NEW YORK – It has been a generation since a painting from Pablo Picasso's Blue Period of the magnitude of La Gommeuse (estimate upon request) has come to auction. The pivotal work, executed in 1901, comes from the collection of American entrepreneur and America’s Cup winner William I. Koch, along with a seminal Nymphéas by Claude Monet (estimate $30–50 million).
PABLO PICASSO, LA GOMMEUSE, 1901. ESTIMATE UPON REQUEST.
Picasso painted La Gommeuse shortly after his first Paris exhibition while emboldened by the public success of his debut, but at the same time reeling from the suicide of his friend Carlos Casagemas. The poignancy, introspection and sexual charge of this watershed moment in Modernism are present in this piece.
Painted just seven years later, Monet’s Nymphéas belongs to the artist's most iconic series, the Nymphéas that dominated the later years of the great Impressionists output. Now widely held as Monet's crowning achievement, the Nymphéas depict the artist's garden at Giverny just outside of Paris.
CLAUDE MONET, NYMPHÉAS, CIRCA 1908. ESTIMATE $30–50 MILLION.
From the Collection of Louis and Evelyn Franck, painted at the height of the artist’s famed Arles period, Paysage sous un ciel mouvementé is a staggering testament to the revolutionary turn which Vincent van Gogh would take in the later years of his artistic career. It depicts the fields outside of Arles, Van Gogh’s home in the south of France from early 1888 through mid-1889.
VINCENT VAN GOGH,PAYSAGE SOUS UN CIEL MOUVEMENTÉ, 1889. ESTIMATE $50–70 MILLION
All three works will be on view in Sotheby’s London galleries from 10–15 October, during Frieze Week, and then will return to New York for exhibition beginning 30 October.