Sotheby's to Offer $25 Million Paul Cézanne Still Life Alongside Masterworks by Monet & Degas in Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale | Auction 12 May in New York
Four Masterworks by Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas & Claude Monet From an Exquisite Private Collection To Star in Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale This May in New York
Paul Cézanne’s Quintessential Still Life of Fruit, Among the Last Remaining in Private Hands: Nature morte: pommes et poires Estimate $25/35 Million
A Prime Example of Edgar Degas’s Celebrated Pastel Ballerinas, Formerly in the Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Danseuse Estimate $10/15 Million
Two Stunning Works by Impressionist Master Claude Monet:
An Extraordinary Landscape Previously in the George Vanderbilt Collection, La Seine à Lavacourt, Débâcle Estimate $6/8 Million
An Exquisite Floral Still Life, Fleurs dans un pot (Roses et brouillard) Estimate $4/6 Million
AUCTION 12 MAY IN NEW YORK
Following Sotheby’s Marquee Evening Auction of Contemporary Art And the Dedicated Sale for American Visionary: The Collection of Mrs. John L. Marion
Exhibition Open by Appointment Starting 1 May
NEW YORK, 13 April 2021 – From an exceptional and distinguished private collection, Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale this May will be highlighted by masterworks from the defining Impressionist and Post-Impressionist French artists whose indelible bodies of work and artistic legacies shaped the course of Modern art history like no others: Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, and Claude Monet.
Cézanne’s Nature morte: pommes et poires (estimate $25/35 million) leads this outstanding group of four works. A poignant encapsulation of the artist’s greatest achievements, the dazzling canvas is an extremely rare example of the artist’s quintessential still lifes of this caliber remaining in private hands. With an illustrious provenance dating to epoque-defining dealer Ambroise Vollard, the painting stands unparalleled in today’s market.
The collection is also highlighted by one of the most harmonious and delicately rendered works of Edgar Degas’s singular ballerinas, Danseuse (estimate $10/15 million), which was once in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for nearly 70 years. Additionally, there are two stunning canvases by Claude Monet: La Seine à Lavacourt, Débâcle (estimate $6/8 million), one of the artist’s first series paintings, formerly in the collection of George Vanderbilt II and once hung at the Biltmore Estate; and Fleurs dans un pot (Roses et brouillard) (estimate $4/6 million) from 1878, a rare example of a floral still life by the artist, formerly in the collection of James F. Sutton, founder of the American Art Association, and Ogden Phipps, the storied American collector.
Taking place Wednesday, 12 May in New York, the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale will follow Sotheby’s marquee auctions for American Visionary: The Collection of Mrs. John L. Marion and Contemporary Art in a blockbuster series of auctions this spring. A pre-sale exhibition for all three Evening Sales will be open by appointment beginning 1 May at Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries in New York. The present works will be on view in Hong Kong from 16-21 April at the Hong Kong Exhibition Center alongside highlights from Sotheby’s marquee sales of Chinese Works of Art, Chinese Paintings, Classical Chinese Paintings, Modern Art, Contemporary Art, Important Watches, and Magnificent Jewels.
Scott Niichel, Co-Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Department in New York, said: “We are honored and delighted to present this exceptional group this May, presenting each work on the market for the first time in decades. This rich, thoughtful and charming collection represents three of the most radical and profoundly important artists working in Europe in the late 19th century, with images that embody the very pinnacle of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist movements, each – and particularly Cézanne’s superlative still life – building a critical bridge to the later artistic developments that would come to define Modernism and transform the history of art as we know it. From Cézanne’s sumptuous still life of his iconic apples and pears, to Degas’s celebrated ballerina, to Monet’s unrivaled interpretation of nature, color and light, this group embodies the very best of French art of the late 19th century, and its appearance at auction represents an historic opportunity for collectors around the world.”
One of the purest distillations of Cézanne’s craft, Nature morte: pommes et poires is a masterful example of the artist’s mature still lifes of the late 1880s and 1890s and stands among his simplest yet most powerful and elegant arrangements.
Such modest arrangements of apples, pears, tables, and ceramics fascinated Cézanne throughout his decades-long career and chart the progression of his artistic development. From the artist’s early investigations, which aimed to shock audiences through an ambitious and singular handling of paint, to the complex and painstakingly crafted output of his last decade, Cézanne continually reinvented his still lifes, exhibiting ever more experimentation and nuance with each canvas. Incorporating a relatively narrow range of elements in each composition and often utilizing the same recognizable fabrics, baskets and pitchers, Cézanne rearranged and reimagined each ensemble, resulting in new spatial relationships underscored by an experimental focus on fundamental formal qualities.