By Carter B. Horsley
This morning sale of Impressionist
and Post-Impressionist Art at Christie's is a large sale of mostly
There are, however, some gems
such as Lot 274, "Yvette Guilbert," shown above, a partially
glazed ceramic by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901). This
20 1/4-by-11 1/8-inch work was executed in 1895 and is especially
vibrant. The plaque was commissioned by Yvette Guilbert as the
top for a small tea table, according to the catalogue, and the
artist handpainted it himself and the entertainer inscribed it
herself. It is very conservatively estimated at $40,000 to $60,000
and it is certainly one of the highlights of the fall auction
season. It sold for $123,500.
Another fine work is Lot 276,
"Vue de Pont-Aven," a 35 1/2-by-24 3/4-inch oil on canvas
by Emile Bernard (1868-1941). This 1888 work, shown below, is
very striking and reminiscent of Paul Gauguin's palette. Its very
strong, almost startling, composition conjures the work of Richard
Diebenkorn and to a certain extent the brushwork of Paul Cézanne.
It is also very conservatively estimated at $90,000 to $120,000.
It sold for $255,500.
Lot 248 is a large and quite
good example of Edouard Vuillard's style of painting with peinture
à la colle, or distemper, a medium he liked for its
quick-drying properties and its rather chalky, matte surface.
This 63-by-69-inch canvas depicts a daughter of Alfred Natanson,
one of the founders of the famous La Revue Blanche, with two women
in a very patterned interior. It is appropriately estimated at
$300,000 to $400,000. It sold for $310,500.
Lot 218 is a very nice, small
landscape sketch by Louis Valtat (1869-1952) that is quite colorful
and dynamic. Executed in 1923, it is estimated at only $6,000
to $8,000. It sold for $43,700.
Lot 219 is a very pleasant
and quite delicate watercolor by Maurice Utrillo (1883-1955) that
the catalogue notes "originally decorated one of the first-class
cabins of the transatlantic liner 'France.'" It carries a
$12,000 to $16,000 estimate. It sold for $23,000.
A quite atypical and interesting
work by Salvador Dali (1904-1989) is Lot 223, a gouache and pastel
on paper, 60 1/4 by 40 1/8 inches. It depicts three women and
was acquired from the artist by Akram Ojjeh and is one of many
works from his collection being offered at Christie's this season.
It has an estimate of $70,000 to $90,000. It sold for $63,000.
Another work from the Ojjeh
Collection is Lot 226, a very pleasant landscape with a soldier
drummer by Alfred Sisley (1839-1899). Painted in 1890, this 30
3/4-by-25-inch oil on canvas has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000.
It sold for $178,500.
A strong riverscape by Maurice
de Vlaminck (1876-1958) is Lot 335. This 21 3/4-by-26-inch oil
on canvas is quite boldly painted with a strong composition and
is estimated at only $60,000 to $80,000. It sold for $101,500.
Lot 346 is a very good scene
of a port by Albert Marquet (1838-1947) that would probably be
a masterpiece were it not for the lower right corner of the composition
that is somewhat awkward. It is estimated at $300,000 to $400,000.
It was the back cover illustration of the catalogue and it passed.
A very large canvas of flowers
by Bernard Buffet (1928-1999), Lot 368, is one of his finest works
and is estimated at only $40,000 to $60,000. It sold for $51,750.
The auction includes numerous
works by such other artists as Pierre Bonnard, Herni Lebasque,
Gustave Loiseau, Raoul Dufy, Marie Laurencin, Moise Kisling, Norbert
Goenuette, Maximilien Luce, Paul Signac and Marc Chagall.
About 80 percent of the
lots offered sold for a total of $14,323,160, a pretty respectable
showing for this category that includes many relatively minor
artists. All 14 lots in this auction from the Akram Ojjeh Collection
sold. Cyanne Chutkow, vice president and specialist in charge
of the sale, remarked that there was "a significant percentage
of new buyers" at the auction and the market responded "particularly
well to classic works and the School of Paris."
The top lot was Lot 288,
"En bateau," by Pierre Bonnard, which fetched from a
private European collector $827,500, more than double its high
Lot 260, another Vuillard,
entitled "Madame Hessel lisant son journal devant la cheminée,"
was sold to an anonymous buyer for $662,500, more than double
its low estimate.
A Raoul Dufy, Lot 310, "La
Place d'Hyères: l'obelisque de le kiosque a musique,"
sold to a European dealer for $552,500, well over its high estimate
Marie Laurencin's "Trois
filles," Lot 358, sold to an American private collector for
$497,500, more than triple its high estimate.