day auction of Impressionist and Modern Art at Christie's May
5, 2004 has some lovely paintings and drawings and is highlighted
by a beautiful painting by Eugene Boudin (1824-1898), a very pleasant
Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894), an early Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)
a fine work by Gino Severini (1883-1966), and good works by Jean
Metzinger (1883-1956), Joan Miró (1893-1983), Henri-Edmond
Cross (1856-1910), Victor Brauner (1903-1966), Jacques Lipchitz
(1891-1973) and Julio Gonzalez (1876-1942).
"Le Havre, Bassin de L'Eure," is a very beautiful harbor
painting by Eugene Boudin, one of the earliest Impressionists.
An oil on canvas, it measures 21 3/8 by 29 1/4 inches. Executed
in 1881, it has a modest estimate of $150,000 to $200,000. It
sold for $253,900 including the buyer's premium as do all results
in this article. It has been consigned by the Doris Duke Collection
for the benefit of the Doris Duke Foundation.
Lot 210 is a very nice riverscape by Gustave
Caillebotte, whose prices have soared in recent years. Entitled
"La Seine et la pointe de l'lle Marande," it is an oil
on canvas that measures 23 3/8 by 28 7/8 inches. Executed circa
1890-1, it is an asymmetrical composition highlighted by a tall
stand of poplars. It has a modest estimate of $180,000 to $220,000.
It sold for $186,700.
Another Seine scene is Lot
211, "La Seine à Rouen," an oil on canvas by
Paul Gauguin. Executed in 1884, it measures 18 1/8 by 25 1/8 inches.
It has a modest estimate of $250,000 to $350,000. It sold for
$276,300. It was once in the collections of Justin K. Thannhauser
of New York and The Reader's Digest Collection of Pleasantville,
New York. Gauguin had visited Pissarro in Rouen and moved there
soon thereafter from Paris. He would soon move to Copenhagen for
a while before abandoning his family and returned to Paris.
Lot 266 is a fine Pointillistic work by Henri-Edmond
Cross. An oil on canvas, it measures 19 1/8 by 25 3/4 inches the
Venetian scene was executed in 1903-5. It has an estimate of $400,000
to $600,000. It failed to sell.
Lot 293 is a very striking abstraction by Gino
Severini. An oil on canvas, it is entitled "Le Chatelard,
paysage" and measures 39 3/8 by 29 inches. Executed in 1918,
it has a modest estimate of $250,000 to $350,000. It sold for
$388,300. Severini was a major figure among the Italian Futurists
but by 1916, the catalogue noted, Severini had "significantly
distanced himself from the Futurist preoccupation with simultaneity
and movement, and turned instead to an interest in cubist structure,
space and subject matter." "Of all the Futurists,"
the catalogue entry continued, "Severini was the one in the
closest contact with painters in Paris, where had lived since
1906 and his friendly relations with Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque
and Juan Gris transcended the partisan rancor that had often divided
the Italian and French avant-garde painters....The present work,
which shows a well beneath a large tree,...shows far greater organizational
complexity than the landscapes painted the year before....The
composition is complex, densely layered, and carefully proportioned."
A nice companion to the Severini is Lot 289,
"Nature morte à la carafe," by Jean Metzinger.
Also painted in 1918, it is an oil on canvas that measures 32
by 23 5/8 inches. It has an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000.
It sold for $276,300. The catalogue provides the following
"In the years preceding the outbreak of
the First World War in 1914, Jean Metzinger worked at the very
epicenter of the cubist shock wave that had revolutionized modern
art. Indeed, he appeared to many observers of the scene to be
the leader of the new movement. He showed his paintings in all
the large public exhibitions where one went to view new art....He
was a major figure in the pivotal Section d'Or exhibtion at the
Galerie La Boetie in October 192. With his colleague Albert Gleizes
he wrote Du Cubisme, the first comprehensive and coherent
text to date that explained the theories and aims of the new movement,
which was published at the end of 1912....Metzinger was assigned
to serve as a medical orderly in early 1915, but was invalided
out of the service later tht year.....In a letter dated 4 July
1916 to Gleizes, who was living in New York, Metzinger wrote that
he was moving towards a new synthesis, as distinct from the 'materialist
perspective of Gris' and the 'romantic perspective of Picasso.'
It was a 'metaphyiscal perspective. The actual result? A new harmony.
everytyhing is number. The mind hates what cannot be measured:
it must be reduced and made comprehensible.'"
The backcover illustration of the catalogue
is Lot 298, "Femme, étoiles," by Joan Miró,
an oil on canvas that measures 8 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches. Painted
in 1944, it has an estimate of $350,000 to $450,000. It sold
Lot 313 is a strong work by Victor Brauner,
the surrealist. An oil on canvas, it measures 45 5/8 by 35 1/8
inches. It has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. It failed
Lot 112 is a strong Cubist still life by Jacques
Lipchitz, the sculptor. The gouache and pencil on paper measures
8 1/4 by 11 1/2 inches. Executed in 1917, it has an estimate of
$60,000 to $80,000. It sold for $109,940. The catalogue
observed that while Lipchitz "acknowledged only one oil painting,"
he "executed others in tempera and gouache, including the
Another drawing by a fine sculptor
is Lot 131, "Tete cubiste," by Julio Gonzalez. A pen
and India ink and colored wax crayon over pencil on paper, it
measures 8 3/4 by 4 1/8 inches. Executed in 1936, it has a modest
estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. It sold for 19,120. It
was once in the collection of Hans Hartung, the artist.
Lot 105 is a good pencil drawing of a bather
by Paul Cézanne that was executed between 1873-1877. The
work on paper measures 5 3/4 by 2 7/8 inches. It has an estimate
of $35,000 to $45,000 and was once in the collection of Sir Kenneth
Clark of London. It failed to sell.
Lot 106 is a strong gouache, watercolor and
black chalk on paper by Pablo Picasso. It measures 10 1/2 by 7
7/8 inches and was executed in 1920. It has an estimate of $150,000
to $200,000. It failed to sell.