On the same note as our previous post and because Christie’s and Sotheby’s like to have similar auctions at the same time, here is a pick from Christie’s recent “Impressionist Modern Sale” auction event on Nov 4 in New York
“L’amore del mondo” by Giorgio De Chirico – sold for $902,500
From the lot description:
“L’amore del mondo of 1960 is a reworking of an earlier painting entitled Le mauvais génie d’un roi of 1914-1915 and now in the collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Depicting almost identical scenes in which the details are executed skillfully and painstakingly, this work differs only from the earlier version in that de Chirico has introduced a mannequin, known as the troubadour, behind the vertical board which divides the composition asymmetrically, thought to be “originally inspired by a play written by de Chirico’s brother in which the main protagonist is a ‘man without voice, without eyes or face’” (On Classic Ground, exh. cat., Tate Gallery, London, 1990, p. 81). The troubadour was an important hallmark and recurring motif in his more carefully gauged and meditated compositions of later years. “Hiding” behind the board, the troubadour; “…is afraid of feeling in his back or his side the piercing arrow of a glance, even a benevolent one” (de Chirico quoted in de Chrico by de Chirico, exh. cat., The New York Cultural Centre, New York, 1972).
L’amore del mondo is one of the great paintings in a series of “metaphysical” works where importance is given to the reallocation of reality and where the still life vocabulary is usually fantastic and based on intuition. De Chirico aimed to take commonplace objects and buildings out of their natural environment with the idea of suggesting a counter reality which would communicate with the subconscious mind. “The artist likes what reminds him of certain visions that he has in his mind and in his instincts, and which are his secret world that nobody can take away from him” (de Chirico quoted in op. cit.).
Underlying de Chirico’s philosophy of the metaphysical still-lifes was the writings of Nietzsche. In his complete works he writes: “Art is above all and first of all meant to embellish life, to make us to ourselves endurable… Hence art must conceal or transfigure everything that is ugly… A man who feels with himself a surplus of such powers of embellishment, concealment and transfiguration will finally seek to unburden himself of this surplus in works of art” (F. Nietzsche, Human, “All-Too-Human,” Part Two,” in Dr. O. Levy, ed., The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche, New York, 1911, pp. 91-92).”
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Marino Marini’s sculpture titled Cavaliere was sold for $1,082,500 at Sotheby’s Impressions & Modern Art Evening Sale on Nov. 9, 2009 in New York.
From the lot’s note:
“A dominant theme of Marini’s art, the subject of horse and rider underwent a number of stylistic transformations throughout the decades, from the simple, rounded forms of the early 1940s, to the highly stylized, almost abstract manner of his late works. With its solid forms, the pronounced vertical and horizontal lines, and the figure of the rider firmly seated on the horse’s back, .Cavaliere. recalls the calmer, more harmonious renderings of the theme, which culminated in the famous wooden sculpture .The Town’s Guardian Angel. of 1949-50, and its monumental bronze variant dominating Palazzo Venier dei Leoni in Venice. While the horse is represented in a moment of tension, its head and neck raised upwards, the rider still appears unperturbed, unlike the more dramatic, falling figures that dominated Marini’s sculpture of the 1950s.
In choosing the subject of horse and rider, Marini draws on a long established tradition of equestrian painting and sculpture, that had its prominent place in more or less every period throughout the history of Western art, from small-scale votive renderings of early civilizations, to the grand, triumphant statues of modern-day rulers and military leaders. While firmly grounding his art in this tradition, in contrast to the often bombastic and politically motivated sculptures created by his predecessors, Marini’s horses and riders are the embodiment of a new, raw, elemental force. Having lost its significance in the sphere of transportation and warfare, the horse in Marini’s vision acquires a more spiritual character and, unified with the image of a nude rider, becomes a symbol of humanity. Carlo Pirovano wrote about Marini’s riders executed around this time: ‘The frenetic progress of Marino’s tragic allegory of modern man, compressed between superior idealities and uncontrollable irrationality, reached the point of greatest psychological tension in the early Fifties.The cause of this was the fundamental uncertainty of the outcome of a conflict that was increasingly linked to the primary nature of the protagonists rather than the perverse development of contingent events”
Sotheby’s will have an amazing auction coming up on Feb 3, 2009 in London during which Degas’s most important and iconic sculpture, the “Petite danseuse de quatorze ans” will be on the block with an estimated selling price of £9 – £12 million
Below is Sotheby’s press release:
LONDON, 6 January 2009 – Sotheby’s is delighted to announce that it is to offer Petite danseuse de quatorze ans in its next sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in London on the 3rd of February 2009. Estimated at £9 – 12 million, Petite danseuse de quatorze ans is one of the most ambitious and iconic of Degas’s works and a groundbreaking sculpture from the Impressionist period. The bronze cast to be offered at Sotheby’s is one of only a handful of casts remaining in private hands. This sale therefore represents a rare opportunity to acquire an icon of Impressionist art.
As we wrote about it before, both Christie’s and Sotheby’s have large, multi-day modern art sale events this week in London. New results are in from the latest auctions and many masterpieces went for around a million dollars. Below is the selection of some of the recent sales:
“Idylle” by Henri Martin – 541,250 GBP ($1,064,098)
“Les deux fusils” by Fernand Léger – 481,250 GBP ($946,138)
“La dame en rose” by Raoul Dufy – 577,250 GBP ($1,134,874)
“MARCHÉ À LA VOLAILLE À GISORS” by Camille Pissarro – 577,250 GBP ($1,146,245)
“JEUNE FEMME À L’OMBRELLE” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir – 505,250 GBP ($1,003,274)
“L’ARAIGNÉE VERTE” by Fernand Léger – 481,250 GBP ($955,618)
The highest prices at Christie’s and Sotheby’s were paid for the paintings below, respectively.
“Nu sur fond rouge” by Marc Chagall – 881,250 GBP ($1,732,538)
“Danseuse” by Gina Severini – 15,049,250 GBP ($29,910,384)
Several amazing paintings were sold today in the million dollar price range in London, during the “Impressionists and modern art” auction at Christie’s.
“Nature morte. Poissons et poêle” by Pablo Picasso – sold for £577,250 ($1,134,874)
“Chaumières au flanc de la Montagne Sainte-Marguerite” by Paul Gauguin
- sold for £577,250 ($1,134,874)
"Frau mit erhobenem Bein und lila Strümpfen" by Egon Schiele - sold for £481,250 ($946,138)
"Gladiolen" by Leo Gestel - sold for £505,250 ($993,322)
The record price was paid for Claude Monet's "Le bassin aux nymphéas". "Le bassin aux nymphéas is one of the great rarities of Impressionist and Modern art: a painting of Monet's beloved water lilies, forming part of his final painting campaign, that was signed, dated and sold by the artist soon after its execution."
A record price of £40,921,250 ($80,451,178) was paid for this masterpiece. Twice the pre-auction estimate.
The total sale price for all items in this lot was £144,440,500 ($284,258,904) - Unbelievable. See the evening results at Christie's. The auction continues tomorrow. This is one of the most amazing set of paintings on the block I've ever seen.
Sotheby's has its own Impressionists auction tomorrow so we will be covering that as well. Tune in through our RSS feed