Sunday, January 19, 2020

Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale 5 February 2020

 Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale will be followed by The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale, together launching '20th Century at Christie's' on 5 February 2020. Tamara de Lempicka's Portrait de Marjorie Ferry (1932, estimate: £8,000,000-12,000,000) and Alberto Giacometti's Trois hommes qui marchent (Grand plateau) (1948, estimate: £8,000,000-12,0000,000) will both lead the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale. Further highlights include George Grosz's politically charged Gefährliche Straße (1918, estimate: £4,500,000-6,500,000), which has remained in a private collection for 50 years and will appear at auction for the first time. A group of three still lifes by Pablo Picasso demonstrate his career-long dedication to evolving the genre with exceptional examples from the 1940s, 50s and 60s: La cafetière (1943, estimate; £1,000,000-1,500,000); Intérieur au pot de fleurs (1953, estimate: £7,000,000-10,000,000) and Nature morte au chien (1962, estimate: £4,000,000-6,000,000). Works on paper by Gino Severini, Egon Schiele Paul Klee, Picasso and Max Ernst provide intimate insight into key artists of the 20th century.

Tamara de Lempicka, Portrait de Marjorie Ferry 39 x 25 in. (100 x 65 cm.) (1932) £8,000,000-12,000,000 (US$10.4-15.7m)

Portrait de Marjorie Ferry was commissioned in 1932 by the husband of the British-born cabaret star Marjorie Ferry at the height of Lempicka's fame in Paris where she was the most sought-after and celebrated female modernist painter. By 1930 Lempicka had become the première portraitist in demand among both wealthy Europeans and Americans, specifically with those who had an eye for classicised modernism.


George Grosz (1893-1959), Gefährliche Straße. Oil on canvas, 18⅝ x 25¾ in. (47.3 x 65.3 cm.) Painted in July 1918. Estimate: £4,500,000-6,500,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2020.

A major highlight of this series of auctions will be George Grosz’s highly politicised depiction of Germany at the close of the First World War, Gefährliche Straße, which will be offered at auction for the first time. The painting will be presented 100 years after it was first exhibited in Grosz’s solo exhibition at the Galerie Neue Kunst in Munich. The painting has remained in the same private collection since 1970 and was last seen in public over twenty years ago in the Haus der Kunst, in Munich, in an exhibition titled ‘Die Nacht’ in 1999.

Olivier Camu, Deputy Chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art, Christie’s: “We are honoured to present at auction this masterpiece from the rare and celebrated First World War series of city paintings by George Grosz. It has remained in the same collection for half a century. Only three of the original 20 or so cityscapes (ten in museums, seven lost or destroyed) remain in private hands and this is arguably the best and most complex of those. Grosz with all his corrosive wit and a mastery of colour here combines futurist dynamism and expressionist fervour to convey his hatred of Germany and contempt for its establishment. He has added an angry self-portrait in the lower right corner of the composition.”

Ten paintings from the series can be seen in leading museums including the Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Kunsthalle, Hamburg; Staatsgalerie Stuttgart; Tate, London; Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, Madrid and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Gefährliche Straße (Dangerous Street) is a picture of the First World War as it was played out on the streets of Berlin, painted during the last months of the War in July 1918. This series of often nightmarelike pictures of the city are the finest of all Grosz’s achievements. They are works of art that have come to fix the image of Berlin in the popular imagination and to define the traumatic era within which they were made. Gefährliche Straße is one of the last and most accomplished of this famous series of apocalyptic paintings. Unlike some of Grosz’s earlier, more deliberately crude and sketchily-executed works in this series, there is a cooler and more measured sense of assuredness and stability about the way in which this deliberately disorientating and fragmented vision of a dark and dangerous street has been depicted. Employing a style that is reflective of both the complete command of the oil medium that Grosz had by this time acquired and also of the more focused, moralising sense of political purpose that his work had begun to pursue, the forms, figures and rich colour combinations of this painting are all rendered with a new-found clarity and precision.

