Paintings auction at Christie's November 30, 2006 is highlighted
by two wonderful paintings by John Singer Sargent, an exquisite
pastel by Whistler, a great tempera by Jacob Lawrence, an excellent
work by George L. K. Morris, a good landscape by Albert Bierstadt,
a fine portrait by Robert Henri, a superb landscape by Julian
Alden Weir, a pleasant work by Mary Cassatt, and a very good landscape
by Louis Remy Mignot.
"Thistles," is a breathtaking work by John Singer Sargent
(1856-1925) that was painted circa 1883. An oil on canvas, it
measures 22 1/4 by 28 1/4. It is startling in its brushwork and
very rich palette and its relatively large size makes it almost
a great abstraction. It has a ridiculously low estimate of $250,000
to $350,000 as it is unquestionably the finest work in the auction.
It sold for $710,400 including the buyer's premium as do all
results mentioned in this article.
sales total was $38,184,000 with 86 percent of the 168 offered
paintings are not everyone's cup of tea but a few rise way above
the genre to capture our imagination with their memorable beauty
and Lot 67, "Mildred Carter," by John Singer Sargent
is just such an example. While not quite as enticing as some English
portraits at The Frick Collection, this is, nonetheless a bravura
work whose brushwork in the center is sensational and the overall
portrait is impressive and fetching. An oil on canvas that measures
40 by 30 inches, it was executed in 1908. It has an estimate of
$1,500,000 to $2,000,000. It sold for $3,936,000.
Carter, according to the catalogue, "was the daughter of
American diplomat John Ridgely Carter, who Sargent painted in
1901..., and Alice Morgan Carter." "Mildred married
Viscount Acheson in 1910, becoming Countess of Gosford on her
husband's accession to the title as fifth Earl in 1922,"
the catalogue stated. The painting was consigned by the Patrick
B. Acheson Trust.
of James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) are consistently beautiful
and ravishing and Lot 66, "Mother and Child," is an
exquisite example. It measures 11 by 7 1/4 inches and was executed
circa 1890-2. It was once in the collection of Mrs. Potter Palmer.
It has a very conservative estimate of $150,000 to $250,000. It
sold for $542,400.
is an artist more revered for his very important teachings, influence
and writings than his paintings and, indeed, his oeuvre is quite
inconsistent in quality. Lot 43, "Patience," an oil
on canvas that measures 24 by 20 inches, is at the highest level
of his oeuvre, an extremely fresh, very engaging, and very painterly
portrait of a child. Executed in 1915, it has a modest estimate
of $200,000 to $300,000 and is much better than the excellent
portrait, "Hughie the Poet," that sold at Sotheby's
November 29, 2006 for $800,000, a more formal and less animated
pose. This lot sold for $204,000.
Weir (1852-1919) is one of America's greatest impressionists whose
warm and muted palette is invariably used in very fine and unusual
compositions. Lot 7, "New England Meadow," is an excellent
landscape by Weir that was executed circa 1910-12. An oil on canvas,
it measures 25 by 30 inches. It has an extremely conservative
estimate of $40,000 to $60,000 especially given the relative rarity
on his works on the market. It failed to sell.
"Subway Acrobats," is a great tempera on board by Jacob
Lawrence (1917-2000)(see The City
Review article on a major Lawrence
It measures 20 by 24 inches and was executed in 1959. It has a
modest estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. It sold for
an auction record for the artist.
Mignot (1831-1870) has long been overshadowed by his fellow exploring
artist, Frederic Edwin Church, and this small and very beautiful
work could well be mistaken for one of Church's masterpieces.
It is all the more memorable because it appears so very much bigger
than its small size. An oil on canvas, it is entitled "A
View of Colonial City, Ecuador," and it measures 10 by 18
inches and was painted in 1861. It has a very low estimate of
$25,000 to $35,000. It sold for $132,000.
"Autumn," is a good, large work by Albert Bierstadt
(1830-1902). An oil on canvas, it measures 31 by 45 inches. It
is rather unusual for Bierstadt because of its asymmetrical composition
and almost abstract quality with a radiant light. The painting
was on extended loan to the National Collection of Fine Arts of
the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., from 1970 to
1978, the White House in Washington, D.C., from 1978 to 1991 and
the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts from 1993 to 1998. The painting
has a serene majesty. Given its extremely impressive exhibition
history and its quality, it has a very low estimate of $1,200,000
to $1,800,000. It sold for $1,920,000.
does not have too many Hudson River School paintings but Lot 96
is a good and classic work by Asher B. Durand entitled "View
of Esopus Creek, Ulster County, New York." An oil on canvas,
it measures 20 by 27 inches and was exhibited at the National
Academy of Design in 1950. It has a modest estimate of $60,000
to $80,000. It sold for $54,000.
