The Art Impressionniste et Moderne auction in Paris achieved a total of €17.5 million. Pablo Picasso’s remarkable portrait Homme au maillot received the highest bid of the evening with €3.171 million, exceeding its high estimate of €2.5 million. The second highest bid was for Signac’s Brick italien devant Agay, which reached €1,179,000 (estimate: €600,000-800,000). The international market confirmed its interest in Marc Chagall. L’Avenue de l’Opéra sold for €927,000, and Bouquets dans l’atelierde Saint Paul went for €783,000. Léon Spilliaert achieved a new international record with his watercolour Buveuse d’absinthe, which was acquired for €483,000 by the King Baudouin Foundation
This sale will present a diverse selection of art showcasing the many aesthetic innovations of the modern era, ranging from shimmering compositions by Renoir, Sisley and Signac to boldly colourful works by Léger and Picasso. Crowning the sale is an unmistakable portrait by the Spanish master depicting a bearded man in the iconic stripes that became the artist’s trademark apparel in his later years. The subdued gaze of the subject is a poignant reflection of Picasso’s introspective mood at the end of his life, while the audaciously confident use of colour, showing an artist at the peak of his talent, foreshadows the art of Warhol and Basquiat.
Amedeo Modigliani’s immense talent as a draughtsman will be on display with seven rare drawings from the legendary collection of the artist’s friend and patron Paul Alexandre, including two magnificent caryatid heads. Sculpture connoisseurs will also be able to admire several bronzes by Auguste Rodin, including the passionate composition Fugit amor and the timeless Baiser. Elsewhere Kees van Dongen’s stylish Les Dolly Sisters, emblematic of the Dutch artist’s wildly successful society period, will be offered alongside a 1969 Parisian composition by Marc Chagall, representing the Opéra Garnier whose ceiling he had famously adorned a few years earlier.
Surrealism will also take centre stage with the historic Composition surréaliste from 1936 by Dominguez and a monumental canvas painted as a collaboration between Roberto Matta and Victor Brauner in the tradition of the cadavre exquis.