Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art and Modern & Post-War British Art sales total £123.7m / $134.6m this week
Sotheby’s London, June 2019: This week, Sotheby’s sales of Impressionist & Modern Art and Modern & Post-War British Art concluded with a combined total of £123.7 million / $134.6 million. The sale series saw collectors gather from 44 countries across the globe for an offering of over 400 lots. Below is an overview of the sales and highlights that drove this week’s results.
IMPRESSIONIST & MODERN ART EVENING SALE (19 June)
Auction Total: £98.9 million / $124.3 million
– 13% increase on last June and February’s sales in GBP –
Sell-through Rate: 92%
Full Post-Sale Press Release HERE
Sold for £23.7 million / $29.8 million
Never-before-seen on the market, Monet’s waterlilies – an iconic image of his most celebrated subject – made its debut at a price ranking among the highest prices ever achieved for an Impressionist painting sold at auction in Europe. This is the third consecutive Evening Sale at Sotheby’s worldwide this year to be led by a Monet series painting.
Jeune homme assis, les mains croisées sur les genoux (1918)
Sold for £18.4 million / $23.2 million
Pursued by three bidders, this sublime portrait of an unidentified young model – painted with the poignancy and serene beauty characteristic of Modigliani’s most accomplished paintings – made its first appearance at auction. One of only 10 known portraits of anonymous male youths by the artist, the painting had remained in the same family collection since it was first acquired from Modigliani’s dealer Léopold Zborowski in 1927, and until now, it had only been published as a black and white image.
Peinture (L’Air) (1938)
Sold for £12 million / $15.1 million
Part of a highly important body of work in Miró engaged with the deteriorating political situation in his native Spain during his exile in France, this striking composition offers a renunciation of despair in a defiant celebration of colour and form. The work led strong results for the Surrealist offering, including three works by René Magritte that all sold in excess of their high estimates.
Le Boulevard Montmartre, fin de journée (1897)
Sold for £7.2 million / $9 million
A glorious evocation of the spectacle of fin-de-siècle Paris, this glowing evening scene is an outstanding work from one of the most important series of Pissarro’s Impressionist urban views – the majority of which are in museum collections. Unseen on the market for over seventy years, the painting was offered pursuant to a settlement agreement between the present owner and the heirs of Alfred and Gertrud Sommerguth.
IMPRESSIONIST & MODERN ART DAY SALE (20 June)
Auction Total: £16.6 million / $21.1 million
Sell-through Rate: 66%
Le Peintre. Buste de profil (1967)
Sold for £1.7 million / $2.2 million
The sale was led by a spirited fresh-to-the-market musketeer from the series Picasso undertook in the 1960s. The figure of the musketeer has a long history in visual art – represented in works by Frans Hals, Rembrandt van Rijn, El Greco, Diego Velázquez and Francisco Goya – and the subject allowed Picasso to escape the limitations of contemporary subject matter and fully explore the spirit of a past age.
Appels, gemberpot en bord op een richel (1901)
Sold for £393,000 / $501,075 – Record for a Still Life by the Artist
Making its auction debut, this exquisite example of the master of abstraction’s naturalistic work sold for five times its pre-sale estimate of £70,000-90,000. Beautifully presenting a rare side of Mondrian’s artistic temperament that is often overlooked, the playful arrangement with its delicate balance of muted tones is a captivating example of the artist’s skill in conveying the effects of light.
Au Bord de la rivière (La Seine) (circa 1890)
Sold for £735,000 / $937,125
Characteristic of the artist’s later works, this splendid scene of the banks of the Seine typifies Renoir’s masterful synthesis of figure and landscape through loose, ever-changing brushstrokes. Through a luscious exploration of textures, Renoir experiments with a delicate palette that balances a serene vision of the plein air with a fresh spontaneity.
MODERN & POST-WAR BRITISH ART SALE (18-19 June)
Auction Total: £8.3 million / $10.3 million
Sell-through Rate: 71%
A Cricket Match (1938)
Sold for £1.2 million / $1.5 million
One of only a handful of occasions when beloved British artist L.S. Lowry turned his paintbrush to depicting a cricket match, this charming Salford scene was making its first appearance on the market since it sold at Sotheby’s in June 1996 for £282,000. In this work, Lowry gives children the centre stage, as enthusiastic players and spectators, providing a counterpoint to the burdensome life of the adults and their dilapidated surroundings.
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