Our 19th Century European Paintings sale saw strong international bidding. Nordic works accounted for the sale’s top prices, as Helene Schjerfbeck’s fresh-to-market modernist masterpieces Girl with Blonde Hair and Lemons in a Bowl sold respectively for £869,000 and £533,000. The former marks the artist’s third highest price at auction; the latter, the auction record for a still life by the artist. We are delighted that both works were purchased by different European institutions where they will be enjoyed by the public.
Anders Zorn’s Red Stockings of 1914 sold for £485,000, while Sorolla’s impressionistic painting of oleanders in the courtyard of his home – today the celebrated Museo Sorolla in Madrid – achieved £341,000. The sale saw particularly strong bidding for a group of three representative works by Gustave Courbet, of which the highest price was £131,000 for a seascape at Trouville.
The sale offers an array of prime works by European artists, from Scandinavia to Spain. Four outstanding works by Finnish modernist Helene Schjerfbeck define the Nordic offerings, led by Girl with Blonde Hair and Lemons in a Bowl.
The cover lot, Alfred de Dreux’s L’entrée au bois, is a re-discovered oil and has not changed hands for over one hundred and fifty years. The Spanish section includes Joaquín Sorolla’s vibrant view of his own garden, colourful landscapes by Joaquim Mir, and a haunting Parisian nocturne by Hermenegildo Anglada-Camarasa.
In addition, the sale is distinguished by notable Polish, French, Dutch, and Belgian works, including a rare early view of the Acropolis by Turpin de Crissé, a sumptuous costume picture by Wladislaw Czachorski, and symbolist and impressionistic landscapes by William Degouve de Nuncques and Emile Claus respectively.