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Impressionist & Modern Art

Sotheby's

7 P.M., May 5, 2010

Sale 8633

"The Red Fiddler" by Feininger

Lot 10, "Der Rote Geiger (The Red Fiddler)," by Lyonel Feininger, oil on canvas, 39 3/8 by 31 7/8 inches 1934

By Carter B. Horsley

The Impressionist & Modern Art auction May 3, 2010 at Sotheby's is highlighted by a superb painting by Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956), a a great painting by August Macke (1887-1914), good floral still life by Henri Matisse (1869-1954), a good portrait by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), two nice landscapes by Claude Monet (1840-1926), a good landscape by Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), and two very good works by Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), a strong painting by Roger Delaunay (1885-1941), and an early and very beautiful statue by Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988).

Lot 10 is a very fine oil on canvas by Feininger that measures 39 3/8 by 31 7/8 inches. Entitled "The Red Fiddler," it was executed in 1934 and has been very widely exhibited and published. The artist made an excellent watercolor and gouache study for this work in 1915 that is in a private collection.

Feininger, according to the catalogue entry, "was the son of a concert violinist and was particularly adept himself at playing the instrument. But the fact that he chose to resurrect his alter-ego, just as his art was coming under siege by theNazis, is a powerful disply of his artistic vigor....The crimson-frocked fiddler performs against an architectural backdrop emblazoned in gold and ochre, just as the Emperor Nero is fabled to have done during the burning of Rome."

"Following his success with the German Expressionists," the entry continued, "Feininger was appointed by Walter Gropius as the head of printmaking at the Bauhaus upon the school's inception in 1919. When the Bauhaus moved to Dessau in 1926, Gropius permitted Feininger the privledged status of an artist-in-residence, excusing him of any teaching rsponsibilities so that he could concentrate on his painting. A year prior to that, Feininger had formed the highly influential artist group known as the Blue Four, along with Kandisnky, Jawlensky and Klee."

The lot has a conservative estimate of $5,000,000 to $7,000,000. It sold for $7,362,500 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.

The auction total was $195,697,000 for the 50 lots that sold of the 57 offered.

At a news conference after the auction, Simon Shaw, Sotheby's specialist in charge of the auction, remarked that "it's nice to see things move in the right direction," adding that the sale total was three times its total a year ago. He described the bidding activity in the room as "fantastic and rigorous and as global as ever."

"Rokoko" by Macke

Lot 49, "Rokoko," by August Macke, oil on canvas, 35 inches square, 1912

Lot 49 is a fabulous oil on canvas by August Macke that is entitled "Rokoko." It measures 35 inches square and was painted in 1912.

The catalogue entry for this lot provides the following commentary:

"Macke's extraordinary Rokoko exemplifies the aesthetic of German Expressionist landscape painting at its most daring. Macke, along with fellow avant-garde painters Kaindky and Marc, were proponents of an emotive style of painting, free from historical associations or academic dictates. Calling themselves, "The Savages of Germany" in their artistic journal, The Blaue Reiter Almanach, Macke and his colleagues took up the mantle of the Fauves, who had also been proponents of wildly colorful and expressive redderings of the natural world a decade earlier. But unlike his French predecessors, Macke composes this vivid picture with bold color blocks that are offset by sharp outlines of lustrous black oil. As was the case for many of the German Expressionists, Macke's paintings also evidence an appreciation for tribal art and the lineal elegance of West African carvings."

Macke's reworking of the 18th Century Rococo style is a masterpiece and its estimate of $1,200,000 to $1,800,000 is very, very, very low. It sold for $2,210,500. David Norman of Christie's remarked during the exhibition that the painter might be made a little brighter with stronger contrast if it were varnished but pointed out that the German Expressisionists historically usually did not employ varnish.

Lot 14, "Bouquet de Fleurs pour Le Quatorze Juillet," by Henri Matisse, oil on canvas, 45 1/2 by 35 inches, 1919

Lot 14 is a handsome, large painting of flowers by Henri Matisse (1869-1954) that was painted in 1919. An oil on canvas, it measures 45 1/2 by 35 inches.

The catalogue provides the following commentary:

"A joyous bouqet of wildflowers dominates this glorious picture, which Matisse completed on the first Bastille Day following the Armistice ending World War I. By his own account, the painting is a symbol of the artist's unrestrained exuberance on that momentous day in 1919, when all of France celebrated its national holiday amidst the newly retored peace....From an artistic standpoint the painting heralds the fresh and colorful style that would define Matisse's career thenceforwards, and signals the artist's renewed sense of optimism following one of the most troubling periods of his career."

The painting has an estimate of $18,000,000 to $25,000,000. It sold for $28,642,500. Emmanuel Di Donna of Sotheby's remarked after the auction that this painting sold in 1982 for $1.5 million.

"Nu au fauteuil, jambes croisées" by Matisse

Lot 29, "Nu au fauteuil, Jambes Croisées," by Henri Matisse, oil on canvas, 22 1/4 by 13 1/2 inches, 1920

Lot 29 is a very pleasant oil sketch on canvas of a seated nude woman by Henri Matisse. It measures 22 1/4 by 13 1/2 inches and was painted in 1920. It was once in the collectin of Adolphe Lewison. It has a modest estimate of $2,500,000 to $3,500,000. It sold for $3,666,500.

