T his October in New York, we are excited to offer an exciting and diverse range of works covering the wide breadth of the 19th Century in a unique context. Highlights include Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot’s Un torrent des abrusses, offered to benefit the acquisition fund of the San Diego Museum of Art, a rediscovery that highlights Corot’s mastery of light and landscape. Joining Corot in the sale’s exploration of Barbizon are works by Narcisse Virgille Diaz de la Peña, Charles-François Daubigny, and others while Gustave Courbet’s verdant La vallée d'Ornans explores the bold possibilities of Realist landscapes. We are honored to offer a group of property from the collection of the distinguished Picasso scholar and aesthete John Richardson. His keen eye is reflected in a group of works by Victorian and British artists such as Ambrose McEvoy, Sir Edward Landseer, and multiple works on paper by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, including a set of cartoons for stained glass windows. Additional highlights include a selection of paintings by Sir Alfred Munnings from the collection of Bertram and Diana Firestone, highlighting the artist’s range of subject, from a Gypsy Caravan to hunting and racing. The sale features a powerful group of wildlife art highlighted by Wilhelm Kuhnert, known as “Lion Kuhnert” for his realistic depictions of the big cats he saw in East Africa in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and David Shepherd, who emulated Kuhnert’s impressive subject matter in his depictions of Africa’s Big Five. The sale is further complimented by a diverse group of 19th Century sculptures, including works by Ferdinando Andreini, Séraphin Denécheau, Jean-Léon Gérôme, and Raffaello Romanelli among others.
We are honored to offer a group of works from the collection of Bertram and Diana Firestone, whose names have been synonymous with the sport of horse racing for well over half a century. Their collection of works by Sir Alfred Munnings reflects their passion for thoroughbreds, from the pre-race calm of Five Racehorses with Jockeys Up to the thrill of the chase as depicted in A Huntsman Taking A Ditch. From domestic delights to the thrill of the wild, the sale also includes 6 works by Wilhelm Kuhnert and David Shepard that explore the Big Five of the African savannahs from elephants at play to a lioness and her cubs and cheetahs after a successful chase.
The paintings Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot made in Barbizon formed the foundation of his fame, and the villages and the forest of Fontainebleau soon became a popular destination for those in his circle. Low horizons, dramatic skies, grazing cows and hard-working peasants fill the works of Paul Huet, Charles-Fracois Daubigny and Jules Dupre.
When he passed away last year at age 95, the celebrated art historian and Pablo Picasso biographer Sir John Richardson left behind a lifetime’s worth of art and objects. While Richardson acquired many of the works over the course of his varied career or on his travels, many others were treasured gifts from the countless artists he called friends. Sotheby’s is honored to present Richardson’s storied collection, unparalleled in its style, taste and significance, which counts among its many highlights important works by Old Masters, modern masterworks by Pavel Tchelitchew and Picasso, and contemporary artworks by Lucian Freud and Ugo Rondinone. All were purposefully exhibited in the rich, eclectic homes of Mr. Richardson, often with personal inscriptions from the artists themselves.