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Impressionist & Modern Art

Part Two

Sotheby's

10:15AM, May 6, 2004

Sale 7991
"Madame Helleu sur son Yacht L'Etoile" by Paul-César Helleu

Lot 241, "Madame Helleu sur son Yacht L'Etoile," by Paul-César Helleu, oil on canvas, 32 by 25 5/8 inches, circa 1898-1900

By Carter B. Horsley

The second part of this season's Impressionist & Modern Art auctions at Sotheby's is full of goodies ranging from a smashing portrait by Paul-César Helleu (1859-1927) to many excellent works by Henri Le Sidaner (1862-1939) and to strong works by Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Henri Matisse (1869-1954), Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), Le Corbusier (1887-1965), Wasssily Kandinsky (1866-1944), Odilon Redon (1840-1916), Paul Sérusier (1863-1927) and Rene Magritte (1898-1967).

The auction also has good works by Albert Marquet (1875-1947), Auguste Herbin (1882-1960), Marino Marini (1901-1980) and Henri Martin (1860-1943).

Lot 241, "Madame Helleu sur son Yacht L'Etoile," is a fabulous portrait of the artist's wife by Paul-César Helleu who, the catalogue entry maintains, "was one of the most successful and popular portraitists of his lifetime." "A close friend of John Singer Sargent," the entry continued, "Helleu shared his colleague's interest in a luxurious lifestyle, as seen in his passion for yachting. This beau monde way of life did not easily reconcile with Helleu's concurrent friendships with many of the Impressionists including Monet and Degas, but Helleu's ability to recognize talent across cultural predilections became a hallmark of his oeuvre. Helleu was born in Brittany and.entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts at the age of seventeen. While working at the Ecole as a ceramics painter, he met and was painted by Giovanni Boldini, an artist who greatly influenced Helleu's stsyle and decision to focus on portraiture. At the age of twenty-five, Helleu painted the fourteen-year-old Alice Guérin.He fell madly in love with her and two years later her parents agreed to the marriage. Alice remained Helleu's great love for the rest of his life and her portraits were his most famous as she `became the embodiment of his elegant and dramatic style that most captures the Belle Epoque.'" (Quotation from exhibition catalogue on the artist at Spink and Son, Ltd., London, in 1984.)

Sargent and Monet would have been extremely proud to have painted this masterpiece that has a fabulous composition and brilliant brushwork. It has a conservative estimate of $300,000 to $400,000. It sold for $344,000 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.

The sale realized $28,,914,500 with more than 86 percent of the 272 offered lots selling.

"Les Reflets, Fenetres du Palais, Versailles" by Le Sidaner

Lot 266, "Les Reflets, Fenetres du Palais, Versailles," by Henri Le Sidaner, oil on canvas, 25 ½ by 32 inches, 1917

Henri Le Sidaner is one of the best of the second generation of French Impressionists the Neo-Impressionists - and this auction has four great works by him that should elevate his status considerably.

Lot 266, "Les Reflets, Fenetres du Palais, Versailles," is an exciting study of reflections in a pool at Versailles by Le Sidaner. An oil on canvas that measures 25 ½ by 32 inches, it was painted in 1917 and has a modest estimate of $80,000 to $120,000. It is a great composition with glittering golden highlights. It sold for $102,000.

"La Maison aux Roses" by Le Sidaner

Lot 246, "La Maison aux Roses," by Henri Le Sidaner, oil on canvas, 31 ½ by 39 3/8 inches, 1925

Another Versailles scene by Le Sidaner is Lot 246, a 31 ½-by-39 3/8-inch oil on canvas that was executed in 1925. It has an estimate of $300,000 to $400,000. It sold for $366,000. A fine composition with a more muted palette than Lot 266.

The catalogue provides the following commentary:

"Le Sidaner developed his distinctive idiom during the 1890s, under the influence of symbolism. The poignant fin-de-siecle mood of Maeterlinck and Verhaem, of Lévy-Dhummer and Khnopf set the tone of his oeuvre. On a formal level, he found a suitably harmonious, all over treatment for his compositions of Neo-Impressionism. Critics have frequently described Le Sidaner's work in terms of musicality and silence. Always in a 'minor key;' its subtle harmonies are seen to evoke a wistful mood that is exasperated as Paul Signac notes, by the absence of figures. Instead the artist focused on the architectural and domestic environments as well as their accoutrements man creates for himself. The home and gardens Le Sidaner created at Gerbroy and Versailles provided the most enduring themes. The present sun-drenched work is one of his crowning achievements of the numerous variations executed during the 1920s. The domestic intimacy summed up by his trellises, the beauty of the roses against the mellow sundrenched stone of the house."