'Verre et Carte à Jouer" by Gris

Lot 18, "Verre et Carte à Jouer," by Juan Gris, oil and sand on canvas, 18 1/8 by 13 inches, 1915

One of the auction's most sparkling works is Lot 18, "Verre et Carte à Jouer," by Juan Gris. An oil and sand on canvas, it measures 18 1/8 by 13 inches. It was painted in 1915 and once was in the collectin of Katharine and Morton G. Schamberg of Chicago. The lot has an estimate of $4,500,000 to $6,500,000. It sold for $4,842,500.

Lot 19, "Femme Au Grand Chapeau Buste," by Pablo Picasso, oil on canvas, 36 1/4 by 28 3/4 inches, 1965

Lot 19 is a large and charming late portrait of a woman in a grand hat by Pablo Picasso. An oil on canvas, it measures 36 1/4 by 28 3/4 inches. It was painted in 1965 and is property from the estate of Patricia Kennedy Lawford. It has an estimate of $8,000,000 to $12,000,000. It sold for $9,322,500.

Lot 34, "Effet de Printemps à Giverny," by Claude Monet, oil on canvas, 23 1/2 by 39 3/4 inches, 1890

Lot 34 is a large landscape of Spring in Giverny by Claude Monet. An oil on canvas, it measures 23 1/2 by 39 3/4 inches. It was painted in 1890 and was once in the collection of Lord Spencer Churchill of London. It has an estimate of $10,000,000 to $15,000,000. It sold for $15,202,500. The catalogue entry notes that Monet painted the same view in three other compositions.

"Fin d'Apres-Midi Vetheuil" by Monet

Lot 32, "Fin d'Apres-Midi, Vetheuil," by Claude Monet, oil on canvas, 28 1/2 by 39 1/4 inches, 1880

Lot 32 is an excellent river scene by Claude Monet entitled "Fin d'Apres-Midi, Vetheuil." An oil on canvas, it measures 28 1/2 by 39 1/4 inches. It was painted in 1880. It has a modest estimate of $2,800,000 to $3,500,000. It sold for $6,242,500.

"Vue Generale de Rouen" by Gauguin

Lot 39, "Vue Generale de Rouen," by Paul Gauguin, oil on canvas, 20 1/2 by 30 1/4 inches, 1884

Lot 39 is a very pleasant Rouen landscape by Paul Gauguin. An oil on canvas, it measures 20 1/2 by 30 1/4 inches. It was executed in 1884. The painting was once in the collection of Eric Estorick and later J. Paul Getty. It has a conservative estimate of $1,000,000 to $1,500,000. It sold for $2,322,500.

"Paysage aux Environs d'Aix-en-Provence" by Cézanne

Lot 41, "Paysage aux Environs d'Aix-En-Provence," by Paul Cézanne, oil on canvas, 16 by 23 inches, circa 1865

Lot 41 is a pleasant early landscape by Paul Cézanne (1832-1906) entitled "Paysage aux Environs d'Aix-En-Provence." An oil on canvas, it measures 16 by 23 inches and was painted with a great deal of impasto circa 1865. It has a modest estimate of $700,000 to $1,000,000. It sold for $1,538,500.

"Route entre des Rochers à Bibémus" by Cézanne

Lot 12, "Route entre des Rochers à Bibémus," by Paul Cézanne, watercolor and pencil on paper, 11 /2 by 18 inches,1895-2000

Lot 12 is a good watercolor and pencil on paper by Paul Cézanne entitled "Route entre des Rochers à Bibémus." It measures 11 1/2 by 18 inches and was painted between 1895 and 2000. It has an estimate of $1,000,000 to $1,500,000. It failed to sell.

"Halvakt" by Munch

Lot 50, "Halvakt (Nude half figure)," by Edvard Munch, oil on canvas, 32 1/4 by 26 inches, 1916-7

Lot 50 is a very fine sketch of a woman with her blouse off by Edvard Munch. An oil on canvas, it measures 32 1/4 by 26 inches and was painted in 1916-7. It has a conservative estimate of $1,600,000 to $2,200,000. It failed to sell and was passed at $1,400,000.

"Marthe and her dog" by Bonnard

Lot 47, "Marthe et Son Chien Assise Devant Une Table," by Pierre Bonnard, oil on canvas, 17 by 17 3/8 inches, circa 1930

Lot 47 is a very great small interior of the artist's wife, Marthe, woman and her dog by Pierre Bonnard. An oil on canvas, it measures 17 by 17 3/8 inches and was painted circa 1930. It was once in the collection of Maximilien Luce, who received it a a gift from Bonnard. It has a very modest estimate of $700,000 to $900,000. It sold for $1,022,500.

