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American Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture

Christie's

10 AM, November 30, 2006

Sale 1711

"Thistles" by Sargent

Lot 15, "Thistles," by John Singer Sargent, oil on canvas, 22 1/4 by 28 1/4 inches, circa 1883

By Carter B. Horsley

The American 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.

Lot 15, "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.

The auction's sales total was $38,184,000 with 86 percent of the 168 offered lots selling.

"Mildred Carter" by John Singer Sargent

Lot 67, "Mildred Carter," by John Singer Sargent," oil on canvas, 40 by 30 inches, 1908

Large portrait 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. Mildred 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.

"Mother and Child" by Whistler

Lot 66, "Mother and Child," by James McNeill Whistler, pastel on paper laid down on board, 11 by 7 1/4 inches, circa 1890-2

The pastels 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.

"Patience" by Henri

Lot 43, "Patience," by Robert Henri, oil on canvas, 24 by 20 inches, 1915

Robert Henri 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.

"New England Meadow" by Julian Alden Weir

Lot 7, "New England Meadow," by Julian Alden Weir, oil on canvas, 25 by 30 inches, circa 1910-12

Julian Alden 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" by Lawrence

Lot 160, " Subway Acrobats," by Jacob Lawrence, tempera on board, 20 by 24 inches, 1959

Lot 160, "Subway Acrobats," is a great tempera on board by Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000)(see The City Review article on a major Lawrence exhibition). 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 $968,000, an auction record for the artist.

"A View of Colonial City, Ecuador" by Mignot

Lot 116, "A View of Colonial City, Ecuador," by Louis Remy Mignot, oil on canvas, 10 by 18 inches, 1861

Louis Remy 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" by Bierstadt

Lot 121, "Autumn," by Albert Bierstadt," oil on canvas, 31 by 45 inches

Lot 121, "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.

"View of Esopus Creek" by Durand

Lot 96, "View of Esopus Creek, Ulster County, New York," by Asher B. Durand, oil on canvas, 20 by 27 inches

The auction 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.

Study for the Voyage of Life by Cole

Lot 88, "Study for 'Voyage of Life," by Thomas Cole, oil on canvas, 10 3/4 by 8 3/4 inches

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.

"Apple Blossoms" by Robinson

Lot 2, "Apple Blossoms," by Theodore Robinson, oil on canvas, 8 1/2 by 15 inches, circa 1885-90

Lot 2, "Apple Blossoms," is a lovely 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.

"The Good Shepherd" by Tanner

Lot 87, "The Good Shepherd," by Henry Ossawa Tanner, tempera andoil glazes on canvas, 36 by 30 inches, 1930

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.

"Movement No. 3, Provincetown" by Hartley

Lot 38, "Movement No. 3, Provincetown," by Marsden Hartley, oil on board, 20 by 16 inches, 1916

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.

The catalogue provides the following commentary:

"In the Movement series, Hartley fuses European and American 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 explores these theories through the sailboat, a quintessentially American subject."

The lot has an estimate of $600,000 to $800,000. It sold for $598,400.

"Movement, Bermuda" by Hartley

Lot 154, "Movement, Bermuda," by Marsden Hartley, oil on board, 16 by 11 3/4 inches, 1916

Lot 154, "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.

"Intrusion" by George L. K. Morris

Lot 159, "Intrusion," by George L. K. Morris, oil on canvas, 20 1/4 by 16 1/4 inches, 1939

George L. 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" by O'Keeffe, top, and "Modern Madonna" by Storrs, bottom

Lot 124, "Goat's Horns with Blue," by Georgia O'Keeffe, pastel on paper laid down on board, 28 by 35 1/2 inches, 1945, top; Lot 155, "Modern Madonna," by John Storrs, polychromed terracotta, 11 inches high, circa 1918, bottom

Lot 124, "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.

Lot 155 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" by Cassatt

Lot 16, "Antoinette Holding Her Child by Both Hands," by Mary Cassatt, oil on canvas, 28 3/4 by 23 3/4 inches, circa 1899

Lot 16, "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.

"Sugaring Off" by Moses

Lot 139, "Sugaring Off," by Anna Mary Robertson ("Grandma") Moses, mixed media on canvas, 36 by 45 inches, 1943

Lot 139 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.

"Dogwood at Valley Forge" by Andrew Wyeth

Lot 134, "Dogwood at Valley Forge," by Andrew Wyeth, tempera on masonite, 23 by 30 inches, 1941

Lot 134 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.

"Spring at Point Pleasant on the Delaware River" by Redfield

Lot 135, "Spring at Point Pleasant on the Delaware River," by Edward Willis Redfield, oil on canvas, 38 by 50 inches, 1926

Lot 135 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 for $744,000.

Lot 58, "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, very painterly.

Lot 25, "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 for $168,000.

See The City Review article on the Fall 2006 American Paintings auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2006 American Paintings auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2005 American Paintings auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2005 American Paintings auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2005 American Paintings auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2005 American Paintings auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2004 American Paintings auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2003 American Paintings auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2003 American Paintings auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 American Paintings auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 American Paintings auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2002 American Paintings Auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on The Fall 2002 American Paintings auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2002 American Paintings auction at Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg

See The City Review article on the Spring 2002 American Paintings auction at Phillips de Pury &

Luxembourg

See The City Review on the Spring 2002 American Paintings auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2001 American Paintings Auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2001 American Paintings auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2001 American Paintings auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2001 American Paintings auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2001 American Paintings auction at Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg

See The City Review article on the Fall 2000 American Paintings auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2000 American Paintings auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2000 American Paintings auction at Phillips

See The City Review article on the Spring 2000 American Paintings auction at Christie's

See The City Review Article on the Spring 2000 American Paintings auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 1999 American Paintings auction at Christie's

See The City Review on the Fall 1999 American Paintings auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review Article on the Spring 1999 American Paintings auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the May 27, 1999 auction of American Paintings at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 1998 Important American Paintings Auctions at Sotheby’s and Christie’s

See The City Review article on the Spring 1998 Important American Paintings Auctions at Sotheby’s and Christie’s

See The City Review article on the Fall 1997 Important American Paintings auctions at Sotheby's and Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 1997 Important American Paintings auctions at Sotheby's and Christie's


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