The painting will be on view in the King Street galleries in London from 30 January to 5 February 2020


Picasso is credited with transforming the still-life genre into an art form of endless symbolic, allegorical or stylistic possibility.

Image result for Picasso La cafetière (1943, estimate; £1,000,000-1,500,000)

La cafetière (1943, estimate; £1,000,000-1,500,000) is constructed with angular lines and saturated colour and was given as a gift from Picasso to his lover of the time Marie-Thérèse Walter.  

Image result for Picasso Intérieur au pot de fleurs (1953, estimate: £7,000,000-10,000,000)

Intérieur au pot de fleurs (1953, estimate: £7,000,000-10,000,000) is filled with the formal influence of his friend Henri Matisse, while this intriguing interior scene can also be seen to allude to the inner turmoil that characterised the artist's life at this time. Nature morte au chien (1962, estimate: £4,000,000-6,000,000) is a large and playful still-life that not only offers a glimpse into the private world of Pablo Picasso and his idyllic final home, Notre-Dame-de-Vie in Mougins, but encapsulates the abiding themes and stylistic qualities of the artist's work in what has become known as his late, great period.
Conjuring a sense of light, movement, sound and people, La Ferrovia Nord-Sud dates from 1913 (estimate: £700,000-1,000,000), the peak of Gino Severini's Futurist period. Here, Severini transports the viewer into the bustling realm of the underground railway. Executed in 1929, Der Ballon im Fenster (estimate: £200,000-300,000) by Paul Klee takes as its focus a multicoloured balloon which the artist has glimpsed through a gap in the curtains, its bright form floating across the sky above a landscape bathed in the glow of a setting sun.

The Winter Show's 2020 loan exhibition

January 24–February 2, 2020

Diego Velázquez (1599-1660), Camilo Astalli, known as Cardinal Pamphili, Rome, Italy, 1650-1651, oil on canvas, H 61 x W 48 cm., Hispanic Society Museum & Library, New York.

The Winter Show's 2020 loan exhibition will feature masterworks from the renowned collection of the Hispanic Society Museum & Library, spanning 4,000 years of Hispanic history, art, and culture.

On view January 24–February 2, 2020, the exhibition is co-curated by esteemed art historian and curator Philippe de Montebello, Chairman of the Board of the Hispanic Society Museum & Library, and acclaimed architect Peter Marino.

 Image result for The Winter Show's 2020 loan exhibition

The Winter Show’s annual loan exhibition offers visitors a focused look at exceptional collections of art, antiques, and design from leading historic institutions, reflecting the quality, range, and expertise of the Fair’s exhibitors.

Hispanic Society Museum & Library collection’s significance and breadth consists of more than 18,000 works of art from the Paleolithic Age to the 20th century, and an extraordinary research library that holds 250,000 manuscripts and 35,000 rare books. The institution is the only in the world to offer such a complete vision of Hispanic history, art, and culture.
The exhibition will display masterworks from throughout the Iberian Peninsula, Latin America, and the Philippines by artists including Diego Velázquez, El Greco, and Francisco de Goya, alongside such works as a mid-18th-century painting by the Cuzco School in Peru and an exceptional 17th-century ceramic aquamanile from Portugal. Additional highlights will include a painting by John Singer Sargent created during his extended travels in Spain circa 1879–80, and a work by Valencian painter Joaquín Sorolla from the early 1900s, among many others.

Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on 4 February

Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on 4 February will include three works recently restituted to the heirs of Gaston Lévy, one of the most notable patrons and art collectors living in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s. A highly successful businessman and property developer, Lévy and his family lived in a magnificent apartment on the Avenue de Friedland, which he filled with books, paintings and works of art, many of which he bought from the great dealers of his day, including BernheimJeune, Paul Durand-Ruel and Ambroise Vollard.