Lot 9, "Le Boulevard Exterieur: Boulevard de Clichy et Angle de Le Rue de Douai," by Pierre Bonnard, oil on canvas, 38 5/8 by 29 7/8 inches, circa 1904

An earlier Bonnard is Lot 9, a very nice Parisian street scene with a complex composition and very impressionistic detailing. It is an oil on canvas that measures 38 5/8 by 29 7/8 inches. The catalogue notes that it was painted circa 1904. It has an ambitious estimate of $4,000,000 to $4,600,000, which certainly seems quite ambitious when compared with the lusciousness and vibrancy of Lot 47 whose estimate is only $700,000 to $900,000. Lot 9 failed to sell and was passed at $3,250,000.

"Le Quai Conti" by Luce

Lot 11, "Le Quai Conti," by Maximlien Luce, oil on canvas, 23 5/8 by 29 inches, circa 1894

Lot 11 is a fine twilight Parisien scene by Maximilien Luce entitled "Le Quai Conti." An oil on canvas, it measures 23 5/8 by 29 inches and was painted circa 1894. It was once in the collection of Arthur Altschul of New York. It has an estimate of $800,000 to $1,200,000. It sold for $1,082,500.

Lot 58, "Homage a Blériot No.2 (fragment)," by Robert Delaunay, distemper on joined canvas, 42 1/8 by 71 5/8 inches, 1913-4

Lot 58 is two thirds of a triptych by Robert Delaunay painted as a homage to Louis Blériot, the French aviator who was the first to cross the English Channel in 1909. It has an estimate of $600,000 to $800,000. It sold for $698,500.

"Le Cheval de Cirque" by Miro

Lot 26, "Peinture (Le Cheval de Cirque)," by Joan Miro, oil on canvas 39 by 51 1/8 inches, 1927

Lot 26 is a oil on canvas by Joan Miro (1893-1983) entitled "Peinture (Le Cheval de Cirque)." It measures 39 by 51 1/8 inches and was painted in 1927. It is property from the collection of Josephine and Walter Buhl Ford II. It has an estimate of $1,500,000 to $2,500,000. It sold for $2,658,500.

"Jeanne Hebuterne au Collier" by Modigliani

Lot 7, "Jeanne Hébuterne au Collier," by Amedeo Modigliani, oil on canvas, 22 by 15 14 inches, circa 1916-17

Lot 7 is a small portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne au Collier," by Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920). An oil on canvas, it measures 22 by 15 1/4 inches and was painted circa 1916-7. It has an unusual amount of impasto. It has an ambitious estimate of $8,000,000 to $12,000,000. It sold for $13,802,500.

"Weiblisher Rukenakt (fragment)" by Schiele

Lot 27, "Weiblicher Ruckenakt (fragment)," by Egon Schiele, oil on canvas, 75 5/8 by 20 5/8 inches, 1913

Lot 27 is an oil of canvas by Egon Schiele (1890-1918) that depicts the back of a nude woman. It is entitled "Weiblisher Ruckenakt (fragment)" and measures 75 5/8 by 20 5/8 inches. It was painted in 1913. It has an estimate of $4,000,000 to $6,000,000. It sold for $5,122,500.

"Femme au Chapeau de Roses" by van Dongen

Lot 5, "Femme au Chapeau de Roses," by Kees van Dongen, oil on canvas, 39 1/4 by 32 inches, circa 1910-1911

Lot 5 is a lovely portrait of a seated woman wearing a very large hat with roses by Kees van Dongen (1877-1968). An oil on canvas, it measures 39 1/4 by 32 inches and was painted circa 1910-1911. It was once in the collection of Alphonse Kann. It has an estimate of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000. It sold for $3,778,500.

"Figure-germe dite l'Apres-Midinette" by Arp

Lot 54, "Figure-germe dite l'Apres-Midinette," by Jean Arp, bronze, 31 1/4 inches high, cast in 1958 as number 5 in an edition of six

Lot 54 is a very beautiful and sensuous bronze statue by Jean Arp (1886-1966) entitled "Figure-germe dite l'Apres-Midinette." It is 31 1/4 inches high and was cast in 1958 as number 5 in an edition of six. It has an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000. It sold for $602,500.

"Undine (Nadja)" by Noguchi

Lot 4, "Undine (Nadja)," by Isamu Noguchi, bronze, 76 3/4 inches high, conceived in 1926 and cast the next year

Lot 4 is an exquisite bronze sculpture of "Undine (Nadja)" by Isamu Noguchi, the greastest sculptor of the 20th Century. Conceived in 1926 and cast in 1927, it is 76 3/4 inches high. Ity has a conservative estimate of $600,000 to $900,000. It sold for $4,226,500, a world auction record for the artist. The catalogue has a photograph of the sculptor standing by the plaster cast now lost for this work."This unique bronze has been largely unknown for nearly a century and sheds new light on the young sculptor's talents in the months before beginning his apprenticeship with Brancusi at the end of the 1920s. Undine was probably modeled after a Russian dancer named Nadja Nikolaiova.

The auction includes several impressive animal bronzes by Rembrandt Bugatti (1884-1916) from the S. Joel Schur Collection. Most were conceived circa 1909-1910.

 

See The City Review article on the Spring 2010 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2009 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2009 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2009 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2009 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2008 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2008 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2008 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2008 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's

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

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

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 Impressionist & 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

 

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