F ollowing the success of the first session in December 2021, Sotheby’s has the honour of presenting a second selection of works from the Collection of Mr and Mrs Robert Schmit, on 24 March. An eminent specialist of 19th- and 20th-century painting, the insatiable “masterpiece hunter” Robert Schmit (1920-2008) was first introduced to the subject by his father’s friend Jean, a furniture manufacturer and antique art dealer. In 1964, he founded Galerie Robert Schmit on 396 rue Saint-Honoré in Paris, which quickly came to be considered one of the most prestigious of the French capital. The works presented in this second session were collected over these last decades by Robert Schmit and his wife Nadine. She came from a family of great collectors, the David-Weills, and remained alongside him throughout his entire career as a gallery owner.
The auction features a new array of paintings by Eugène Boudin, including views of Rouen, Le Havre, Dordrecht, and Antwerp, as well as the coast of Brittany. The collection also includes a rare, magnificent, poignant winter scene painted by Gustave Courbet in 1866; a still life and an enigmatic portrait by Odilon Redon; and works by impressionist, postimpressionist and modern masters. These include a nude by Auguste Renoir; views of Paris by Maurice Utrillo; drawings by Paul Gauguin and Henri de Toulouse Lautrec; and oils and pastels by Alfred Sisley, Berthe Morisot, André Derain, Edouard Vuillard and Jacques Villon, among others.
This abundance of oil paintings, pastels and drawings assembled by this erudite yet discreet couple reveals an expert eye for the great masters of the 19th and 20th centuries. It demonstrates Robert Schmit’s ability to build a bridge between the masters of Impressionism, their precursors, and modern painting.
The assortment invites both seasoned connoisseurs and budding art lovers to discover a lavish aesthetic world.