The Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale this spring offers an exemplary range of masterworks punctuated by outstanding Private Collections, each assembled by collectors with passion and vision. Property from a Distinguished East Coast Collection (lots 109-129) commences the sale with 21 Modernist pieces of exceptional quality, including a portrait by Chäim Soutine entitled La servante en bleu (lot 116) Marc Chagall's painting entitled L'ane Bleu (lot 110 ) and an array of sculpture including an elegant Jacques Lipchitz marble (lot 123), a sinuous Jean Arp Torse Fruit (lot 120) and two monumental works by Henry Moore, Upright Motive No. 5 (lot 126) and Two Piece Reclining Figure: Cut (lot 115 ).
Sotheby's is also pleased to offer property sold by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to benefit future acquisitions. Two works gifted by noted collector Geraldine Spreckels Fuller to the prestigious foundation will be on offer - a boldly abstract work by Francis Picabia from the late 1930s, Abstrait, (lot 133) and an iconic example of Synthetic Cubism by Jean Metzinger, Coupe de fruits verts et enveloppefrom 1916 (lot 134). Additionally, the collection of Dodie Rosekrans (lots 173-181) and the portraits of Helena Rubinstein (lots 355-358) will be offered this May. These vanguard visionaries are amongst the most revered of American collectors.
Other prominent collections include a Private Midwestern Collection (lots 194-202) highlighted by a 1933 work by Pablo Picasso with the iconic profile of Marie-Thérèse, Femme au bain (lot 197) and a vibrant blue circus scene by Chagall from 1930 (lot 195). Property from a Private European Collector (lots 301-317) is comprised of seventeen brilliant works by artists such as Georges Valmier, Louis Marcoussis and Auguste Herbin which display the full range and possibility of the Cubist idiom and its influence on future generations.
Elegant expressions of Impressionism include a group of three works sold by a Private European Collector, a classic Degas sculpture of a dancer (lot 165), a proto-Fauvist landscape by Henri Matisse from 1898 (lot 166), and a rare portrait by Berthe Morisot (lot 167). The sale includes as well an extraordinary garden view by Le Sidaner, La Table. Soleil dans les feuilles, Gerberoy (lot 155) and two large landscapes by Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Le Grand arbre au bord de la route (lot 189) and Garçons nus dans les rochers à Guernsey (lot 170). Claude Monet's Dans la prairie, Vétheuil (lot 163) provides a classic, leisurely outdoor scene - which have come to represent the ingenuity of the circle of Impressionist artists. The next generation of Impressionists is represented in a work by Lucien Pissarro, one of the most impressive ever to be offered at auction, Prairie de Thierceville (lot 186). An array of Nabi offerings includes two early Edouard Vuillards, La Coupe Bleue of 1895-8 (lot 217) and Petit Déjeuner Devant la Fenêtre of 1892 (lot 223).
The sale is distinguished by exceptional selections of German and Austrian art, including a large oil painting by Emil Nolde which has been off the market for over thirty years (lot 347), and a varied and interesting grouping of Surrealist works which includes a colorful Joan Miró Femme Dans La Nuit II (lot 365).
Modernist highlights include a brightly colored Pablo Picasso portrait of a Musketeer (lot 374), three large and brightly colored oils by Marino Marini (lots 336-338), and two unique Giacometti bronzes (lot 323), given by the artist as a gift to his dealer Pierre Loeb and never before seen on the market.