Impressionist and modern art is an important battlefield for auction houses. This May, Christie’s New York presents 56 lots, including masterpieces from Pablo Picasso, Constantin Brancusi, Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne and Paul Gauguin at its evening sale, and the low estimate of all lots exceeds US$200m.
Top lot is "Femme assise, robe bleue" by Picasso. This work was painted on his 58th birthday, and is filled with the unique character and tension that mark Picasso's greatest portraits of Dora Maar, his lover and muse.
"Femme assise dans un fauteuil", another great piece of work by Picasso, will also go under the hammer. This painting provides an extraordinary demonstration of the contrasts in style and technique that Picasso practiced as he moved between his neo-classical and cubist approaches to painting during the years following the First World War.
“La muse endormie” by Constantin Brancusi, the renowned Romanian sculptor is to be offered for sale. This is the first in Brancusi’s series of egg-shaped sculptures, its formal and expressive perfection mark the inception of his mature work.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) "Femme assise, robe bleue"
Lot No.: 12A
Size: 73 x 60cm
Paul Rosenberg & Co., Paris and Bordeaux (acquired from the artist).
Confiscated in Bordeaux, 1940, and transferred to the German Embassy, Paris; transferred to the Jeu de Paume, 6th September 1941 (Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg inventory number PR 19); returned to the Möbel-Aktion and intended for transfer by train from Paris to the Nazi depot, Nikolsburg, Moravia, 1 August 1944.
Seized by the French Resistance; restituted by the Commission de Récuperation to Paul Rosenberg.
G. David Thompson, Pittsburgh (acquired from the above); Estate sale, Sotheby's Parke Bernet, New York, 23-24 March 1966, lot 68.
Galerie Beyeler, Basel (acquired at the above sale).
Private collection, Rome (acquired from the above by the family of the owner, circa 1968); sale, Christie's, London, 21 June 2011, lot 49.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Pre-Lot Text: PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION
Estimate: US$35,000,000 - 50,000,000
Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957) "La muse endormie"
Lot No.: 32A
Jacques Ulmann, Paris (by February 1958).
By descent from the above to the present owner.
Pre-Lot Text: PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE PARISIAN COLLECTION
Estimate: US$25,000,000 - 35,000,000
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) "Femme assise dans un fauteuil"
Lot No.: 7A
Size: 130.2 x 88.9cm
Estate of the artist.
Marina Picasso, Paris (by descent from the above and until at least 1984).
Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago.
Acquired from the above by Mrs. Sydell Miller, 29 June 2000.
Pre-Lot Text: PROPERTY FROM CLEVELAND CLINIC GENEROUSLY DONATED BY MRS. SYDELL MILLER
Estimate: US$20,000,000 - 30,000,000
Auction House: Christie's New York
Sale: Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale
Sale No.: 14138