Portrait of Picasso’s Muse to Lead Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Art in London

In the coming 20th Century Week in London, Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale is offering works by some of the most well-known artists including Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and Kazimir Malevich. The sale will be headlined by Picasso’s Femme dans un fauteuil (Dora Maar).

Femme dans un fauteuil (Dora Maar) by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)  is a depiction of the artist’s great lover and muse, Dora Maar. Born in Paris, Dora Maar spent her childhood in Buenos Aires, later returning to Paris to settle. The story of how Picasso and Dora Maar met is still a mystery. A myth has it that Picasso had come across Dora in the infamous Café les Deux Magots one Autumn evening in 1935. Picasso was instantly beguiled by her dark intensity and powerful gaze and asked for her gloves as a souvenir of their meeting.

The mysterious beauty inspired some of the greatest portraits of Picasso’s career during their nine-year relationship. The earliest portraits of Dora evoke a tender, calm and sensual appreciation of her form. As their relationship progressed, Picasso adopted a more angular vocabulary in his depictions of Dora, abstracting and attacking her form. Painted on 24 April 1942, Femme dans un fauteuil (Dora Maar) is a prime example of Picasso’s later depiction of Dora Maar.

Featured on the cover, La Gare Saint-Lazare, vue extérieure was painted by French Impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926), estimate on request. It belongs to the series of twelve works that depict the Gare Saint-Lazare; the bustling train station located in the centre of Paris.

Claude Monet's The Saint-Lazare Station (1877). Collection of Musée d'Orsay

Monet finished the artwork in just three months and never before had he worked with such intensity and speed. The collection that this painting belongs to is the artist’s final and most ambitious confrontation with modernity. After the completion of this series, he abandoned scenes of modern life and turned to landscape painting.

Another top lot of the sale is Kazimir Malevich (1878-1935)’s Landscape. Estimated at £7m - 10m (US$9,394,000 - 13,420,000), the painting is a rare and early work from 1911, a breakthrough moment for the artist. It was created during his Neo-Primitive period, a short phase during which Malevich fused influences from the European avant-garde with the visual culture of his native Russia to create an aesthetic that was entirely unique. The present lot belongs to ‘The Red Series’, a group of works characterised by gestural brushstrokes and an expressive use of colour, referencing both Fauvism and Cubism and anticipating the artist’s move towards Suprematism.

Last month, Malevich’s Suprematist Composition, a work from the artist’s Suprematism period, was hammered down at US$76m at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale in New York. It was sold for US$85.8m (premium included), setting an auction record for the artist.

Top 3 lots (sorted by estimates)

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). Femme dans un fauteuil (Dora Maar).

Lot no.: 20
Painted: 1942
Size: 92 x 73 cm

  • The artist's estate.
  • Jacqueline Roque Picasso, Mougins, by descent from the above, until 1986.
  • Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris (no. 018042).
  • Galerie Beyeler, Basel (no. 11003).
  • Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, London, 26 June 1990, lot 54.
  • Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.

Estimate: Estimate On Request

Claude Monet (1840-1926). La Gare Saint-Lazare, vue extérieure.

Lot no.: 25
Painted: 1877
Size: 60.4 x 80.2 cm

  • Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris.
  • Museum Folkwang, Essen, by 1912.
  • Galerie Georg Caspari, Munich.
  • Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, by 1924.
  • Durand-Ruel Gallery, New York, by whom acquired from the above, on 8 November 1926.
  • Mrs Huddleston Rogers, New York, by whom acquired from the above, on 14 December 1942.
  • Mr & Mrs Paul Peralta-Ramos, New Mexico, circa 1970.
  • Acquavella Galleries Inc., New York.
  • Acquired from the above by the late owners in 1985.

Estimate: Estimate On Request

Kazimir Malevich (1878-1935). Landscape.

Lot no.: 17
Painted: 1911
Size: 60.4 x 80.2 cm

  • Hans von Riesen, Bremen, as custodian for the artist; sale, Lempertz, Cologne, 7 December 1963, lot 458.
  • Marlborough Fine Art, London, by whom acquired at the above sale.
  • Kunstmuseum, Basel, by whom acquired from the above, by 1964 (no. G-1963.17).
  • Restituted to the family of the artist from the above in 2012.
  • Private collection, by whom acquired from the above in 2012.

Estimate: £7,000,000 - 10,000,000

Auction details

Auction house: Christie’s London
Sale: Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale
Sale date: 2018/6/20
Lots offered: 45
2018/6/15|10am - 4pm
2018/6/16 - 17|12pm - 5pm
2018/6/18 |9am - 8pm
2018/6/19 |9am - 3pm
2018/6/20 |9am - 4pm