day sale of Impressionist & Modern Art at Sothebys has
some good paintings by Berthe Morisot, several excellent Post-Impressionist
works and some nice Picassos.
sale total for the auction was $21,902,525 with only 62.9 percent
of the 268 offered lots selling.
(1841-1895) is a fine Impressionist painter and many of her best
works are extremely sketchy such as Lot 327, Petite Fille
Dans Un Jardin, an oil on canvas, 31 7/8 by 22 ¾
inches. According to Marie-Louise Bataille and Georges Wildenstein,
the authors of Berthe Morisot, which was published
in Paris in 1961, this 1884 painting, shown above, is a fragment
of a larger work that was divided by the artist. The young
girls face and hat and the back of the bench on which she
is seated are the only recognizable elements in this composition
in which the young girl is placed at the extreme left and most
of the frenzied and colorful brushwork is confined to the left
side with the exception of the outline of a bridge or arch in
the top right corner. The work is extremely fresh and vigorous
and has a conservative estimate of $60,000 to $90,000. It
sold for $148,750 including the buyer's premium as do all results
mentioned in this article.
328, Conversation, is a more complete Morisot and
depicts the artists daughter, Julie Manet, and Jeannie Gobillard.
The oil on canvas measures 25 ½ by 32 inches and was painted
in 1893. At one time the property of the Collection of Lorraine
Pritzker, the painting has an estimate of $300,000 to $400,000.
It too is sketchy although the figures are full defined, one with
her back to the viewer and the other with a slightly forlorn expression.
It sold for $390,750.
more exciting and memorable Morisot is Lot 345, Jeune Fille
en Blanc, A 25 ½-by-21 1/4 inch oil on canvas,
the bravura work shows a young women dressed in white with an
interesting and quixotic gaze. It has a modest estimate
of $400,000 to $600,000. It failed to sell.
Morisot is Lot 550, Le Violon, a pastel on canvas,
31 ½ by 20 inches, executed in 1893. This work shows
a woman in a black dress playing a violin while a dog at her feet
tries to get her attention, or show its affection. The work
has a modest estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. It sold for $20,300.
334 is a lovely sketch of two young girls walking by Pierre-Auguste
Renoir (1841-1919). The 9 ½-by-6 ½-inch oil
on canvas was executed circa 1905 and was once in the collection
of Pamela Churchill Harriman. It has a modest estimate of
$70,000 to $90,000. It failed to sell.
are several fine, second-tier Post-Impressionists whose work is
not hung in every museum but often crops up at auction and this
sale has several really good examples. Lot 347, La
Table Pres de la Fenetre, Reflets, is a quite luminous and
fine still life in front of an open window by Henri Le Sidaner
(1862-1939). The 36 ¼-by-29-inch oil on canvas is
certainly one of the artists best works and was painted
in 1922 and has an estimate of $300,000 to $400,000. It sold
work by the same artist is Lot 348, Jet deau sous
bois, a 25 ¾-by-19 3/8-inch oil on canvas that was
painted in Versailles in 1925 and shows a fountain in the woods.
While there are no figures in the painting, the artist has depicted
the tall spray of the fountain so that it almost looks like a
ghost-like figure against the green and yellow foliage.
The work is very subtle and has a modest estimate of $40,000 to
$60,000. It failed to sell.
two lots combined with Lot 352, La Place aux Oiseaux à
Ville-Franche-Sur-Mer, another Le Sidaner painting, should
elevate the artists status as they are all really good works.
This lot was painted in 1925 and is an oil on canvas, 28 5/8 by
36 ¼ inches. It comes from the Arturo and Leopoldo
Uriarte y Pineiro Collection, and is a lovely, sun-dappled street
scene that has an estimate of only $150,000 to $200,000. It
sold for $181,750.
Martin (1860-1943) is very well represented by Lot 369, a large
scene of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. The 45 5/8-by-43
¼-inch oil on canvas was executed between 1920 and 1930
and is extremely well done and quite monumental. It has
a modest estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It sold for $170,750.
of the finest works in the auction is Lot 376, Le
Soir, by Paul Sérusier (1863-1927). The 23
5/8-by-28 5/8-inch oil on canvas was executed in 1906 and is reminiscent
of good Vincent Van Goghs. It has a modest estimate of $80,000
to $100,000. It failed to sell.
338 is a delicate and very nice pencil and watercolor on paper
by Paul Cézanne (1839-1906). The 12 ½-by-18
½-inch work was executed circa 1888-1892 and has an estimate
of $200,000 to $300,000 and shows the outlines of several trees
and some bushes in front of a viaduct. It sold for $269,750.
349, Feu dArtifice a Venise, is a interesting
work by Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer (1865-1953). The pastel
and charcoalon paper, 35 ½ by 22 ½ inches was executed
in Venice in 1917. Influenced heavily by the Symbolist
movement and artists such as Puvis de Chavannes and Gustave Moreau,
Lévy-Dhurmer became very interested in the complex relationship
between music, emotion and painting, the catalogue noted,
adding the artist exhibited with Henri Le Sidaner whose
influence is evident in the present work. It has an
estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. It sold for $72,625.
