The rhythm is expressed in the medium, the paint and the bronze; after the First of last March 2017, the Impressionist and Modern sale will be held at the end of the month of March 2018, the day following what is now known as the yearly Works on Paper sale.
Six months after the Impressionist and Modern sale which was held for the first time during the FIAC and which saw the works by Chagall triumph alongside the new concept of ‘Modernités’, an auction which brought together Modern and Contemporary Art, a new edition of the sale will present a selection of paintings and sculptures.
Across this panorama which begins with the first glows of Impressionism and reaches to the dawn of the 50’s, an important place will be given to undiscovered works, such as a painting by Modigliani, to begin with, which comes from the Paul Alexandre Collection, the first patron of the artist. The painting representing a three quarter portrait of Paul Alexandre, is elegant and emerges through a superb palette of blues and greens and which strikes by its modernity : the stylized shapes, the rapidity of execution, the spontaneity of the brush stroke and the particularly free and audacious treatment of the paint and of the colour all attest to it.
A painting by Pissarro is yet another remarkable and original work. It is from the Philippe Bemberg Collection. With its blue and pink iridescences , Le Pont Royale, après-midi temps couvert 4ème série, is a moving testimony to the last urban and Parisian series produced by the painter. They confirm his reputation and the special place he held among the founding fathers of Impressionism.
Two large paintings by Van Dongen, Les Amies and Portrait de femme assise date from the 1920’s. In the first work, it’s the fascination of the painter with the beauty of the female body which is revealed and which owed him the nickname of ‘psychologue du corps’ or psychologist of the body by the art critics of the time. The eroticism emanating from this double portrait of female nudes is subtly nuanced by a veil of mystery. Portait de femme assise on the other hand embodies the marvellous period of the 1920’s, a time of high society effervescence. The ‘femme élégante’ which is portrayed in a monumental format, is wearing an evening dress and is wrapped in a sumptuous fur coat. As in his most well-known works, Van Dongen adopts here with great talent, the effect of electrical light in order to sculpt the body and the face of the feminine model in the manner of a stage lighting. These audacious techniques belong to the belle époque and they are found in different ways and to varying degrees in the works selected for a sale in which modernity is very much at the front.
Painted in 1930 La Carte postale represents a crucial transition period in Leger’s oeuvre when he abandons the strictly abstract and mechanical vocabulary of his earlier work in order to more fully embrace the human figure which he often surrounds by elements borrowed from nature such as birds, butterflies and plants.