Impressionist and Modern Art - June 2011, London

Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale will take place on Tuesday 21 June 2011 and will offer 92 lots with a pre-sale estimate of £115 million to £164 million.


Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale will take place on Tuesday 21 June 2011 and will offer 92 lots with a pre-sale estimate of £115 million to £164 million*. Representing artistic movements from throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries, and including works by many of the most celebrated artists of the time, the auction is highlighted by the estate of the late Ernst Beyeler, who is regarded as one of the greatest art dealers, collectors and curators of the 20th century. A further highlight is Jeune fille endormie by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) an intimate portrait of the artist’s lover Marie-Thérèse Walter dated 1936, which was was given to the University of Sydney by an anonymous donor in 2010 on condition that it would be sold and that the University would dedicate the proceeds to scientific research.

Giovanna Bertazzoni, Director and Head of Impressionist and Modern Art, Christie’s London: “The London season of summer auctions is a celebration of art that will offer collectors and admirers the opportunity to see a diverse range of art from the Impressionist and Modern category. Many of the highlights on view haven’t been seen in public for decades, including Picasso’s masterful portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter, and we will offer access points at all levels of the market, from the Monet in the evening sale at over £15 million, to the auction at South Kensington, where estimates start at £800. It is a great honour to be offering the estate of Ernst Beyeler, an absolute legend of the art world.”  

Leading the auction is the estate of Ernst Beyeler, the late Swiss legendary art dealer which includes artworks from the private home where he lived with his wife Hildy, as well as significant paintings and sculptures from the Galerie Beyeler. Highlights include Nymphéas, a great late painting by Claude Monet executed between 1914 and 1917 (illustrated right). Executed on a grand scale (59 x 78¾ in.; 150 x 200 cm.), this magnificent work is a precursor to the post-war abstractions of Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still and Sam Francis. It is expected to realize £17 million.


No major Beyeler exhibition was complete without a great Picasso, and so it is fitting that the auction will include the artist’s Buste de Françoise, a 1946 great colorist portrait of his lover Françoise Gilot, represented as the ‘femme fleur’ (estimate: £7 million to £10 million).  Other masterpieces include Paul Gauguin’s Le Vallon, Tahiti of 1892 (estimate: £5.5 million to £8.5 million), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s Miss May Belfort of 1895 (estimate: £1.8 million to £2.4 million), Pierre-August Renoir’s La source (Nu allongé) of 1902 (estimate: £4 million to £6 million), and Fernand Léger’s Le Drapeau of 1919 (estimate: £2.8 million to £4 million).


A smaller group of post-war and contemporary art masterpieces are also featured in the Beyeler estate. These include an impressive and extremely elegant Mobile executed by Alexander Calder in 1965 (estimate: £800,000-1,200,000), a 1965 seminal work by Mark Tobey entitled White and Rose (estimate: £70,000-100,000) and other important works by Kiefer, Tinguely, Baselitz and Vieira da Silva.

Another leading highlight of the auction is Jeune fille endormie, 1935, by Pablo Picasso (illustrated left). An intimate portrait of the artist’s lover Marie-Thérèse Walter, the subject many of Picasso’s most celebrated pictures, it is expected to realize £9 million to £12 million. Having resided in just two private collections since it was painted, Jeune fille endormie was given to the University of Sydney in 2010 by an anonymous donor on condition that it would be sold and that the University would dedicate the proceeds to scientific research. Jeune fille endormie was executed in 1935 and is a striking example from this celebrated series of portraits. Executed in bold, expressionist colours and brush strokes, it was originally acquired by Walter P Chrysler Jr soon after it was painted, and then changed hands just once before it was donated to Sydney University in 2010. It was shown at the celebrated Picasso retrospective at MoMA, New York, in 1939, which toured to Chicago, St Louis and Boston in 1940. It was then included in an exhibition of works from the Chrysler Collection in 1941, and has since been hidden from view in a private collection.

The auction will also offer a rarely-seen portrait of Dora Maar who became Pablo Picasso’s lover and muse at the expense of Marie-Thérèse Walter (illustrated right).

Painted in 1939 shortly after the outbreak of the 2nd World War, it has been unseen since it was exhibited at Galerie Beyeler in 1967 and is offered at auction having been acquired by the family of the vendor circa 1968. The painting originally belonged to Picasso’s dealer, Paul Rosenberg, but was confiscated in 1940 and was later to be sent to Germany. It was spared by the interception of the French Resistance in a famous event immortalized, albeit in fictional form, in the 1964 movie The Train, starring Burt Lancaster. Having been returned to Rosenberg, it was acquired by the Pittsburgh steel magnate George David Thompson, a much celebrated collector of 20th century art. In 1966 Ernst Beyeler purchased this work at the auction of the Thompson estate: a further proof of the taste and the commercial acumen of the Swiss dealer. It is expected to realize £4 million to £8 million. 

Further Highlights

Avant l’entrée en scène (Deux danseuses) by Edgar Degas is a vivid depiction of ballet dancers executed in 1888 and offered from a private collection in which it has resided since 1936 (estimate: £4 million to £6 million). This pastel dates from an important period when the artist had immersed himself in the medium of pastel and was executing what are now recognized as many of his finest works.

Christie’s host an annual auction dedicated to the Art of the Surreal each February. Following the success of this year’s sale, where René Magritte’s L’aimant (The Magnet) sold for £4.7 million / $7.6 million, the auction in June will offer the artist’s masterpiece Souvenir de voyage, 1963.