Godebeska was a Russian pianist who married Thadée Nathanson,
the editor of the famous journal La Revue Blanche, and
she would become one of the most celebrated women in Paris at
the turn of the century. Lot 364, Misia au Corsage
Rose, is a 24 3/8-by-18 ¼-inch oil on canvas portrait
of her by Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947). The painting is very
good, although Misias beauty is not shown to advantage;
the catalogue observes that The serious expression presents
a striking contrast with the vibrant, red-striped wallpaper, while
the flirtatious pink flower displayed in her hair eludes to the
complex personality of the sitter. It sold for $159,750.
auction includes two lovely brush and ink on paper drawings of
women by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Lots 397 and 398. Both
were executed in Gosol, Spain in 1906 and measure 16 1/8 by 10
½ inches. The catalogue notes that the year they
were executed marked a transition for the artist from depicting
thin, elegant women to the more colossal nudes that would characterize
his next phase. Lot 397 has an estimate of $400,000
to $600,000 and Lot 398, which shows the back of a woman, has
an estimate of $300,000 to $400,000. Neither lot sold.
407, Snake and Cat, is a charming watercolor, pencil
and pen and ink on paper mounted on artists board by Paul
Klee (1879-1940). The 8 ¼-by-6 3.8-inch work is dated
1918 and has a somewhat ambitious estimate of $350,000 to $450,000
as it is not as exquisite and pristine as much of his oeuvre,
but it is interesting because it contains numerous columns of
figures over which the artist has drawn his amusing and bemused
animals. It failed to sell.
Feininger (1871-1956) is one of the 20th Centurys most consistent
great artists whose minimal compositions and palettes are delicate
but also monumental, despite their often small scale. Lot
412, Manhattan I, is a fine example of Feiningers
subtlety. Here a spindly rooftop water-tank, a hallmark
of Manhattan, seems to be peer upwards at a mighty skyscraper
against a blue-gray sky and a bright white sun/moon. Feiningers
architectural delineations are wisps of straight lines, many of
which extend beyond his lined framing of the subject. This
is a fine, albeit modest, example of his art and has an estimate
of only $12,000 to $16,000. The 12 ¼-by-9
½-inch watercolor and pen and ink on paper was executed
Oct. 6, 1937. It sold for $15,600.
Nicholson (1894-1982) is an artist of similar artistic temperament
with Feininger, although his paintings tend to be more sculptural
and tactile. Lot 469, Two Circles on Curved Form,
is a fine example of his art and has an estimate of $40,000 to
$60,000. It failed to sell. It is an oil on wood
mounted on the artists board and measures 23 5/8 by 20 inches.
Lot 470, also by Nicholson, is a pencil and oil wash on paper
mounted on artists board, entitled July 20 (PB),
and it has an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000 and is an interesting
geometric study with a muted but lovely palette. It sold for
superb foil to the Feininger and either of the Nicholsons would
be Lot 515, Maquette for Walk-In, by Barbara Hepworth
(1903-1975). Number 3/12, it was conceived in
1970 and is a 9-inch high abstract bronze sculpture with lovely,
almost luminescent patinas. It was once in the collection
of Saul Steinberg and has an estimate of $30,000 to $40,000. It
sold for $49,050.
are numerous good sculptures in the auction and one of the best
is Lot 456, which is from the Collection of Lorraine Pritzker.
Entitled Turning Torso, is was executed in 1921 by
Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964) and is a 28 1/2 inch high
bronze with a luscious deep blue patina. The catalogue notes
that the sculpture was conceived in 1921 and cast circa 1962 in
an edition of 8 of which this is number 1. Archipenkos
sculptures are usually superb Cubist compositions, but this lot
is much more Classic in treatment. It has an estimate of
$200,000 to $300,000. It sold for $401,750.
Arp (1887-1966) is represented by three polished bronze
sculptures, Lots 457-9, all from the Collection of Lorraine Pritzker,
and all gleaming in gold color and casting unusual reflections
because of their amorphous and sinous forms. Lot 459 is
perhaps the most powerful. Entitled Bourgeon déclair,
is is 22 inches high and was conceived in 1965 and cast in an
edition of five. It has an estimate of $40,000 to $50,000.
It sold for $37,550.
recent exhibition on Chaim Soutine (1894-1943) has brought a lot
of his work to the auction block. Phillips had three very
good portraits in its May 7, 2001 auction and this auction has
a fine portrait of the head of a women, entitled Femme,
as Lot 535. The 12 ¼-by-19-inch oil on canvas is
very vibrant, strong, lush and beautiful and has an estimate of
only $150,000 to $200,000. It sold for $247,750.
of the auctions most interesting lots is 497, a 9 ½-by-46
¾-inch gouache on three sheets of joined paper mounted
on card by Albert Gleizes (1881-1953), Fernard Léger (1881-1955),
and Leopold Survage (1879-1968). The work is a study for
the mural that was executed for the Pavillon de lUnion des
Artistes Modernes at the Exposition Internationale des Arts dans
la Vie Moderne held in Paris in 1937. The left portion of
this work was executed by Gleizes, the central portion of Léger
and the right portion by Survage. The catalogue notes that
the mural was executed over a staircase which explains the
distinctive shape of a downward slope from left to right.
The work is very lively and the styles of the three sections appear
quite unified. The lot has a modest estimate of $35,000
to $45,000 inasmuch as it is very decorative and artist collaborations
are always interesting. It failed to sell.
cover illustration of the catalogue is Lot 450A, Fetes de
Nuit, Venise, a 28 ¾-by-36 1/4 inch oil on
canvas, painted in 1921 by Kees Van Dongen (1877-1968).
The work, which could easily be mistaken for a Raoul Dufy has
an ambitious estimate of $500,000 to $700,000. It sold for