September 22, 2023


How Art Works

Christie’s Twentieth Century Night Sale.Picasso, Rousseau, Renoir. Baselitz, Richter and extra

11 min read

 Christie’s is happy to announce the highest lot of the Twentieth Century Night Sale on Could 11, 2023 in the course of the Spring Marquee Week of gross sales might be Pablo Picasso’s Nature morte à la fenêtre (estimate on request; within the area of $40,000,000). This vital, large-scale 1932 portrait of the artist’s golden muse Marie-Thérèse Walter dates from one of the celebrated moments inside Picasso’s complete profession. This Could would be the first time in historical past that the work has come to public sale.

PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)
Nature morte à la fenêtre
oil on canvas
51 x 63 in. (129.7 x 162.3 cm.)
Painted on 18 January 1932
Estimate on request

Vanessa Fusco, Christie’s Head of Impressionist and Trendy Artwork, and Co-Head of Twentieth Century Night Sale, remarks, “Marie-Thérèse’s presence in Picasso’s life reinvigorated each space of his work, her statuesque kind, radiant magnificence, and carefree sensibility inspiring the artist to create works that stand among the many best of his complete profession. Created on the very begin Picasso’s annus mirabilis, Nature morte à la fenêtre is a testomony to Marie-Thérèse’s highly effective affect, and the nice flourishing of exercise she impressed in his artwork, from drawing to sculpture, printmaking to portray.”

Giovanna Bertazzoni, Christie’s Vice Chairman of Twentieth and twenty first Century Artwork, remarks, “We’re thrilled to showcase this masterpiece at Christie’s New York, as we have a good time Picasso’s contribution to the historical past of artwork and legacy this 12 months, which marks the fiftieth anniversary of his demise.”

Nature morte à la fenêtre was painted in January of 1932, a pivotal 12 months for the artist. Over the course of this 12 months, Picasso reached a unprecedented peak of creativity in his work, impressed by the types of Marie-Thérèse Walter, whose classical profile, curves and cropped hair got here to dominate each facet of his output within the early Thirties. Nature morte à la fenêtre is among the many very first work on this distinctive sequence dedicated to her, which incorporates seminal works comparable to Le Rêve, Jeune fille devant un miroir, Nude, Inexperienced Leaves and Bust and Femme assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse)—which offered at Christie’s in 2021 for greater than $103 million. The instance on provide this season represents a extremely important second throughout the story of Picasso’s so referred to as “annus mirabilis” (12 months of surprise).

Virtually instantly following its completion, Nature morte à la fenêtre was proven in famend Picasso retrospective on the Galeries Georges Petit in Paris in the course of the summer time of 1932; it hung prominently within the gallery’s Grande Salle, immediately above Le Rêve. It then traveled to the Kunsthaus Zürich for Picasso’s inaugural museum present later that 12 months. The portray would proceed to remained within the artist’s private assortment for the remainder of his life, hidden from public view till the Eighties.

Property from the Property of Payne Whitney Middleton
Les Flamants
oil on canvas
44.7/8 x 63.1/4 in. (113.8 x 162 cm.)
Painted in 1910
$20,000,000 – 30,000,000

This Could, Christie’s is honored to supply Les Flamants, an awfully uncommon masterpiece by Henri Rousseau in Christie’s Twentieth Century Night Sale in the course of the Spring Marquee Week. Estimated at $20,000,000 – 30,000,000, this portray is poised to reset the public sale report for the artist, far exceeding the present report of $4.4 million set three many years in the past at Christie’s London. Les Flamants involves Christie’s from the property of Payne Whitney Middleton, having been within the household since 1949.

Max Carter, Christie’s Vice Chairman, Twentieth and twenty first Century Artwork, remarks, “A legend among the many Parisian avant-garde, Henri Rousseau is maybe the rarest main artist of the nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries. Of the less than 240 attributed oils within the definitive catalogues by Dora Vallier and Henry Certigny, the variety of privately owned work with provenance traced to Rousseau will be counted on two arms. Amongst them there is just one monumental jungle imaginative and prescient, Les Flamants, which hung for a few years in Joan Whitney Payson’s lounge reverse Van Gogh’s Irises. In 1954, 5 years after the household acquired Les Flamants, Rousseau’s The Dream reportedly turned the costliest acquisition in MoMA’s historical past. On the time, one in all Rousseau’s masterpieces showing in the marketplace was an occasion. Right now it’s once-in-a-lifetime.”

