Nympheas by Claude Monet will be the highlight at the Christies Impressionist and Modern Art sale.
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-Therese 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.”
The Magnificent Nympheas by Claude Monet.
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 allonge) of 1902 (estimate: £4 million to £6 million), and Fernand Leger’s Le Drapeau of 1919 (estimate: £2.8 million to £4 million).