Lot 88 is
a very pleasant study for one of the prominent figures in the
great "Voyage of Life" series by Thomas Cole (1801-1848),
the founder of the Hudson River School and one of America's greatest
painters. It is a study of the guardian angel in the second painting
in the series. It is an oil on canvas that measures 10 3/4 by
8 3/4 inches. It has a modest estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.
It sold for $78,000.
Lot 2, "Apple Blossoms," is a
small work by Theodore Robinson (1852-1896). It is an oil on canvas
that measures 8 1/2 by 15 inches and was painted circa 1885-90.
Robinson's oeuvre unfortunately is filled with drab paintings
of lonely and not very beautiful women, but the artist was capable
of producing not only lyrical and beautiful works such as this
but also some exquisitely abstract harbor scenes. This lot has
a modest estimate of $40,000to $60,000. It sold for $96,000.
Lot 87 is
a major work by Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937) that is entitled
"The Good Shepherd." A tempera and oil glazes on canvas,
it measures 36 by 30 inches and was executed in 1930. It has a
modest estimate of $50,000 to $70,000 given its high quality and
the rarity of the artist's works. It sold for $228,000.
Lot 38 is
a simple, small abstraction by Marsden Hartley (1877-1943) that
is entitled "Movement No. 3, Provincetown." An oil on
board, it measures 20 by 16 inches and was painted in 1916. It
was once in the collection of Alfred Steiglitz.
provides the following commentary:
the Movement series, Hartley fuses European and
influences in a revolutionary manner. One of the last American
artists to leave Europe after the outbreak of the war, Hartley
was far more aware of and influenced by the Synthetic Cubist movement,
led by such visionaries as Picasso and Braque, than were his American
contemporaries. In Movement No. 3, Provincetown, he
these theories through the sailboat, a quintessentially American
has an estimate of $600,000 to $800,000. It sold for $598,400.
"Movement, Bermuda," is another simple abstraction by
Hartley from 1916. An oil on board, it measures 16 by 11 3/4 inches
and is being sold by the Lehman College Art Gallery to benefit
the Pierre and Dorothy Brodin Endowment for education in the arts.
The catalogue maintains that the work "is one of the earliest
and most advanced Cubist paintings produced in America. It has
an estimate of $300,000 to $500,000. It sold for $844,800.
K. Morris (1905-1975) was an excellent modernist as demonstrated
by Lot 159, "Intrusion," a 1938 oil on canvas that measures
20 1/4 by 16 1/4 inches. The lot has a conservative estimate of
$50,000 to $70,000. It sold for $144,000.
"Goat's Horns with Blue," by Georgia O'Keeffe is a very
strong and fine pastel on paper laid down on board. It measures
28 by 35 1/2 inches and was executed in 1945. It has a modest
estimate of $400,000 to $600,000. It sold for $553,600.
is a very fine and colorful polychromed terracotta by John Storrs
(1885-1956) entitled "Modern Madonna." The work was
executed circa 1918 and is 11 inches high. It has an estimate
of $40,000 to $60,000. It sold for $96,000.
"Antoinette Holding Her Child by Both Hands," is a well-done,
highly polished work by Mary Cassatt (1845-1926) that is impressive
but a bit too posed. It is quite painterly especially in Antoinette's
right sleeve. An oil on canvas, it measures 28 3/4 by 23 3/4 inches
and was painted circa 1899. It has an estimate of $2,000,000 to
$3,000,000. It sold for $3,488,000.
is a good winter scene entitled "Sugaring Off" by Anna
Mary Robertson ("Grandma") Moses. Mixed media on canvas,
it measures 36 by 45 inches and was executed in 1943. It was formerly
in the collections of Cole Porter and Cy Feuer. It has an estimate
of $450,000 to $650,000. It sold for $1,360,000, an auction
record for the artist.
is a pretty painting of "Dogwood at Valley Forge" by
Andrew Wyeth (b. 1917). A tempera on masonite, it measures 23
by 30 inches. Executed in 19141, it has an estimate of $700,000
to $1,000,000. It failed to sell.
is an impressive landscape by Edward Willis Redfield (1869-1965)
entitled "Spring at Point Pleasant on the Delaware River."
It is an oil on canvas that measures 38 by 50 inches. Executed
in 1926, it has an estimate of $350,000 to $500,000. It sold
"Woman by a Window," by Richard E. Miller (1875-1943)
is a luscious oil on panel that measures 36 1/4 by 34 inches.
It had an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000. It sold for $441,600.
Miller's finished paintings are invariably gorgeous and very,
"The Bar at McSorley's," by Everett Shinn (1876-1953)
is a nice watercolor, gouache and pencil of paper that measures
10 1/2 by 19 inches and is dated 1908. McSorley's is still an
very, very popular bar and is located on 7th Street near Cooper
Union. The lot had an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000. It sold