Gaugin's 'Sunflower' To Top Christie's February Sale
Paul Gauguin and Vincent Van Gogh had what can best be described as a turbulent friendship but their art is tribute to the enduring nature of shared inspiration and ideas. At Christie's London Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Auction on February 9 the highlight of the sale will be the image shown above Nature morte à "L'Espérance", a still life painted by Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) in 1901 while he was living in Tahiti. You'll note that in the picture above a Christie's employee holds in an image of a Van Gogh sunflowers painting in her hand. That's no accident, Van Gogh died in 1890 and this painting is one of four that Gauguin, who died in 1903, painted as a tribute to his friend. This paining was shown at the artist's first landmark Retrospective in 1906, and appeared in over 20 major Museum exhibitions at, among other places, MOMA, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, Tate London and the National Gallery of Art in Washington. It has been unseen in public since 1989. It is estimated at £7 million to £10 million.
The auction will also include works Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, André Derain, Edgar Degas and Pierre Bonnard and the total pre-sale estimate is between £74 million and £109 million, healthily above last year's sale at the same time which carried estimates of between £57 million and £81 million. Four works to be sold by the Art Institute of Chicago include Nature morte à la guitare (rideaux rouge) by Georges Braque (1882-1963) which carries an estimate of £3.5 million to £5.5 million. Danseuses jupes jaunes (Deux danseuses en jaune), by Edgar Degas (1834-1917) a pastel that was acquired by the family of the present owner in 1899 and has since passed by descent is estimated at £3 million to £5 million.
Last year saw several record sales and Giovanna Bertazzoni, Director and Head of Impressionist and Modern Art, Christie's London continues to be optimistic saying: "2010 was a landmark year for the art market that witnessed record sales and results. This was driven in a significant way by the demand for rare and market-fresh works of Impressionist and Modern art which represented 7 of the top 10 prices paid last year at auction, 6 of which sold for over $50 million. The category continues to engage new collectors from both established and emerging markets, including China and Russia, and where there is a healthy supply it has been shown that there is a tremendous demand for the rarest and the best."
[via The Guardian]