SOLD for $ 2.77M including premium by Sotheby's
2016 SOLD for £ 1.56M including premium
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.
In 1899 and 1917, 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.
On September 27 in London, Sotheby's sells a print 39 x 55 cm of the Two Human beings, probably completed around 1917, lot 141 estimated £ 400K. The artist or his printer 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.