otheby’s New York Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale brought high bids for works by sought-after artists of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Claude Monet, Gustave Caillebotte, Paul Signac and others.
Gustave Caillebotte Reaches New Heights
Gustave Caillebotte's seminal work Richard Gallo et son chien Dick, au Petit Gennevilliers garnered $20,766,000; completed in 1884, the masterful piece depicts Caillebotte’s beloved friend and most frequently painted figural subject, Richard Gallo, promenading along the Seine with his canine companion, Dick.
Gallo’s graceful figure is in midstride, set against the luminous reflection of sunlight on the river. Beyond, the bright estates stand, contrasting a steely gray sky. Caillebotte gifted the work to Gallo upon its completion, and it remained in his collection until his death, at which time his nephew inherited the work. In recent decades, Richard Gallo et son chien Dick, au Petit Gennevilliers has been on loan to the National Gallery in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
A Luminous Signac
Neo-Impressionist Paul Signac's resplendent painting La Corne d'Or (Constantinople) achieved $16,210,000. The work displays Istanbul's active waterfront, set against the city's enchanting skyline. La Corne d'Or (Constantinople) is a testament to Signac's ingenuity; the piece steps beyond the strict tenets of Divisionism (or the process of separating pigments on canvas) – composed in a rich palette of pink, purple, blue and yellow.
Monet's Charing Cross Bridge Excels
A splendid example of Claude Monet’s oeuvre, the Impressionistic Charing Cross Bridge sold for $27,600,000; created in 1903, the artwork is part of the artist’s renowned London series. Steeped in fog and refracted light, the canvas features two trains passing over the railway bridge, billowing thick clouds of steam from the engines. Underneath the bridge, two small boats dot the river, alluding to an industrial hub that lies just out of frame.
New World Auction Record for Tamara de Lempicka
Tamara de Lempicka’s Le tunique rose (1927) soared to $13,362,500, besting the work's $8 million high estimate and setting a new world auction record for a work by the artist. Lempicka's auction record was previously set by the sale of La Musicienne (1929), which achieved $9.1 million when it sold in November 2018.
Completed in the artist’s unique Art Deco style, Le tunique rose captures Rafaëla, one of the artist’s most famed muses and lovers, reclining on a divan, gazing up at the viewer with an air of relaxed confidence. Draped in a swath of bright red fabric, Rafaëla’s sumptuous form and raven-black hair create a dramatic contrast of light and color. Le tunique rose is a rare example of Lempicka's full-length figures.
Sculptures by Alberto Giacometti and Auguste Rodin Ignite Bidding War
Alberto Giacometti's bronze sculpture Buste d'homme (Diego au blouson) ignited a bidding war in the room, ultimately exceeding the high estimate to reach $14,273,700. Conceived circa 1953, the sculpture is considered Giacometti's most formally radical and visually engaging work of art. The model for the work was Giacometti's younger brother Diego, who inspired numerous variations on the theme of head and bust sculptures of the 1950s and whose physiognomic similarity to his brother invested these projects with an autobiographical narrative.
Considered one of the Auguste Rodin's most accomplished and important sculptures, La Cariatide tombée portant sa pierre (The Fallen Caryatid Carrying her Stone) sold for $7,553,600 this evening. The sculpture was conceived circa 1881-82 and carved in 1893-94 for its consigner, the collector Berthe Dumon.
Tomorrow's Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale will take place at 10:00 AM EDT in New York.