Art/Auctions logo

Impressionist & Modern Art

Christie's

7 PM, May 9, 2007

Sale 1831

"Les Barques" by Vlaminck

Lot 32, "Les Barques," by Maurice Vlaminck, oil on canvas, 18 1/4 by 21 3/4 inches, 1905

By Carter B. Horsley

Christie's evening auction May 9, 2007, of Impressionist and Modern Art is highlighted by a dazzling Fauve work by Maurice Vlaminck, a great portrait by Robert Delaunay, a very fine nude by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, two fine works by Marc Chagall, a self-portrait by Paul Gauguin, a city scene by Vincent van Gogh, a great still life by Juan Gris, and very good works by Paul Signac, Eugene Boudin, Amedeo Modigliani, Henri Matisse, and Pierre Bonnard.

The Vlaminck, Lot 32, "Les Barques," shown at the top of this article, is a magnificent Fauve work. An oil on canvas that measures 19 1/4 by 21 3/4 inches, it was painted in 1905. It has a conservative estimate of $3,000,000 to $4,000,000. It sold for $6,088,000 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article. The catalogue entry for this lot reproduces, for purposes of comparison, "Bateaux de peche en mer," an 1888 painting of sailboats by Vincent van Gogh in the Rijksmuseum Van Gogh in Amsterdam that is remarkable for its very bold brushwork, but is not as impressive as Vlaminck's shimmering, almost pyrotechnical canvas.

The sale was very successful with 68 of 78 offered lots selling for a total of $236,464,000 including the buyers' premium, not far off from the pre-sale high estimate of $245,020,000 excluding the buyers' premium.

Christopher Burge, the auctioneer, said after the lenghty auction that he was "exhausted" but "very pleased...with the extraordinary result." He noted that only 29 percent of the buyers were American, a remarkable low percentage and a strong indication of the burgeoning international art market. He said that 48 percent of the buyers were European, 2 percent Asia and 21 percent "other." He added that 52 lots sold for more than $1 million.

Portrait of Jean Metzinger by Delaunay

Lot 33, "L'Homme à la tulipe (Portrait de Jean Metzinger)," by Robert Delaunay, oil on canvas, 28 1/2 by 19 1/8 inches, 1906

An equally arresting and wonderful work is a great portrait of Jean Metzinger by Robert Delaunay (1885-1941). An oil on canvas, it measures 28 1/2 by 19 1/8 inches and was painted in 1906. It has an estimate of $3,000,000 to $5,000,000. It sold for $2,840,00. The painting was exhibited at the 1906 Salon d'Autome along with a portrait of Delaunay by Metzinger. This masterful painting predates by three years Delaunay's great Saint Severin and Tour Eiffel series that are important harbingers of abstraction, but it is as powerful a Neo-Impressionist portrait as can be imagined.

"Dodo mit grossem Facher" by Kirchner

Lot 64, "Dodo mit grossem Facher," by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, oil on canvas, 59 1/2 by 29 7/8 inches, 1910

Lot 64 is a very strong nude, "Dodo mit grossem Facher," by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938). An oil on canvas, it measures 59 1/2 by 29 7/8 inches and was painted in 1910. It has an estimate of $12,000,000 to $18,000,000. It sold for $12,920,000. Dodo was the artist's lover.

"Le Mort" by Chagall

Lot 11, "Le Mort," by Marc Chagall, gouache on paper, 13 1/2 by 16 1/2 inches, circa 1924

Lot 11 is a wonderful small gouache on paper by Marc Chagall (1887-1985) that is one of two "fiddler on the roof" works by him in this auction. This one measures 13 1/2 by 16 1/2 inches and was painted circa 1924. It was once in the collection of Solomon R. Guggenheim and then in the museum named after him. This work has immense charm as well as a wonderful palette and an off-kilter geometry. It has a modest estimate of $800,000 to $1,200,000. It sold for $992,000.

"Musicien" by Chagall

Lot 31, "Musicien," by Marc Chagall, oil on canvas, 28 7/8 by 23 3/4 inches, 1928-9

The other Chagall is Lot 31, "Musicien," a 28 7/8-by-23 3/4-inch oil on canvas that was painted 1928-9. It has an estimate of $2,500,000 to $3,500,000. While it is a classic Chagall and good-sized and an oil, it can't compare with Lot 11. It sold for $6,872,000.

Self-portrait by Gauguin

Lot 29, "Autoportrait à la Mandoline," by Paul Gauguin, oil on canvas, 24 by 19 1/2 inches, circa 1889

Lot 29 is an impressive self-portrait by Paul Gauguin showing him playing a mandolin. An oil on canvas, it measures 24 by 19 1/2 inches and was painted circa 1889. It was once in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Gary Cooper. It has a very modest estimate of $600,000 to $900,000. Although it is sketchy, it is a very striking composition. It sold for $3,176,000.

"Vue de la chambre de l'artiste, rue Lepic" by van Gogh

Lot 24, "Vue de la chambre de l'artiste, rue Lepic," by Vincent van Gogh, oil and pencil on board, 18 by 15 inches, 1887

Lot 24 is a very detailed cityscape by Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) that is entitled "Vue de la chambre de l'artiste, rue Lepic." An oil and pencil on board, it measures 18 by 15 inches. Executed in 1887, it had a modest estimate of $1,500,000 to $2,000,000 when it was offered at Christie's May 4, 2005. It then sold for $2,704,000 when it was in the frame shown above. It has now in a black frame and has an estimate of $3,000,000 to $4,000,000. It sold for $4,968,000.

