Masters of Impressionist and Modern Art in London

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Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening sale in London on 1 March features an array of paintings, works on paper and sculpture by the leading artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The auction is led by a spectacular work by Gustav Klimt painted in 1907, Bauerngarten (Blumengarten). The sale also includes a wonderful group of four major works by Pablo Picasso, including Plant de Tomates, painted in 1944. Click ahead to discover more about this and other highlights from the auction, including exceptional pieces from Amedeo Modigliani and Alfred Sisley.

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale
London | 1 March 2017

Masters of Impressionist and Modern Art in London

  • Gustav Klimt, Bauerngarten (Blumengarten), 1907.
    Estimate on request.
    Among the finest works by Gustav Klimt ever to come to auction, Bauerngarten was painted during the golden years of Klimt’s career and was a highlight of the critically acclaimed Painting the Modern Garden exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London last year. This profoundly beautiful work is to be offered at auction for the first time in over two decades. Landscapes are integral to Klimt’s œuvre, revealing a more personal and experimental side to his painting that differs from his portraits, which were, for the most part, commissions. The inspiration for Bauerngarten was found in the rustic garden of a local farmer, with its informal profusion of poppies, daisies and roses transformed into a shimmering array of colour.

  • © Succession Picasso/DACS 2017
    Pablo Picasso, Plant de tomates, 1944.
    Estimate £10,000,000-15,000,000.
    Symbolic of victory in Europe, Picasso’s paintings of the tomato plant in bloom in the apartment he shared with his lover Marie-Thérèse are ripe with personal as well as wider political and cultural significance – a way of reflecting the spirit of hope and resilience that characterised this time. The most complex and visually striking example from this sought-after series of the war period, Plant de tomates has been in a private collection for four decades.

  • Amedeo Modigliani, Portrait de Baranowski, 1918.
    Estimate £10,000,000-15,000,000.
    Modigliani is the most celebrated portrait artist of the 20th century to be based in Paris. Portrait de Baranowski , depicting a young man with fragile good looks and a pensive, introspective air, is a wonderfully elegant composition that powerfully synthesises all the elements of Modigliani’s portraits in this period – from geometric simplification of the stylised human form to the almond, vacant eyes that render the sitter impenetrable.

  • © Succession Picasso/DACS 2017
    Pablo Picasso, Femme nue assise, 1965.
    Estimate £9,500,000-12,500,000.
    This work was painted at the home that Picasso shared with Jacqueline in Mougins, one of a series of large canvases on the theme of the seated female nude that bear witness to the extraordinary energy and creative urge that characterised the artist’s later years. Using confident brushstrokes, Picasso was able to isolate the symbols of erotic desire and threat embodied in the female nude – subjects that fascinated and preoccupied him throughout his career.

  • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Vier Akte unter Bäumen (Four Nudes under Trees), 1913.
    Estimate £3,500,000-5,000,000.
    Kirchner’s primary concern was the representation of the human form in its most primitive or uninhibited state, and the spontaneous depictions of the body in Vier Akte unter Bäumen strongly reflect this aesthetic goal. With an autobiographical subject matter, daring imagery and vibrant palette, the work is testament to the painter’s avant-garde vision. Painted in the final year of important artistic collective Die Brücke – whose governing philosophy centred on freedom of expression – Vier Akte unter Bäumen exemplifies the zest and vigour of the movement.

  • Alfred Sisley, Le Loing à Moret, en été, 1891.
    Estimate £5,000,000-7,000,000.
    Painted near the French town of Moret, Le Loing à Moret, en été is one of Sisley's richest and most accomplished riverscapes, combining the beautiful nature of the river bank and the town's architecture. Always preoccupied by recording the changing play of light on the water, here Sisley depicts the river on a bright summer day with the intense blue sky and building façades reflected on the surface of the river in a manner that shows Sisley at the height of his Impressionist style.  

  • Alfred Sisley, Effet de neige à Louveciennes, 1874.
    Estimate £6,000,000-8,000,000.
    This painting dates from a pivotal period in Sisley’s œuvre when he was working with a group of artists including Monet, Renoir and Degas on the plans for what came to be known as the First Impressionist Exhibition. Dating from the same year as this influential occasion and painted with clearly defined, energetic brushstrokes, Effet de neige à Louveciennes epitomises the style pioneered by the Impressionists.

  • © Succession Picasso/DACS 2017
    Pablo Picasso, Femme assise dans un fauteuil sur fond blanc, 1953.
    Estimate £6,500,000-9,500,000.
    Femme assise dans un fauteuil sur fond blanc is a striking monochromatic portrait of the artist’s lover Françoise Gilot that is both a personal and intimate work and an example of Picasso’s remarkable and inventive technical ability. Picasso’s monochrome works were the subject of the highly-acclaimed exhibition Picasso Black and White at the Guggenheim in New York in 2013, in which this work was exhibited.

  • Paul Gauguin, Te Arii Vahine - La Femme aux mangos (II), 1896.
    Estimate £7,000,000-10,000,000.
    Painted in Tahiti, this is an important and extremely rare work from a key period in the artist’s career. Executed during Gauguin’s second and last visit to the South Seas, Te Arii Vahine is inspired by the lush environment that surrounded him, displaying the vividness, sensuous atmosphere and vibrant palette that characterises his celebrated Tahitian paintings.

  • © Succession Picasso/DACS 2017
    Pablo Picasso, Nu couché et tête d'homme, 1967.
    Estimate £6,500,000-9,500,000.
    Nu couché et tête d’homme is a stunning, brilliantly coloured example of one of Picasso’s favourite themes, that of the artist and model. This series of works proved to be one of his most passionate and energetic projects, inspired by the final love of his life, Jacqueline Roque. In this example, the male figure is depicted as a musketeer – rendered with a wealth of vibrant colours, yet his presence is dominated by his nude companion. This vainglorious musketeer is a form of self-portraiture for the artist, and the iconography of this is indicative of Picasso’s self-awareness in the last decade of his life.

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