Pierre Bergé Collection to be Auctioned in Paris

By Rachael Sigee

This October, Sotheby’s and Pierre Bergé & Associés will present several auctions and over 800 lots from the extensive collection of renowned businessman and philanthropist Pierre Bergé (1930-2017). A voracious collector with broad-ranging interests, the sales will range from Antiquity to Modern Art.

Taking place over three days from 29-31 October  in Sotheby’s newly-refurbished spaces at the Galerie Charpentier in Paris, Pierre Bergé: From One Home to Another, will comprise of works amassed by Bergé over more than fifty years, including 16th and 17th century vanitas, orientalist paintings and antique furniture in addition to Islamic, African and Asian art.

A further sale will take place in December at Pierre Bergé & Associés, devoted entirely to the auction of books and manuscripts from Bergé’s legendary library which includes books and manuscripts dating from the 15th century.

A highly cultured and astute businessman, with a powerful presence in politics and the media, Pierre Bergé was also a renowned philanthropist, lover of literature and one of the most important collectors of his time. A significant part of the proceeds from the sales will benefit the two foundations that meant so much to him: the Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent foundation in Paris, and the Fondation Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech.

The vast collection, which was previously housed in Berge’s beautiful, and very distinct homes in Normandy (‘the Datcha’), Provence (‘Mas Theo’), Morocco (‘Villa Mabrouka’) and Paris (Rue Bonaparte), sheds light on Bergé’s personal life.

It includes books from his friends, Jean Cocteau and Jean Giono, and offers a unique insight into his life-long political commitment: Sébastien Faure’s Anarchist Encyclopedia was given to the young bibliophile by the widow of the author.

Highlights will include ten paintings by Bernard Buffet which witness the two men’s intense shared history in the 1950s and mark a watershed period in Buffet’s style and painting. Although they have always  been in Pierre Bergé’s collection, they were recently loaned to two important exhibitions on Buffet: the retrospective at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2016 and ‘Bernard Buffet. La collection Pierre Bergé’, at the musée Estrine à Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, which runs until 23 September. In the later sale, with lots taken from Bergé’s library, novels feature strongly as well as lots reflecting his passion for philosophy, botany and garden.

Further sales are scheduled to take place in 2019.

Main image © Pascal Chevallier 


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