Vanessa Fusco, Head of Impressionist and Trendy Artwork and Co-Head of Christie’s Twentieth Century Night Sale, remarks, “Rousseau was a celeb among the many avant-garde inventive group in Paris firstly of the Twentieth century. He was championed and picked up by among the most influential fashionable artists, together with Pablo Picasso, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, and Wassily Kandinsky, and his epitaph was written by the nice poet Guillaume Apollinaire. His distinctive, fantastical imaginative and prescient has continued to encourage artists via to the present day. This Could’s Twentieth Century Night Sale subsequently represents the right platform during which to characteristic this quintessential artist’s artist’s nice masterpiece, in dialogue with subsequent generations of artists upon whom Rousseau had a profound affect.”

Created within the ultimate 12 months Rousseau’s life, Les Flamants is an outstanding instance of his jungle work, the small, extremely celebrated sequence that cemented his inventive legacy. Amongst his most formidable compositions, each in scale and topic, Rousseau’s jungle landscapes have been nearly fully imagined. The self-taught artist by no means left France, and as a substitute drew inspiration from journals, newspapers, and botanical guidebooks, which he supplemented with visits to the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, to check reside animals and unique vegetation. By means of this multi-layered course of, Rousseau’s work turned wealthy assemblages, combining many several types of imagery collectively to create dream-like landscapes. Previous to committing himself fulltime to artwork, Rousseau made a residing as a customs officer working on the outskirts of Paris, which led to the moniker ‘Le Douanier.’ Rousseau is among the many most vital self-taught European painters from the late nineteenth and early Twentieth Century.

Christie’s is honored to announce The Property of Sophie F. Danforth, which is able to spotlight the Twentieth Century Night Sale on Could 11, 2023 at Rockefeller Heart in New York Metropolis. That includes 5 very good examples by Renoir, Degas, Daumier, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Goya, the gathering is anticipated to comprehend in extra of $8,000,000.

Sq. de la Trinité
oil on canvas
21 3/8 x 25 3/4 in. (54.3 x 65.4 cm.)
Painted in 1878-1879 $4,000,000-6,000,000

The main spotlight of the gathering is Sq. de la Trinité by Impressionist grasp Renoir (estimate: $4,000,000 – 6,000,000). Within the Danforth assortment for ninety years, the work has been featured in main worldwide exhibitions all through the Twentieth century, together with on the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork in New York, the Artwork Institute of Chicago and the 2007 exhibition of Renoir’s landscapes, which traveled to the Nationwide Gallery in London, the Nationwide Gallery of Canada and the Philadelphia Museum of Artwork.

To see the Degas, which possible hung within the third Impressionist present in 1877, Renoir, Daumier and Lautrec collectively is to see over Helen’s shoulder and take part her adventures 90 years in the past. We’re significantly honored to supply the uncommon and noteworthy drawing by Goya, the final previous grasp and the primary of the moderns, in our Twentieth-Century Sale, alongside so many artists whom he influenced and confirmed the best way.”

The gathering additionally contains superlative works on paper by Impressionist masters Degas, Daumier and Toulouse-Lautrec. Degas’s Danseuse à la barre (estimate: $2,000,000 – 3,000,000), an beautiful pastel believed by students to be most likely among the many works by the artist on view on the third Impressionist exhibition in 1877. This work has been within the assortment since 1936.

Les Trois Juges by Daumier (estimate: $ 300,000 – 500,000) comes from the artist’s celebrated sequence exploring and critiquing the dynamics throughout the courtroom. Toulouse-Lautrec’s Au cirque: Eléphant en liberté (estimate: $400,000 – 600,000) depicts an elephant on hind legs reacting to the instructions of its coach in costume, comes from the restricted sequence of simply 50 works by the artist produced in 1899 throughout his time confined to the Folie Saint James asylum within the suburbs of Paris.

