his favored subjects of the French landscape and still life.
Christie’s 2 February 2016
Ferme en Normandie, été (Hattenville),
1882, by Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) is being offered at auction for the
first time in almost 20 years, having been acquired by the present owner
in 1997 (estimate: £4.5-6.5 million). This is the largest of a series
of four works that Cézanne created during a summer break at the home of
his friend, the legendary impressionist collector Victor Chocquet, in
Hattenville, Normandy. Chocquet, one of the first champions and earliest
collectors of Impressionism, was also the first owner of this painting;
it remained in his collection until his death. Painted at a time when
Cézanne was reaching artistic maturity, this work exemplifies a crucial
moment in the artist’s career, illustrating his move from Impressionism
towards his own distinctive and highly influential ‘constructed’ style.
Rather than a fleeting depiction of a transitory moment, this is a
carefully considered and constructed composition, which transforms the
landscape into a timeless, enduring image, qualities which lay at the
very heart of Cézanne’s artistic practice. Constantly striving for the
best means to capture the beauty, grandeur and structure of the world
around him, Cézanne invented a whole new way of looking and painting
nature, opening the door for a generation of subsequent artists.
CHRISTIE’S London, 4 February 2015
Vue sur L’Estaque et Le Château d’If
Christie’s announced the sale of a masterpiece by Paul Cézanne, Vue sur L’Estaque et Le Château d’If, which comes to the market for the first time since it was acquired in 1936 by Samuel Courtauld, the founder of the illustrious Courtauld Gallery and Institute of Art in London (estimate: £8-12 million). The painting remained in Courtauld’s private collection throughout his lifetime and following his generous bequest to the Courtauld Gallery. One of the leading highlights of the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on 4 February 2015, this magisterial work was painted circa 1883-1885, during one of the last visits that Cézanne ever made to L’Estaque, a fishing port and small seaside resort in his native Provence, where he sought inspiration repeatedly from the mid-1860s. This is a rare example on a vertical canvas of Cézanne’s treatment of this iconic motif; the format lends the composition stately dignity and remarkable concentration of colour and form.
The splendid panorama – captured in Vue sur L’Estaque et Le Château d’If - from the hilltop above the town, looking over the rooftops toward the bay of Marseille and the distant islands of Frioul, provided the basis for some of the most innovative landscapes of Cézanne’s career, in which he fully realised his goal to “make of Impressionism something solid and enduring like the art in museums.”
The stable and harmonious distribution of forms within the composition, with broad horizontal bands of land, sea, and sky framed by majestic pine trees, is profoundly indebted to the classical landscape tradition of Poussin, which Cézanne used to organise his sensations before nature. At the same time, Cézanne’s constructive transformation of the townscape into an architectural geometry of flat, overlapping planes is powerfully modern, as the next generation of the avant-garde would recognise. “The discovery of his work overturned everything,” exclaimed Braque, who traveled to L’Estaque repeatedly during the formative years of cubism.
Sotheby’s London Sales of Impressionist
and Modern Art on 5 & 6 February 2014
group of post-impressionist works is spearheaded by three dazzling watercolours
by Cézanne - a medium that the artist considered as a unique means of
expression in its own right and which allowed him to combine drawing and
painting. Executed in 1902-1904,
Assise (Madame Cézanne) is one of Cézanne’s late masterpieces in the
medium. Its timeless beauty appealed to a series of prominent collectors before
Jan Krugier, including Ambroise Vollard, Paul Rosenbergand Robert von Hirsch
Pommes, painted by Cézanne in 1889-90, reveals why his work in the still-life
genre is considered among his greatest achievements (est. $25/35 million).
These moving compositions, which explore the paradoxes of forms in space,
inspired the Cubism of Picasso and Braque and signal the very birth of modern
“Les Pommes is one of Cezanne’s most perfect still lifes” commented
Charles Moffett, Vice Chairman ofSotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art department.
“One could never imagine altering a single brushstroke or touch of color. The
painting was a highlight of any visit to the Lewyts’ home, which was filled
with works they dearly loved – from small pictures the size of playing cards to
important drawings, watercolors and sculpture."