"La Maison aux Roses" by Le Sidaner

Lot 267, "La Maison aux Roses," by Henri Le Sidaner, oil on canvas, 39 3/8 by 32 inches, 1920

A similar work to Lot 246 but in a vertical format is Lot 267, "La Maison aux Roses," another work by Le Sidaner. An oil on canvas, it measures 39 3/8 by 32 inches and was executed in 1920. It also has an estimate of $300,000 to $400,000. It failed to sell.

"L'Eveche, Chartres" by Le Sidaner
Lot 261, "L'Eveche, Chartres," by Henri Le Sidaner, oil on canvas, 26 by 38 ¼ inches, 1903

The evocative mood of twilight also fascinated Le Sidaner and Lot 261 is a fine early evening cityscape. An oil on canvas that measures 26 by 38 ¼ inches, it was painted in 1903 and has an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000. It sold for $164,000.

"Madame Henri Martin" by Martin

Lot 262, "Madame Henri Martin Assise Sur La Margelle d'un des Bassins de Marquayrol," by Henri Martin, oil on canvas, 28 3/8 by 36 5/8 inches, circa 1900

Henri Martin had a similar Neo-Impressionist style to Le Sidaner but had no problem with figures and generally had a stronger and brighter palette. Lot 262, "Madama Henri Martin Assise Sur La Margelle d'un des Bassins de Marquayrol," is a lovely oil on canvas that measures 28 3/8 by 36 5/8 inches. Executed circa 1900, it has a modest estimate of $150,000 to $200,000. It sold for $232,000.

"The present work," the catalogue noted, "encapsulates Martin's signature style of broken brushwork suspended within a rigorously structured composition."

"Jeune Fille aux Epaules Nues" by Morisot

Lot 226, "Jeune Fille aux Epaules Nues," by Berthe Morisot, pastel on paper mounted at the edges to board, 22 by 18 inches, 1885

The back cover illustration of the catalogue is Lot 226, a lovely pastel on paper mounted at the edges to board by Berthe Morisot. Entitled "Jeune Fille aux Epaules Nues," it measures 22 by 18 inches and was executed in 1885. This large sketch of a young girl with bare shoulders is stamped with the artist's name, has an estimate of $300,000 to $400,000. It sold for $355,200.

"Petite Fille Assise Dans L'herbe" by Morisot

Lot 231, "Petite Fille Assise Dans L'herbe," by Berthe Morisot, oil on canvas, 18 7/8 by 21 5/8 inches

A fine companion piece to Lot 226 is another work by Morisot, Lot 231, "Petite Fille Assise Dans L'herbe," an oil on canvas that measures 18 7/8 by 21 5/8 inches. It is stamped with the artist's signature and has a modest estimate of $80,000 to $120,000. It sold for $96,000. While it is sketchy, it is very charming.

"Femme au Fauteuil" by Picasso

Lot 342, "Femme au Fauteuil," by Pablo Picasso, papier collée and India ink on gray paper, 19 ½ by 15 ½ inches, 1948

There are several very nice works by Pablo Picasso.

Lot 342, "Femme au Fauteuil," is a papier collée and India ink on gray paper by Picasso. It measures 19 ½ by 15 ½ inches and is dated 1948. One of several excellent lots in this auction from a Midwest Collector, it has an estimate of $400,000 to $500,000. It failed to sell. This is a strong portrait of François Gilot in a chair and it is related to a well-known lithograph by the artist and also reflects his inspiration of Matisse's cut-out collages.

Another Picasso from the same consignor is Lot 348, "Femme Nue Allongee and Nue et Edudes de Lits: a double-sided drawing." The work, which measures 11 ¾ by 15 ¾ inches, is watercolor and pen and ink on paper on one side and gray wash and watercolor verso. It has an estimate of $350,000 to $450,000. It failed to sell.

