The Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on 28 February in London will present 51 lots spanning the birth of Impressionism through to some of the most important and groundbreaking movements of the 20th century. It will feature two major European collections: The Personal Collection of Barbara Lambrecht and Le Corbusier: Important Works from the Heidi Weber Museum Collection.
A highlight of the sale is Paul Gauguin’s Te Fare (La maison) (1892), one of the most richly coloured of his Tahitian landscapes. Painted on the artist’s first visit to the island, in the year that he produced some of his greatest masterpieces, it has been suggested that the wooden hut in the composition could be Gauguin’s own rented home in Mataiea.
A further exceptional work in the sale is Henri Matisse’s Jeune fille aux anémones sur fond violet (1944), part of a series of interior scenes that the artist created while living in Vence in the south of France. The painting is the first of three portraits by Matisse of a young artist, Annelies Nelck. Of these three works, the present oil is the only one to remain in private hands — the other two reside in the Musée Matisse, Nice, and the Honolulu Museum of Art in Hawaii.
Painted in 1970, Picasso’s Joueur de flûte et femme nue (estimate: £6,500,000-8,500,000) depicts a voluptuous female nude being softly serenaded by a bearded flute-player. The sensual, spontaneous style of the painting infuses the composition with a heady sense of eroticism characteristic of much of Picasso’s late work. The seated nude in Joueur de flûte et femme nue is Jacqueline Roque, Picasso’s great love, wife and final muse, who first appeared in his work in 1954.
Canotage à Bougival by Pierre-Auguste Renoir is likely to have been painted in the spring of 1881, soon after the artist returned from a two-month trip to Algeria, his first-ever voyage outside of France. During his travels, Renoir had devoted himself fully to landscape painting, and on returning to France he continued to paint landscapes that bear witness to one of the central tenets of Impressionism: the plein-air master working outdoors. Canotage à Bougival was acquired in 1920 by one of the most important collectors of the 20th century, Dr Albert C. Barnes, whose collection of modern art remains among the greatest of its kind.
First conceived in around 1882, Le baiser (The Kiss) is one of the most iconic sculptures of Rodin’s entire oeuvre, renowned for its timeless depiction of two young lovers caught in a passionate embrace. Slightly larger than life-size, the original marble version was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1898.
In addition to the Evening Sale on 28 February, the Impressionist & Modern Works on Paper sale takes place on 1 March and is followed by the Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale, also on 1 March at King Street. The Impressionist & Modern Art sale takes place at Christie’s South Kensington on 3 March. The online-only sale Picasso Ceramics will run alongside the live auctions from 24 February to 7 March 2017. Estimates range from £500-18,000,000 across the season, providing opportunities for collectors at every level.
Highlights will be on view in Shanghai on 8 February and in Beijing from 11 to 13 February, with all works to be exhibited in London from 23 to 28 February.