By Carter B. Horsley
This day auction of Impressionist & Modern
Art at Christie's May 5, 2005 has some very nice sketches and
studies by some big names and an excellent work by Fernand Léger
and a charming albeit small sheet-metal sculpture by Pablo Picasso.
Lot 227 is a fine oil sketch on canvas by Henri
de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) that is entitled "Au Bois
de Boulogne." It is dated 1901 and measures 22 1/8 by 18
1/4 inches. It has an estimate of $500,000 to $700,000. It
sold for $564,800 including the buyer's premium as do all results
mentioned in this article.
Lot 236 is a pleasant small oil sketch on cradled
panel by Georges Seurat (1859-1891). Entitled "Etude dans
l'lle," it measures 6 1/8 by 9 3/8 inches and was executed
about 1883. The lot has a modest estimate of $400,000 to $600,000.
It failed to sell.
Lot 239 is a good waterfront scene by Paul
Signac (1863-1935) that is entitled "La Rochelle, Le bassin
à flots (No. 2)." An oil on canvas, it measures 18
1/2 by 21 5/8 inches. Executed in 1916, it has a modest estimate
of $300,000 to $400,000. It sold for $486,400.
Perhaps the most dazzling work in the auction
is Lot 234, "Paysage avec oiseau blessé," by
André Masson (1896-1987). An oil on canvas that measures
31 7/8 by 25 1/2 inches, it was executed in 1927. It was consigned
by the Collection of Ruth and Karvey Kaplan. Masson, the catalogue
entry for this lot noted, "pioneered the use of automatic
drawing, which he first practised in 1923. It has a modest estimate
of $200,000 to $300,000. It failed to sell.
Lot 320 is an excellent still life with playing
cards by Fernand Léger (1881-1955). An oil on canvas that
measures 36 1/8 by 28 5/8 inches, it was executed in 1929. It
has a modest estimate of $500,000 to $700,000. It sold for
Lot 211, "Deux vaches
au pré" is a very nice small landscape with two cows
by Paul Gauguin (1848-1903). An oil on canvas that measures 15
7/8 by 10 3/4 inches, it was executed in 1884. It was once owned
by Sir Hugh Walpole of London and was consigned by the Maspro
Art museum in Japan. It has a modest estimate of $180,000 to $250,000.
It sold for $329,600.
Another fine work from the Maspro Art Museum
is Lot 256, "Deauville, Le bassin," by Eugene Boudin
(1824-1898). An oil on panel that measures 9 3/8 by 12 7/8 inches,
it was painted in 1880. It has a modest estimate of $70,000 to
$100,000. It sold for $150,000.
Lot 287 is a delightful cut sheet-metal with
white enamel small sculpture by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). Entitled
"Femme au bras levé," it is 12 5/8 inches high
and was executed in 1961. It has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000.
It sold for $307,200.