"A La Belle Tomate!" by Picasso

Lot 299, "A La Belle Tomate!," by Pablo Picasso, pencil on paper, 4 5/8 by 7 ½ inches, circa 1900

There are two amusing and good small pencil drawings by Picasso, both executed circa 1900, Lots 299 and 300. The former is entitled "A La Belle Tomate!" and measures 4 5/8 by 7 ½ inches and the latter is entitled "Frommage à La Crème!," and measures 7 ½ by 4 5/8 inches. Each lot has an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000 and is signed and titled. Each lot sold for $22,800.

"Arabesques Noires et Violettes sur un Fond Orange" by Matisse

Lot 339, "Arabesques Noires et Violettes sur un Fond Orange," by Henri Matisse, gouache and papier collée, 15 ¾ by 10 ½ inches, 1947

Another property from the Midwest Collector is Lot 339, "Arabesques Noires et Violettes sur un Fond Orange," a gouache and papier collée by Henri Matisse. The work measures 15 ¾ by 10 ½ inches and has an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000. It was executed in 1947. It sold for $680,000.

Another Matisse work from the same consignor is Lot 345, "La France," a strong study for a painting of the same name in the collection of the Hiroshima Museum of Art. This lot is a charcoal on paper that measures 20 5/8 by 16 inches and shows a faceless woman in a chair. It dates to 1939 and has an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000. It sold for $428,000.

"Tete de Profile a Gauche..." by Modigliani

Lot 344, "Tete de Profil à Gauche Avec Chignon et Boucles D'Oreilles," by Amedeo Modigliani, black crayon on paper, 16 ¾ by 10 ¼ inches

The same collection is also offering two strong black crayon on paper drawings by Amedeo Modigliani, Lots 344 and 338. The former is entitled "Tete de Profil à Gauche Avec Chignon et Boucles d'Oreilles" and that measures 16 ¾ by 10 ¼ inches. It has an estimate of $140,000 to $180,000. The latter is entitled 'Tete de Face Avec Double Collier et Boucles d'Oreilles," and measures 17 by 10 ½ inches. It has an estimate of $200,000 to $250,000. It sold for $220,800.

"Chinesische Novelle (Chinese Novella)" by Klee

Lot 351, "Chinesische Novelle (Chinese Novella)," by Paul Klee, watercolor and pencil on paper mounted on board with maroon gouache border, 10 7/8 by 12 ¾ inches, 1922

Also from this collection is Lot 351, a fine watercolor and pencil on paper mounted on board with maroon gouache border by Paul Klee. Entitled "Chinesische Novelle (Chinese Novella)," it measures 10 7/8 by 12 ¾ inches and is dated 1922. It has an estimate of $500,000 to $700,000. It failed to sell.

"Le Cirque" by Toulouse-Lautrec
Lot 210, "Le Cirque," by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, pencil on paper, 9 5/8 by 6 ¼ inches.

The auction has two nice works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Lots 210 and 240. The former is entitled "Le Cirque" and is a pencil drawing on paper that measures 9 5/8 by 6 ¼ inches. It is signed with the artist's initials and was once in the collection of Jacob Goldschmidt of Berlin and New York. It has an estimate of $35,000 to $45,000. It failed to sell. The latter is entitled "Cheval de Chasse à Courre" and is an oil on panel that measures 9 ½ by 7 inches. It has a modest estimate of $60,000 to $80,000. It sold for $176,000.

"Taureau" by Le Corbusier

Lot 370, "Taureau," by Le Corbusier, gouache, brush and India ink, newsprint and collage on paper, 44 by 27 inches, 1952-61

Lot 370 is an excellent gouache, brush and India ink, newsprint and collage on paper by Le Corbusier (Charles-Edouard Jeanneret) that would make a fine companion to Picasso's seated woman, Lot 342. Entitled "Taureau, it measures 44 by 27 inches and was executed in 1952-61. It has a modest estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. It failed to sell. The work was executed by the famous architect/painter when he was in Chandigarh, India.

"Aufstieg (Ascent)" by Kandinsky

Lot 443, "Aufstieg (Ascent), by Wassily Kandinsky, watercolor and India ink on paper, 18 ¾ by 11 1/8, 1929

Lot 443 is a strong abstraction by Wassily Kandinsky in which geometric figures seem to float against a sprayed background. A watercolor and India ink on paper that measures 18 ¾ by 11 1/8 inches, it was executed in 1929 and is entitled "Aufstieg (Ascent)." It has an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000. It sold for $220,800.

