Art Impressionniste et Moderne

Live Auction: 18 June 2020 • 6:00 PM CEST • Paris
Art Impressionniste et Moderne 18 June 2020 • 6:00 PM CEST • Paris

Sotheby’s Art Impressionniste et Moderne evening sale presents a major work by Paul Klee. Painted in 1937, Abend in N is emblematic of the artist’s subtle associations of geometric patterns and color. Held in the same private collection for the last 60 years, extremely well-preserved, the appearance at auction of this outstanding nocturnal composition is a major event.

The sale presents another nocturnal scene, this time by René Magritte: Le Temps jadis which combines many of the key elements of the artist’s pictorial vocabulary such as the bilboquet, the raven, fire, and mountains, plunges the viewer into the painter’s magical world of arbitrary juxtapositions.

Many other works by key artists of the 20th century are also represented in the sale such as a monumental bronze, Tigre de Sibérie, by Rembrandt Bugatti, a mysterious landscape by Emil Nolde, sculptures by Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel and a stunning floral composition by Odilon Redon. Surrealism is also in attendance with works by Francis Picabia as well as works by Victor Brauner, Man Ray and Pierre Roy.

Featured Highlights

Explore the Impressionist and Modern Art sale with our virtual exhibition:

René Magritte
rené magritte | le temps jadis
Estimate 1,400,000 – 1,800,000 EUR
Le Temps jadis, a silent scene captured at dusk, reflects Magritte’s fascination throughout his career with the apparent opposition between reality and illusion. Completed a year before the artist’s death, while he was at the peak of his career, the piece combines the key elements of his pictorial vocabulary, such as fire, the raven and the bilboquet. Painted with the powerful simplicity that characterised his last works, Le Temps jadis has an atmosphere of spellbinding mystery.

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Paul Klee
paul klee | abend in n (evening in n) or architektur abends (architecture in the evening)
Estimate 2,000,000 – 3,000,000 EUR
Kept in the same private collection for the last 60 years, Abend in N (Evening in N) or Architektur abends (Architecture in the Evening), is a remarkable work by Paul Klee from 1937. Painted in nocturnal tones, the composition is emblematic of the artist’s technique based on subtle associations of geometric shapes and colours. Incredibly, the work has been extremely well-preserved since its execution. It has been exhibited in the world’s most prestigious museums, reflecting its status within Klee’s oeuvre.

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Rembrandt Bugatti
rembrandt bugatti | tigre de sibérie
Estimate 1,000,000 – 1,500,000 EUR
The sale will feature an important selection of sculptures, the centrepiece being a monumental bronze by Rembrandt Bugatti, Tigre de Sibérie. At almost three metres long, this masterly feline is life-sized. With extraordinary skill, the sculptor has brought out the tiger’s impressive musculature and powerful weight, suggesting its breathing as it advances. Only a few rare examples of this model were cast, one of which can be seen in Antwerp Zoo. This is the first time an edition of this spectacular model has been presented at auction.

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Francis Picabia
francis picabia | ida
Estimate 250,000 – 350,000 EUR
Gertrude Stein and Francis Picabia first met in 1913. However, it was not until years later, in the late 1920s, that they really became friends. Until the end of her life, Gertrude Stein championed her friend Picabia's art, writing numerous prefaces to his exhibitions. It is interesting to note that Ida, is also the title of a novel by Gertrude Stein, which she began in 1928 and published in 1941. Picabia gave two of his Transparencies this title, most likely echoing the literary work his friend was working on in parallel: the painting shown here and another version made in 1932. Both versions belonged to Gertrude Stein.

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Francis Picabia
francis picabia | sans titre
Estimate 250,000 – 350,000 EUR
Painted in the early 1940s, this head-and-shoulders portrait of a woman against a blue background is absolutely representative of Picabia's 'realistic' period. This work attests to the audacity of Francis Picabia's compositional approach. Although the 1940s portraits seem more academic than his earlier works, Picabia shows that he is avant-garde, no matter what. He thus reinvents the genre of portraiture through the close-up framing of the woman's face and through the use of bright light which shapes the model's features the way a film studio would, opening the door to Pop Art.

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Victor Brauner
victor brauner | poisson d’honneur
Estimate 200,000 – 300,000 EUR
This 1948 work, painted ten years after he lost an eye, is emblematic of Victor Brauner's interest in non-European cultures. The artist freely interprets cultures and myths, thus creating a universe of his own. In this work, he summons the figure of Janus — a two-faced Roman god, symbolizing both beginnings and endings as well as the connection between the conscious and subconscious — in a syncretic way. In this work, reality gives way to a fantastic, poetic world, executed in a style combining an effusion of colours with a rejection of the third dimension.

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Camille Claudel
camille claudel | l'implorante, petit modèle
Estimate 120,000 – 180,000 EUR
This beautiful, skilfully carved cast made in 1905 by Eugène Blot represents the famous Implorante. The kneeling young woman was originally part of the L'Âge Mûr (The Mature Age) group that Camille Claudel created for a commission she received through Auguste Rodin from the Director of the École des Beaux-Arts in 1899. In fact, Claudel created this work after separating from the sculptor whom she had met in 1883. It is accepted that the Implorante represents Camille herself trying to hold on to her illustrious lover.

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Paul Klee's Geometric Masterpiece to Make Auction Debut in Paris
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René Magritte's 'Le Temps Jadis', a Study of a Poetic and Enigmatic World
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Masterpieces by Paul Klee, René Magritte, Francis Picabia and More
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