Christie's Reveals the Eye of the Architect Collection for 20th Century Auctions in London

Christie's unveils a meticulously curated collection from the estate of a recently deceased architect for its coming series of sales during '20th Century at Christie's' in London. The £27m collection The Eye of the Architect includes fifteen works by some of the most celebrated masters of the twentieth century avant-garde, from Pablo Picasso to Francis Bacon, Giorgio de Chirico to Joan Miró, and Fernand Léger to Giorgio Morandi.

Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Portrait, 1976. Estimate: £10m - 15m
Sale: Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction

The leading lot of the group goes to Three Studies for a Portrait painted by Francis Bacon in 1976. The triptych depicts the artist’s close friend and model Henrietta Moraes, whose stark depiction of facial features and realist palette reveal the influence of Picasso on Bacon’s work. It is the last of only six portraits of Moraes painted in Bacon's celebrated 14-by-12-inch triptych format.

Pablo Picasso, Figure, 1930. Estimate: £3m - 5m
Sale: The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale

Pablo Picasso's Figure was created during the artist's ‘bone-period’ of the late 1920s and early 1930s. This ‘bone-period’ is so-called because of Picasso’s predilection at this time for creating surprising, highly sculptural, skeletal-like figures. Occurring at a time when Picasso's art was also informed by the then prevailing culture of Surrealism, these paintings underline Picasso’s admiration for African and Oceanic sculpture.

Giorgio de Chirico, Testa di manichino, 1916-17. Estimate: £800,000 - 1.2m
Sale: The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale

Testa di manichino (1916-17) is one of the revolutionary series of ‘metaphysical paintings’ that Giorgio de Chirico pioneered between 1912 and 1918 while he was stationed in the Italian city of Ferrara during the First World War. The painting presents, in surprising close-up, the seemingly curious image of one of his philosopher-poets gazing directly at the viewer from a construction of geometric tools and drawing implements.

Joan Miró, Tête d’homme, 1931. Estimate: £700,000 - 1m
Sale: The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale

Fernand Léger, L’usine (Motif pour le moteur), 1918. Estimate: £900,000 - 1.2m
Sale: Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale

L’usine (Motif pour le moteur) is one of a series of dynamic and dazzlingly coloured paintings that Fernand Léger painted in 1918 after his discharge from the French army. Having witnessed the industrialisation of the world, Léger was fascinated with factories, engines and metallic objects. The various lines and planes of flattened colour that depict the metallic pistons, struts, cogs, wheels and axels of L’usine (Motif pour le moteur) seem to be working against each other to create a sense of magnificent force.

Giorgio Morandi, Natura morta, 1942. Estimate: £600,000 - 900,000
Sale: Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale


Hong Kong|2018/02/5 - 8
New York|2018/02/8 - 15
London|2018/02/20 - 03/18


Auction house: Christie's London
Auction dates:
Impressionist and Modern Art|27 February
The Art of the Surreal Evening Sales|27 February
Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale|28 February
Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale|6 March