Piet Mondrian (1872-1944)
Piet Mondrian (1872-1944)

Berkenbosje (Small Birch Forest)

Piet Mondrian (1872-1944)
Berkenbosje (Small Birch Forest)
signed 'Piet Mondriaan' (lower left)
charcoal and watercolour on paper
23 1/8 x 16 1/2 in. (58.5 x 42 cm.)
Executed circa 1902
Gustav Stein, Cologne.
B. Mendelsohn, Amsterdam.
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (no. A-8558), by whom acquired from the above on 8 June 1959.
B. Mendelsohn, Amsterdam, to whom returned by the above on 13 June 1962.
Gustav Stein, Cologne, to whom restituted by the above in 1962.
Anonymous sale, Lempertz, Cologne, 11 June 1963, lot 499.
Malborough Fine Art Ltd, London, by whom acquired in 1963.
Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, London, 30 March 1966, lot 70.
Manuel Ulloa, Lima, by whom acquired at the above sale.
Private collection, New York.
Triton Collection Foundation, The Netherlands, by whom acquired in 2002.
R.P. Welsh, Catalogue Raisonné of the Naturalistic Works (until early 1911), Toronto, 1998, no. A287, pp. 268-269 (illustrated p. 268).
M. Bax, Mondriaan compleet, Alphen aan den Rijn, 2001, p. 350.
S. van Heugten, Avant-gardes 1870 to the Present: The Collection of the Triton Foundation, Brussels, 2012, p. 555 (illustrated p. 268).
Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Twaalfde jaarlijksche tentoonstelling van kunstwerken, uitsluitend van leden der Vereeniging, May - June 1902, no. 109.
Den Bosch, Kunsthandel Borzo, Perspectives IV, September 2002, p. 30 (illustrated p. 31).
Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Van Monet tot Picasso: Meesterwerken op papier 1860-1960, November 2002 - February 2003.
Vienna, Albertina, Piet Mondrian, March - June 2005, no. 3, pp. 40-42 (illustrated; dated '1899').
Brescia, Museo di Santa Giulia, Mondrian, October 2006 - March 2007, no. 8, p. 68 (illustrated p. 69; dated 'circa 1898-1899').
Copenhagen, Ordrupgaard, Piet Mondrian: Vejen til modernismen, August - November 2007, no. 3, p. 64 (illustrated).
Rotterdam, Kunsthal, Avant-gardes: De collectie van de Triton Foundation, October 2012 - January 2013.
Hamburg, Bucerius Kunst Forum and Margate, Turner Contemporary, Mondrian: Farbe, February - September 2014, no. 5 (illustrated).

Brought to you by

Ottavia Marchitelli
Ottavia Marchitelli

Lot Essay

Executed circa 1902, Berkenbosje, represents the last surviving drawing likely to have been exhibited in the exhibition in St Lucas, Amsterdam, according to Robert P. Welsh (op. cit., 1998, p. 268). Welsh goes on to say that Mondrian’s interest in the birch forest had probably been inspired by a visit to his father in Gelderland Capital City. Whilst the period of Berkenbosje is distinctly different, suggested by the handling of the work which sits within the earlier period of its creation, the strong vertical and horizontal elements anticipate the later composition Woods near Oele from 1908 where the influence of Edvard Munch, Jan Toorop and Jan Sluijters are evident in the saturated colours and bold contrasts, typical of his period of divergence towards the path of abstraction.

by Jussi Pylkkänen, Global President, Christie’s

Christie’s is honoured to be offering for sale a significant group of works from the Triton Collection Foundation, which continues to evolve and grow in new areas. The last major de-acquisition from the collection took place in our salerooms in Paris in March 2015 when the Exceptional Works on Paper from the Triton Collection Foundation sale elicited huge interest from collectors around the globe: Those works, which had been collected by Triton’s Founders over many years, saw spectacular prices for top quality pieces, such as Camille Pissarro’s Paysannes travaillant dans les champs, Pontoise, which sold for €1,381,500 against a pre-sale estimate of €250,000-350,000, further to numerous world records achieved for works on paper by artists such as Claude-Emile Schuffenecker, Paul-Elie Ranson and Frédéric Bazille. This strong market reaction is in recognition of the eye with which they had originally been selected.

Over many years the Foundation has considered public access to its works as a fundamental pillar of its collecting ethos. A continuous dialogue with curators around the world and an extensive loan programme to over seventy museums globally has made this dream a reality and benefited exhibitions at the likes of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, the Seoul Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Art. These collaborations have ensured that an international audience has consistently had the opportunity to appreciate the quality and breadth of the collection, which stretches from classic Impressionism through to Surrealism and beyond to Post-War work by the major American artists. The sales of the major works in this season’s auctions will give the opportunity to the Foundation to continue its excellent, philanthropic work.

The group of works being sold across our Impressionist sales here in London includes seminal examples of French Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and the European avant-garde, from Claude Monet’s luminous Vétheuil of 1879 to Jan Toorop’s resonating symbolist 1902 composition, Faith and Reward. Each of these works has been bought with a very discerning eye, and often the provenances of the pieces are as noble as the works themselves. We wish the Foundation great success with these sales as well as their future projects.

More from Impressionist and Modern Works on Paper

View All
View All