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