The ultimate work rounding out the night sale choice is an awfully uncommon drawing by Goya (estimate $800,000 – 1,200,000), representing the primary time Spanish grasp has been included in any Christie’s Twentieth Century Night Sale. This follows the notable sale of the artist’s record-breaking consequence for the Portrait of Doña María Vicenta Barruso Valdés and Portrait of her mother Doña Leonora Antonia Valdés de Barruso which offered for $16.4 million in an Outdated Masters public sale in January.

This Could, Christie’s is honored to current highlights from Enduring Threads: The Assortment of Jacques and Emy Cohenca. The group that might be offered this Could includes 12 works by iconic artists, together with phenomenal examples by Georg Baselitz, Gerhard Richter, Joan Mitchell, Lee Krasner, and Louise Bourgeois, all of which is able to spotlight the Twentieth Century Night Sale.

Gerog Baselitz, b. 1938), Mann mit Tablett. Oil and charcoal on canvas, 98½ x 78¾ in. (250.2 x 200 cm.) Executed in 1982. Estimate: $3,000,000-5,000,000.© Christie’s Pictures Ltd 2023.

oil on canvas
78¾ x 71  in. (200 x 180.7 cm.)
Painted in 1984.

The group is led by Spoleto (estimate: $8,000,000 – 12,000,000), a portray by Gerhard Richter that was acquired by Emy Cohenca in 1985, the 12 months it was painted. 

Extra highlights embody Joan Mitchell’s Hours ($3,000,000 – 5,000,000), a 1989 canvas Emy Cohenca additionally acquired the 12 months of its creation, and Siblings by Lee Krasner ($5,000,000 – 7,000,000) a unbelievable portray comprised of the inventive language that emerged from the artist following the demise of her husband. Collectively, the gathering is anticipated to whole in extra of $22,000,000 .


 The group is comprised of exemplary works by Ed Ruscha, three Philip Guston masterpieces, and excellent examples by twentieth century inventive luminaries: Man Ray, Henri Matisse, and Ken Value. Extra works from the gathering might be supplied within the Submit-Conflict and Modern Artwork Day Sale. In whole, the gathering is anticipated to attain in extra of $50,000,000.

ED RUSCHA (B. 1937)

Burning Customary

Oil on canvas

Painted in 1968

$20,000,000 – 30,000,000

The gathering is led by Ed Ruscha’s Burning Customary (estimate: $20,000,000 – 30,000,000), a portray that’s thought-about to be one of the traditionally vital works within the artist’s oeuvre. Painted in 1968, Burning Customary is one in all solely 5 Customary Station work from the Nineteen Sixties, and one in all two work to characteristic the fireplace motif. This singular and groundbreaking portray is now thought-about an icon of twentieth-century post-war artwork, on par with Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans and Lichtenstein’s comic-book heroines. This Could might be solely the second time in historical past {that a} Customary Station portray has come to public sale—the primary was in a Christie’s New York Night Sale in November 2007 when the lot surpassed its excessive estimate to promote for $6,985,000 and set a brand new report for the artist on the time. The current instance might be offered within the Night Sale alongside two extra works by the modern icon, Do You Assume She Has It (estimate: $1,500,000 – 2,000,000) and Enterprise #1 (estimate: $250,000 – 350,000). 

A further eight examples by Ruscha from the gathering might be featured within the Submit-Conflict and Modern Artwork Day Sale. This providing presents collectors with a novel alternative to amass the best examples of Ruscha forward of his extremely anticipated retrospective touring to MoMA and LACMA starting this fall.

Three iconic Guston work from the gathering might be one other spotlight of the Night Sale, led by Chair (estimate: $12,000,000 – 18,000,000) which was final seen by the general public throughout MoMA’s seminal Excessive and Low: Trendy Artwork and Fashionable Tradition exhibition in 1991. Amongst his most vital figurative work, comparable works to Chair are held in establishments comparable to The Museum of Trendy Artwork, New York, Tate Gallery, London, The San Francisco Museum of Trendy Artwork and the Nationwide Gallery of Artwork, Washington D.C. The opposite two Gustons within the Assortment, Pull (estimate: $6,000,000-8,000,000) and Bricks (estimate: $6,000,000-8,000,000) are equally recent to market and haven’t been seen by the general public for greater than twenty years. The sale of this group will coincide with the Nationwide Gallery of Artwork’s Washington DC leg of the Guston retrospective, which might be on view via August 2023.

