Sotheby’s launched two new dates in Paris early in 2017: the first sale dedicated to works on paper on 23 March, and a new date for the Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art sale the day after. Both sales together reached a total €10.5 million.
A new event for Impressionist and Modern art collectors, the first auction of the year in this category will now be always held in early spring. The highest price at this session included €607,500 for a monochrome painting by Edgar Degas, Sémiramis construisant une ville: a study for the famous painting now in the Musée d’Orsay, Sémiramis construisant Babylone, 1860-1862.
Our Impressionist & Modern Art sale will take place in Paris on March 24 2017, one day after our inaugural Works on Paper sale in Sotheby’s Paris. It features a broad array of paintings and sculptures by the leading artists of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, from the seascapes by Eugène Boudin and pointillists landscapes by Henri Martin to powerful and colourful compositions by Fernand Léger or Bernard Buffet.
Highlights includes a superb feminine portrait by Kees van Dongen, painted circa 1907-08, who model is Charles Malpel’s wife, a lawyer from Montauban, one of the closest patrons of the artist at the beginning of his career. This work is a great example of the artist’s fauve period, with theatrical lighting, irregular and vibrant contours and sparkling colours. The sale also features a beautiful still life by Fernand Léger, Les deux Couteaux, depicting ordinary objects raised to architectural elements. Painted in 1949, the extraordinary colours are typical of the return to France period, back from 5 years in the United States during the war.
This sale also celebrates sculpture with a magnificent reduction of Eternel Printemps by Auguste Rodin, filled with movement and sensuality, and Gazelles apprivoisées, face à face, an elegant, rare and charming group by the animal sculpture genius Rembrandt Bugatti.