"Etude pour l'apres-midi au jardin" by Bonnard

Lot 30, "Etude pour l'apres-midi au jardin," by Pierre Bonnard, oil and pen and ink on canvas, 14 7/8 by 17 7/8 inches, circa 1891

Lot 30 is an excellent oil and pen and ink on canvas by Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) that is entitled "Etude pour l'apres-midi au jardin." It measures 14 7/8 by 17 7/8 inches and was painted circa 1891. It has an estimate of $2,800,000 to $3,500,000. It sold for $2,504,000. The catalogue remarks that this work "represented the cutting-edge stle of a new anti-naturalist tendency in the arts, derived from the Symbolist movenent in literature led by the poet Stéphane Mallarmé, whose creed was 'to paint, not the thing itself, but the effect it produces.'"

"Arrière du Tub" by Signac

Lot 35, "Arrière du Tub," by Paul Signac, oil on canvas, 18 1/4 by 25 3/8 inches, 1888

Lot 35 is an excellent river scene by Paul Signac (1863-1935) that is entitled "Arrière du Tub." An oil on canvas that measures 18 1/4 by 25 3/8 inches, it was painted in 1888. It has an estimate of $6,000,000 to $8,000,000. It sold for $11,688,00, shattering the artist's previous world auction record of $6,632,727. The "Tub" is the name of a sailboat in the painting. The catalogue remarks that this work "in its composition, color, and brushstroke, depicts Signac at the height of his divisionist powers," adding that "Moreover, it forms a clear bridge between the past and the present in its theme and technique, recalling the revolutionary work of the Impressionists while inspiring the Fauves in their continuing quest for freedom of color." After the auction, Mr. Burge described this work "as good as anything [Signac]...ever did, a glorious painting."

Venetian scene by Boudin

Lot 38, "Venise, La salute et la douane. La guidecca au fond. vue prise du grand canal," by Eugene Boudin, oil on panel, 7 3/8 by 15 5/8 inches, 1895

Lot 38 is a lovely Venetian scene by Eugene Boudin (1824-1898) who is best known for his impressionistic beach scenes. It is an oil on panel that measures 7 3/8 by 15 5/8 inches and was painted in 1895. It has an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000. It sold for $384,000.

"Le pot de geranium" by Gris

Lot 59, "Le pot de geranium," by Juan Gris, oil on canvas, 32 by 23 3/4 inches, 1915

Lot 59 is a masterpiece by Juan Gris (1887-1927) that is a very beautiful Cubist still life of a pot of geraniums. An oil on canvas, it measures 32 by 23 3/4 inches and was painted in 1915. It has an estimate of $14,000,000 to $18,000,000. The lot sold for $8,479,500, setting a new auction record at the time for the artist, at Sotheby's New York in the spring of 2002 when a major detail of it was the cover illustration of the catalogue. At that time, it had an estimate of $6,000,000 to $8,000,000. At this auction it sold for $18,520,000, setting a new auction record for the artist.

"Jeune femme assise" by Matisse

Lot 44, "Jeune femme assise en robe grise aux bandes violettes," by Henri Matisse, oil on canvas, 18 1/2 by 15 inches, 1942

Lot 44 is a small but very nice painting of a seated woman against a red background by Henri Matisse (1869-1954). An oil on canvas, it measures18 1/2 by 15 inches and was painted in 1942. It has an estimate of $6,000,000 to $8,000,000. It failed to sell and was passed at $5,800,000.

"Composition in Yellow and Red" by Mondrian

Lot 48A, "Composition with Yellow and Red," by Piet Mondrian, oil on canvas, 20 1/2 by 13 3/4 inches, 1927

Lot 48A is a classic geometic abstraction by Piet Mondrian (1872-1944). Entitled "Composition with Yellow and Red," it is an oil on canvas that measures 20 1/2 by 13 3/4 inches. It was painted in 1927. It has an estimate of $4,000,000 to $6,000,000. It failed to sell and was passed at $3,600,000.

"La femme au collier vert" by Modigliani

Lot 53, "La femme au collier vert (Madame Menier)," by Amedeo Modigliani, oil on canvas, 39 by 23 1/2 inches, 1918

Lot 53 is a fine portrait of a woman with a green necklace (Madame Menier) by Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920). An oil on canvas, it measures 39 by 23 1/2 inches and was painted in 1918. It has an estimate of $12,000,000 to $16,000,000. It failed to sell and was passed at $11,000,000. It was considerably stronger than two Modiglianis that failed to sell at Sotheby's the previous night (see The City Review article).

"La jupe rouge" by Picasso

Lot 10, "La jupe rouge," by Pablo Picasso, pastel on board, 21 7/8 by 18 1/2 inches, 1901

Lot 10 is good, strong pastel on board by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) that is entitled "La jupe rouge." It measures 21 7/8 by 18 1/2 inches and was executed in 1901. It has an estimate of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000. It failed to sell and was passed at $1,700,000.

Lot 51, "L'homme qui chavire," by Alberto Giacometti, a bronze sculpture that is 23 1/4 inches high and was conceived in 1947 and cast before November, 1950, sold for $18,520,000, setting a new world auction record for the artist. It had an estimate of $6,500,000 to $8,500,000. A skinny stick figure leaning forwards, it was once in the collection of Richard and Dorothy Rodgers.

See The City Review article on the Spring 2007 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2006 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2006 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2006 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2005 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Impresssionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's November 2, 2005

See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern evening sale at Sotheby's in the Spring, 2005

See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction in the Fall, November, 2005

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

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 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's May 6, 2004

See The City Review article on the Spring 2004 Impressionist & Modern Art day auction 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

Use the Search Box below to quickly look up articles at this site on specific artists, architects, authors, buildings and other subjects

 

Home Page of The City Review