Lévy’s art collection was dispersed under the Nazi occupation, and two of the works to be offered in February were lost to the ‘Einsatztab Reichsleiter Rosenberg’ (an organisation dedicated to receiving looted cultural property) in October 1940. After the war, the works were repatriated to the French state, and have recently been restituted by the French Government to Lévy’s heirs from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

Signac’s Quai de Clichy. Temps gris – had been stored in the Lévy’s country home, the Château des Bouffards, but later found its way into the collection of the dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt, whose illicit hoard was discovered by the authorities in 2012.

The jewel of the group is a Pointillist masterpiece by Camille Pissarro. Painted with enormous thought and dedication over a period of some six months, Gelée blanche, jeune paysanne faisant du feu depicts a young woman and child building a fire on a cold winter’s morning, where every brushstroke works to bring to life the movement of smoke in the wind.

Through his patronage of the Pointillists, Lévy also formed a lifelong friendship with Signac, holidaying with the artist as well as sponsoring his project to paint 107 ports in France – securing his first pick from every batch of watercolours. Over the arc of his collecting career, Lévy owned forty-four oils by the artist. The auction will offer two paintings from different points in Signac’s oeuvre – transporting the viewer from a brisk morning in a Parisian port to the exotic delights of Istanbul’s waterside.

Camille Pissarro, Gelée blanche, jeune paysanne faisant du feu, 1888, oil on canvas, 92.8 by 92.5cm. (est. £8,000,000 – 12,000,000). Courtesy Sotheby's. 

Gelée blanche, jeune paysanne faisant du feu, 1888, oil on canvas, 92.8 by 92.5cm. (est. £8,000,000 – 12,000,000)

One of Pissarro’s greatest achievements, this tour-de-force of light and colour also ranks among greatest examples of Pointillism ever created. The creation of this extraordinary work was – as Pissarro’s letters from the time attest – a labour of love. Some six months in the making, Gelée blanche, jeune paysanne faisant du feu stands apart from the main body of his work, wherein the artist’s deep understanding of the new, scientific colour theory was harnessed to extraordinary artistic effect. Pissarro completed the work in time for the 6th exhibition of the Cercle des XX in Brussels, where it was heralded as a tour de force in Neo-Impressionism.

Conceived on a grand scale, the painting captures the effects of both heat and cold in a brilliant rendering of the complexities of light and atmosphere. Against the backdrop of the low sun casting shadows on the meadows and the lingering night frost, smoke rises with a shimmering heat, resulting in a remarkable and uniquely nuanced representation of fire, smoke and cold air that is yet to be matched.

The subject of the burning fire – and the challenge of representing it – was something that clearly intrigued Pissarro throughout his career. He returned to this particular subject no fewer than six times – twice in oil, and four times on paper (an example of which can now be seen in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford).

In addition to the brilliance with which the effects of light, fire and wind are rendered, Gelée blanche, jeune paysanne faisant du feu is also testimony to Pissarro’s empathetic approach to the human condition. In many ways, his interest in painting the working classes is what distinguishes him from so many of his contemporaries. In making humans the subject of his works – figures with landscapes, rather than figures within landscapes – he stands out as the great humanist among the Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painters, marking out his independence from them.

This painting has previously been exhibited at many institutions internationally including Paris’ Musée de l’Orangerie and Musée d’Orsay, Tokyo’s The Bunkamura Museum of Art and São Paulo’s Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, to name a few.


Image result for PAUL SIGNAC La Corne d’Or. Matin, 1907, oil on canvas, 73 by 92cm. (est. £5,000,000 – 7,000,000)La Corne d’Or. Matin, 1907, oil on canvas, 73 by 92cm. (est. £5,000,000 – 7,000,000)
Paul Signac’s two great passions in life were painting and sailing, and when the artist first travelled to Istanbul in the spring of 1907 – an adventurous endeavour to pastures new – he was immediately struck by the unique quality of light and colour that filled the ancient city.

The historic location inspired twelve paintings, all of which take as their subject the Golden Horn, a busy waterway teeming with life near the port of Istanbul, that was one of the key entrances to the Ottoman capital at the time. In this ethereal work, the skyline of the city is easily recognisable in the background, with the famous minarets of the Hagia Sophia an unmistakable silhouette on the horizon. 

