Christie's New York: Impressionist masterpieces from American oil tycoon to sell for more than US$200 million

Christie’s New York will offer 25 masterpieces, including Caillebotte, Cezanne and Van Gogh in their November auction sale, The Cox Collection: The Story of Impressionism. The collection was assembled 50 years ago and is expected to make more than US$200 million. Many artworks of the collection were last seen publicly before the Second World War. A global tour of the Cox Collection’s highlights will include stops in Taipei, Tokyo, Hong Kong and London, before the auction preview at Christie’s Rockefeller Centre Galleries in New York.

Edwin Lochridge Cox was a key American businessman in the Texan oil and gas industry, collector and philanthropist. He was a major donor to the Republican Party, and to the campaigns of both former Presidents George H. W. Bush (Sr.) and George W. Bush (Jr) during 1980 to 2000. He also financially contributed to the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of A&M University in Texas.

Edwin Lochridge Cox

Cox was an important board member of key American cultural institutions, including National Gallery of Art Trustees Council in Washington D.C., the Library of Congress Trust Fund and the Board of Trustees of the Dallas Museum of Art. He passed away at 99 years old in November 2020.

Gustave Caillebotte – Jeune homme à sa fenêtre

Created in 1876

Oil on canvas

116 x 81 cm

Estimate: More than US$50 million (Price upon request)

One key oeuvre is French Impressionist painter Gustave Caillebotte’s Jeune homme à sa fenêtre (Young Man at His Window). Completed in 1876, the artwork is expected to sell for more than US$50 million. Caillebotte’s current highest auction price was set in 2019, when Chemin montant (Rising Road), painted in 1881, a sunlit outdoor scene of a man and woman walking side by side, sold at Christie’s in London for US$22.2 million.

The artist’s brother René is depicted gazing out of the window of the family’s residence in Paris’s 8th arrondissement. Presenting a novel view of Parisian bourgeois life in which a young man is captured in a moment of contemplation as he watches the street from an elegant apartment, this work showcased the influence of Caillebotte’s academic training alongside his growing interest in realism.

Vincent van Gogh – Cabanes de bois parmi les oliviers et cyprès

Created in 1889

Oil on canvas

45.5 x 60.3 cm 

Estimate: US$40 million (Price upon request)

Van Gogh combines his favourite Provençal motifs and captures the characteristics of the artist’s mature style that emerged at Saint-Rémy. Executed in October 1889, the artwork is expected to sell for US$40 million. During the Dutch artist’s yearlong stay in Saint-Rémy, his works reached a climax of expression where he depicted the world around him with great intensity. Through spells of mental illness, van Gogh had periods of abundant and creative production. These circular strokes and snaking, impastoed lines of the olive trees came to dominate van Gogh’s work in Saint-Rémy.

Paul Cézanne – L’Estaque aux toits rouges

Created in 1883-1885

Oil on canvas

65.5 x 81.4 cm 

Estimate: US$35 million to US$55 million 

Cezanne painted this oeuvre in circa 1883 to 1885, is expected to sell between US$35 million and US$55 million. The cubically constructed houses and plane of blue sea are vividly depicted. It is one of the culminating works of the intense creativity that L’Estaque, southern France, had greatly inspired the artist over a series of visits to the village in the late 1870s and early 1880s.

Auction Details: 

Auction house: Christie's New York
Date: November 2021
Sale: Impressionist and Modern Art