The gathering is a story of 5 key artists who Dorothy and Alan Press held pricey to their hearts. Constructed in the course of the Nineties, it’s basically a set of retrospectives in miniature, delving into completely different themes, methods, and topics, and uniting vital masterpieces with not often seen jewels. As an entire, it’s finally a examine of true connoisseurship, demonstrating an intimate engagement and embrace of artists’ work throughout numerous time durations and media.

Ana Maria Celis, Head of Division, Submit-Conflict and Modern Artwork remarks, “Alan and Dorothy Press have been amongst a rarefied group of connoisseur collectors who had a real and deep appreciation for a choose group of artists. They collected zealously, throughout media and durations, supporting the markets of the artists they championed lengthy earlier than they got here to attain the worldwide stage of recognition available in the market at present. The very good high quality of the works all through your complete assortment is illustrative of the Press’s eager accumulating imaginative and prescient. Their excessive stage of style is current within the unmatched high quality of every particular person object—and solely turns into amplified when the works are considered collectively. At Christie’s we’re actually grateful to steward the best collections via generations. It’s a thrill to have the chance this Spring to current this singular group of objects assembled by the inimitable Alan and Dorothy Press.”

Alan Press was an especially profitable commodities dealer on the Chicago Mercantile Change and his deep love for buying and selling carried over into his artwork accumulating. His curiosity in artwork possible started throughout his time within the military whereas stationed in Germany within the Fifties. He and Dorothy met in 1968, married in 1970, and shortly after started to gather German Expressionist works—primarily prints and woodcuts of Munch and Kirchner. By means of the Seventies they traveled steadily to Switzerland and Germany and ultimately amassed one of many main US-based collections of those artists. Close to the identical time, they began accumulating H.C. Westermann, ultimately rising what would change into one of many deepest collections of the artist in existence.

Within the mid-to-late Eighties the couple offered their complete assortment of German Expressionist artwork and transitioned into shopping for fashionable and modern in depth, with a eager concentrate on Ed Ruscha, Philip Guston, Ken Value, and Henri Matisse. The couple generously lent artworks to museums and galleries worldwide, and avidly supported their native artwork establishments together with the Artwork Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Artwork in Chicago and the Sensible Museum on the campus of the College of Chicago, growing shut relationships with curators that will final all through their lives.

  • LOT 1 A


    EstimateUSD 3,000,000 – 5,000,000

  • LOT 2 A

    Portrait Composition in Blue and Gray

    EstimateUSD 1,000,000 – 1,500,000

  • LOT 3 A

    L’Arlésienne (Lee Miller)

    EstimateUSD 20,000,000 – 30,000,000

  • LOT 4 A

    Untitled (The Horns of the Panorama)

    EstimateUSD 500,000 – 700,000

  • LOT 5 A


    EstimateUSD 22,000,000 – 28,000,000

  • LOT 6 A

    After Chardin (Massive)

    EstimateUSD 1,000,000 – 1,500,000

  • LOT 7 A

    Martinson Espresso

    EstimateUSD 1,500,000 – 2,500,000

  • LOT 8 A

    Rouen Cathedral, Set IV

    EstimateUSD 18,000,000 – 25,000,000

  • LOT 9 A

    Number one

    EstimateUSD 400,000 – 600,000

  • LOT 10 A

    Cafetière, tasse et pipe

    EstimateUSD 8,000,000 – 12,000,000

  • LOT 11 A


    EstimateUSD 12,000,000 – 18,000,000

  • LOT 12 A


    EstimateUSD 7,000,000 – 10,000,000

  • LOT 13 A


    EstimateUSD 4,000,000 – 6,000,000

  • LOT 14 A

    Untitled [Bolsena]

    EstimateUSD 18,000,000 – 25,000,000

  • LOT 15 A

    Small Level

    EstimateUSD 1,200,000 – 1,800,000

  • LOT 16 A


    Estimate on request

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