Paul Signac, LA CORNE D'OR (CONSTANTINOPLE), 1907. Sold for $16,210,000.
  In November 2019 another view of Constantinople was sold at Sotheby’s in New York for $16,210,000. The brilliant luminosity of the composition, bathed in the morning light, is typical of Signac’s late style – showing the influence of Fauvism – and is wonderfully effective here in paying homage to the historical legacy and richness of the city, whilst rendering it in a completely fresh and modern way.

Paul Signac, Quai de Clichy. Temps Gris, 1887, oil on canvas, 46 by 65.5cm. (est. £600,000 – 800,000). Courtesy Sotheby's.

Quai de Clichy. Temps Gris, 1887, oil on canvas, 46 by 65.5cm. (est. £600,000 – 800,000)
This elegant, pointillist observation of the Quai de Clichy is a classic example of Signac’s Opus pictures, paintings he considered ‘complete compositions’ which are now seen as his earliest and greatest contributions to Neo-Impressionism.

Signac’s family moved to the northwest of Paris in 1880, to a suburb running along the river Seine. The varied landscape of the region – comprising both the river and factory chimneys – provided a great source of inspiration to the young artist, fulfilling his interests in sailing, science and innovation. In the year this was painted, Signac was joined in his painting expeditions around Clichy by Vincent van Gogh, who depicts the bridges just further up from this composition.

The work was discovered in the possession of Cornelius Gurlitt, a reclusive art hoarder who died in 2014, and having been identified as looted by the Nazis, was restituted by the estate to the heirs of Gaston Lévy in July 2019. The sister composition of Quai de Clichy. Soleil is now in the Baltimore Museum of Art.  
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Flesh and Blood: Italian Masterpieces from the Capodimonte Museum


OCT 17 2019 – JAN 26 2020




The Seattle Art Museum presents Flesh and Blood: Italian Masterpieces from the Capodimonte Museum (October 17, 2019–January 26, 2020), featuring 40 Renaissance and Baroque works of art (39 paintings and one sculpture) drawn from the collection of one of the largest museums in Italy. Traveling from the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte in Naples, the exhibition offers a rare opportunity to see works by significant Italian, French, and Spanish artists who worked in Italy including Artemisia Gentileschi, El Greco, Parmigianino, Raphael, Guido Reni, Jusepe de Ribera Titian, and more.




The Capodimonte Museum is a royal palace built in 1738 by Charles of Bourbon, King of Naples and Sicily (later King Charles III of Spain). The core of the collection is the illustrious Farnese collection of antiquities, painting, and sculpture, formed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and inherited by Charles of Bourbon. Italian and Spanish masterpieces of the Baroque period, grounded in realism and produced in Naples, build on this foundation. The Farnese collection traces a century of creativity, inspiration, and a constant search for beauty, followed by masterpieces of the Baroque era characterized by grandeur, dramatic realism, and theatricality.
This exhibition marks the first time that this many works from the Capodimonte Museum will travel together at the same time. The New York Times called the museum an “under-visited treasure trove” with a “staggering collection of art” and Conde Nast Traveler called it “the most underrated museum in Italy.”
seattle art museum
Parmigianino, Antea, ca. 1535. Oil on canvas. Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte.
The paintings in Flesh and Blood center on the human figure, whether featured in portraits or mythological and religious scenes. They explore the intersection of physical and spiritual existence, with an emphasis on the human body as a vehicle to express love and devotion, physical labor, and tragic suffering.
“I am thrilled that we have the rare opportunity to see these incredible works in Seattle,” says Chiyo Ishikawa, SAM’s Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art and Curator of European Painting and Sculpture. “Epic and intimate, divine and brutally realistic, these paintings speak to the complexity of human experiences in a timeless way that will resonate with our visitors.”


Cover of the Flesh & Blood Catalogue

Exhibition Catalog