A striking portrayal of an apple and a pear on an empty beach, it is offered at auction for the first time having been acquired by the present owner in 1982.

Oiseau, insecte, constellations, a large and arresting picture by Joan Miró executed in 1974, is expected to realize £2 million to £3 million. It is also offered at auction for the first time.

Le lévrier bleu, 1919, by Kees van Dongen which was previously in the collection of the Principality of Monaco, is expected to realize £2.8 million to £3.5 million.

A strong section of German art includes Friesenhäuser II, 1910, by Emil Nolde (estimate: £1 million to £1.5 million); Im Bazar, 1914, a vibrant watercolour by August Macke (estimate: £600,000 to £800,000); Tänzerin, 1932, by Paul Klee (estimate: £2 million to £3 million); and Bayerisches Dorf mit Feld, 1908, by Wassily Kandinsky (estimate: £2 million to £3 million.

Impressionist and Modern Art: Day Sale 

Wednesday 22 June 2011

The auction will feature masterpieces from the Impressionist, Fauve, German Expressionist and Surrealist movements. In addition to offering a selection of Property from the Estate of Ernst Beyeler sold to benefit the acquisition and exhibition programme of the Fondation Beyeler (lots 301-352), the sale includes a rare, early Renoir portrait, Jacques-Eugène Spuller, which was exhibited in one of the first Impressionist exhibitions, a cubist seascape by Raoul Dufy, Le casino de Sainte-Adresse au pêcheur, from the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and an important group of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings from the distinguished Geneva, Paris and Monaco-based collection of Monsieur and Madame Francois (lots 361-375). Additional highlights of the sale include a fauve portrait by Sonia Delaunay Portrait du peintre Kahler, a unique marble from 1956 by Jean Arp Sculpture méditerranéenne II and a vibrant early Chagall from circa 1927, La fenêtre ouverte ou Vue de la fenêtre, amongst other high quality works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Kees Van Dongen, Marie Laurencin, Hermann Max Pechstein, August Macke and Salvador Dalí amongst others.

Impressionist and Modern Art: Works on Paper
Wednesday 22 June 2011
Impressionist & Modern Art: Works on Paper offers a wide range of high quality drawings, watercolours and pastels. Featuring seminal works from high-period Impressionism, Ecole de Paris, German Expressionism, Modernism and Surrealism, the lots range in value from £2,500 to £300,000. Further to the honour of offering a selection of Property from the Estate of Ernst Beyeler sold to benefit the acquisition and exhibition programme of the Fondation Beyeler (lots 202-219), the auction also includes a series of 16 rare watercolours by Otto Dix from a Private German Collection, created as a children’s book for the artist’s step-son, then passing by descent to the present owner (Bilderbuch für Mugelli; lots 134-149). Additional highlights of the sale include Egon Schiele’s striking 1910 watercolour portrait of Mime van Osen, offered by a Private Collector (estimate £300,000-500,000), as well as a vibrant pastel by Mary Cassatt, circa 1889, offered from a Private American Collection, Mathilde Holding Baby who Reaches out to the Right (£250,000-350,000), amongst further high quality works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Edgar Degas, Joan Miró, Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger, Salvador Dalí and Marc Chagall and others.

Impressionist and Modern Art
Friday 24 June 2011
Christie’s South Kensington
This auction will offer 298 lots with estimates from £800 to £60,000. It will include works by Pablo Picasso, Paul Signac, Raoul Dufy, Albert Gleizes, André Lanskoy and Carlos Nadal. Highlights include works by Odilon Redon, Jacques Villon and Henri Matisse from the collection of Walter Pach; a selection of new-to-the-market European and South American Naïve Art; and a fine selection of ceramics by Pablo Picasso. 

The Jeffrey Archer Sale: Decades of Collecting
Tuesday 28 June 2011
Christie’s South Kensington
The auction of works of art from the Collections of Lord Archer will take place at Christie’s South Kensington on 28 June and will offer approximately 150 works of art with a total value in excess of £5 million. Lord Archer has been an avid collector of art since his university days, and this passion has driven him to ammass an impressive collection. It also led to a business partnership in association with the celebrated Neffe-Degandt Gallery in George Street, London, a business which recently closed its doors on the semi-retirement of the highly respected art dealer Christian Neffe. The collection to be offered at Christie’s presents selected works of art from both the private and corporate collections of Lord Archer, with estimates as low as £1,000.

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*Impressionist and Modern Art – June 2011, Christie’s - Pre-sale estimates:


Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale                                                                       £114,687,000 to £164,069,000

Impressionist and Modern Day Sale                                                                               £12,782,900 to £18,427,400

Impressionist and Modern Works on Paper                                                 £5,383,000 to £7,844,500


Impressionist and Modern Art (South Kensington)                                                    £1,330,000 to £1,940,000

The Jeffrey Archer Collection (South Kensington)                                                     £4,699,400 to £6,861,400


TOTAL:                                                                                                                           £138,882,300 to £199,142,300            

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Christie’s, the world's leading art business had global auction and private sales in 2010 that totaled £3.3 billion/$5.0 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's conducted the greatest auctions of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, and today remains a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers over 450 sales annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s has 53 offices in 32 countries and 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, and Hong Kong. More recently, Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in emerging and new markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai.


*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and do not reflect costs, financing fees or application of buyer’s or seller’s credits.


About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

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