A first in Paris. Sotheby’s is presenting a new sale on 19 October dedicated to works by artists who left a powerful mark on modern times, from the emergence of the avant - garde to the present day.
The many works on sale include a magisterial piece by René Magritte – one of the artist's very first Surrealist paintings; a magnificent picture by Claude Monet , whose radical modernity already foreshadows 20 th century abstraction ; a view of Fernand Léger 's studio, and various iconic works by Man Ray from a private Italian collection. Abstraction and the French post - war school are also represented, with a major painting by Nicolas de Staël from the celebrated Mellon collection.
RENE MAGRITTE Dating from 1926, Le Toit du monde ( estimate: € 1,5 00,0 00 - 2 ,0 00,0 00) belongs to Magritte 's first cycle of S urrealist paintings . F or the first time at auction, this enigmatic painting with little trace of any human figure was the first of his painting to employ the image of the human circulatory system, a stylistic figure found in some of his most iconic pieces of the next few years. With a remarkable provenance ( including Eugene Flagey, Carlo Ponti and Sophia Loren, and Franco Russoli), this painting draws the viewer right into the poetic enigma of Magritte 's work , for whom "art should evoke the mystery without which the world would not exist."
FRANCIS PICABIA Painted in 1929, Artémis ( estimate: € 500, 000 - 700,000 ) is a remarkable example of the iconic series of Transparences Picabia began i n 1927. These were an immediate success with both collectors and the Surrealist circle. Here, superimposing several motifs and images, the artist draws viewers into a work where different levels of interpretation are discernible . This complex, magisterial work, making its first - ever appearance on the market, immerses us in the very heart of Picabia 's artistic explorations .
ROBERTO MATTA Les Séparés vivants ( estimate: € 30 ,000 - 500,000 ), painted at the end of the war, reflect s the artist's aim to create a new representation of humanity, a "new image of mankind" , whose sources lay in primitive art and the psyche. Deeply marked by the events of the war, Matta 's art at this time took on a mor e incisive line, echoing the suffering and fear experienced by humanity . A t the same time, his work evinced a new kind of freedom in gestural and chromatic terms, and expressed his aspirations after this sombre time . This painting is one of the most accomp lished pieces in this highly sought - after period of his work .
NICOLAS DE STAËL In May1952 Nicolas de Staël rediscovered the South of France and its dazzling light. The Mediterranean left an indelible mark on him, and his palette changed, taking on brighter, more intense colours. Méditerranée ( estimate: € 700,000 - 1,000,000 ) shows how brilliantly the painter evokes the atmosphere of the South and alternates our perception of colours and volumes. Powerful, simplified forms now structure the painting's c omposition , just as the coloured contrasts structured Monet's Marine , inspired by the sea in Normand y .
MAN RAY The sale ends with a remarkable group of fifteen works by Man Ray, which come from the Sergio Tomasinelli collection These were all bought from Luciano Anselmino, who was not only Man Ray 's dealer at the end of his life but also a close friend. They provide a magnificent overview of Man Ray's art in all its diversity.
Among them is the touching Tearful Woman (estimate: € 300,000 - 400, 00 , a black and white photographic print hand - coloured by Man Ray. The only other extant copy of this sensual and captivating image was sold a few months ago for over $2 million.
Other notable works include Orchestra (estimate: € 180,000 - 250 ,000 )
and Decanter ( estimate: € 180,000 - 250,000 ) , which form part of Man Ray 's revolutionary Revolving Doors series, together with a whole range of the Surrealist objects that made the artist famous and popular .
IMPRESSIONIST AND MODERN ART AUCTION ON 22 OCTOBER 2017
On 22 October, the sale of Impressionist and modern art of Paris, from the dawn of Impressionism to the early 1950s, provides a select overview of art within and outside France, with great modern artists like Fernand Léger, Raoul Dufy and Marc Chagall. The latter will be represented by a fine group of works including
Le Bouquet Blanc (estimate: € 800,0 00 - 1, 200,0 00 ), a magnificent synthesis of the most fundamental motifs in his work.
A drawing by Egon Schiele (Femme debout, estimate: € 200,000 - 250,000 ) will be on offer.