Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Christie’s 19th Century European Art on May 23

Christie’s announces the sale of 19th Century European Art on May 23, which offers a strong selection of fresh to the market paintings, drawings, and sculpture by leading artists who reflect the extraordinary diversity of this pivotal period of art history. Painters of the Barbizon, French Realist and Orientalist schools are represented, as well as a strong selection of Belle Époque painters and important female artists. The tightly curated sale of 88 lots is primarily sourced from private collections with lots ranging in price from $7,000 to $1,200,000.

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (Spanish, 1863-1923), Algarrobo (The Carob Tree), oil on canvas.
Estimate: $700,000 - 1,000,000
A highlight of the sale is Joaquín Sorolla’s (Spanish, 1863-1923), Algarrobo (The Carob Tree) painted when the artist was visiting the Spanish village of of Jávea, in eastern Spain (estimate: $700,000-1,000,000). The artist was entranced by the beauty of the area, and this work is a striking example of Sorolla’s ability to capture the effects of heat and light using an almost abstract pattern of light and texture. It is considered among the first true landscape paintings by the artist.

The sale also includes a very strong section of works of art by French artists lead by Le Roi de la forêt by Rosa Bonheur (estimate: $800,000 – $1,200,000). This masterpiece by the renowned animalier depicts a life-sized stag in the artist’s exactingly naturalistic style and was considered by the artist herself to be one of her masterpieces.

Two works by Jean-François Millet,

Le Passage des oies sauvages (estimate: $600,000-800,000)

and Portrait of a Woman, probably the Artist's Sister (estimate: $250,000-350,000)

are highlights which are emblematic of the two different periods of Millet’s career – his early portraiture, and his later depictions of peasant life in the area around Barbizon. Le Passage des oies sauvages is an important work by the artist in pastel, a medium in which he was considered exceptionally skilled.

There is also a strong group of paintings by Sir Alfred Munnings, Dutch paintings lead by a very high quality Wouterus Verschuur, and several important works by Jean-Léon Gérôme which illustrate the wide variety of subject matter within the artist’s oeuvre.