"Le Pecheur à La Laita"  by Sérusier

Lot 233A, "Le Pecheur à La Laita," by Paul Sérusier, tempera on board laid down on panel, 29 5/8 by 19 7/8 inches, circa 1890

Paul Sérusier painted with Paul Gauguin in the Breton coastal village of Le Pouldu in 1890. Lot 233A is a fine tempera on board laid down on panel by Sérusier that measures 29 5/8 by 19 7/8 inches and is dated 1890. "With an elegant composition and a reduced palette, the present work," the catalogue entry noted, "depicts a man fishing on the river Laita, which meets the Atlantic Ocean at Le Pouldu. The excellent composition and almost abstract quality of the painting recalls the work of Albert Pinkham Ryder, the great American painter. This lot has a modest estimate of $180,000 to $220,000. It sold for $388,800.

"Deux Femmes Près d'un Arbre" by Redon

Lot 238, "Deux Femmes Près d'un Arbre," by Odilon Redon, oil on canvas, 22 by 11 ¾ inches, circa 1905

Another work that also recalls some of Ryder's work is Lot 238, "Deux Femmes Près d'un Arbre," by Odilon Redon. Redon's work, of course, has a much more vibrant and bright palette. This oil on canvas measures 22 by 11 ¾ inches and was executed circa 1905. This lot has an estimate of $500,000 to $700,000. It failed to sell.

"Le Seducteur" by Magritte

Lot 361, "Le Seducteur," by René Magritte, gouache on paper, 5 1/8 by 7 1/8 inches, 1952

Lot 361 is an excellent work by René Magritte that seems much larger than its diminutive size of 5 1/8 by 7 1/8 inches. Executed in 1952, it is entitled "Le Seducteur" and has a modest estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It sold for $120,000.

"Cavallo e Cavaliere" by Marini

Lot 389, "Cavallo e Cavaliere," by Marino Marini, gouache and pen and India ink on paper, 32 3/8 by 24 1/8 inches, 1954

Marino Marini is best known for his sculptures of a figure mounted on a horse, but his drawings are often much livelier and more attractive. Lot 389, "Cavallo e Cavaliere," is a gouache and pen and India ink on paper that measures 32 by 24 1/8 inches. Executed in 1954 it has a modest estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. It sold for $142,400.

"Le Pin, St. Tropez" by Marquet

Lot 272, "Le Pin, St. Tropez," by Albert Marquet, oil on canvas, 19 ¾ by 24 1/8 inches, circa 1906

Lot 272 is a strong landscape by Albert Marquet. An oil on canvas, it measures 19 ¾ by 24 1/8 inches and is entitled "Le Pin, St. Tropez." It was painted circa 1906 and has a modest estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It sold for $209,600.

"Une Place à Bastia" by Herbin

Lot 282, "Une Place à Bastia," by Auguste Herbin, oil on canvas, 28 ¾ inches by 23 ½ inches, 1907

Lot 282 is a very strong Fauve cityscape by Auguste Herbin. Entitled "Une Place à Bastia, Le 14 Juillet," it is an oil on canvas that measures 28 ¾ by 23 ½ inches. It was painted in Corsica in 1907 and has an estimate of $180,000 to $220,000. It sold for $500,800. Herbin exhibited eight paintings at the Salon des Independents in 1906.

See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's May 4, 2004

See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Christie's May 5, 2004

See The City Review article on the May 5, 2004 evening auction at Sotheby's of Property of the Greentree Foundation from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney

See The City Review article on the May 6, 2004 evening auction of Impressionist & Modern Art at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on Spring 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art Part 2 day auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2002 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2002 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg

See The City Review article on the Spring 2002 Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2002 Impressionist Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2002 Impressionist Art Part Two day auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Nov. 5, 2001 auction of the Smooke Collection at Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg

See The City Review article on the Nov. 5, 2001 auction of the Hoener Collection at Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg

See The City Review article on Phillips May 7, 2001 Impressionist & Modern Art auction

See The City Review article on the November 9, 2001 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on Phillips Fall 2000 Impressionist & Modern Art auction

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