Modigliani & Matisse Produce Strong Results in Impressionist Day Sale

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The Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale saw a number of auction records achieved, including Rik Wouters enigmatic 1914 portrait Femme en forêt, chapeau bleu à la main, bras levé, which sold for £1.2 million — four times its pre-sale estimate. Other highlights were landscapes by Camille Pissarro and Henri Matisse, and Cubist works by Jacques Lipchitz and Jean Metzinger. Click through to view highlights from the sale, which reached a total of £18,176,750. 

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Modigliani & Matisse Produce Strong Results in Impressionist Day Sale

  • Rik Wouters, Femme en forêt, chapeau bleu à la main, bras levé. Sold for £1,210,000.
    Executed in 1914, Femme en forêt, chapeau bleu à la main, bras levé is a striking example of Wouters’ daring and unique artistic style. The treatment of light and space in this expressive work reflects the inspiration Wouters found in two leading artistic lights of the late 19th century: Paul Cézanne and James Ensor. The sitter is his beloved wife Nel, the only female model Wouters ever painted.
  • Camille Pissarro, Paysannes ramassant des herbes, Eragny. Sold for £826,000.
    Dating from 1886, Paysannes ramassant des herbes, Eragny was painted in Eragny, a small village on the banks of the river Epte. Pissarro and his family moved to Eragny, situated some three kilometres from Gisors, in the spring of 1884. In 1892 Pissarro, with the financial help of Claude Monet who lived in the neighbouring Giverny, purchased the house his family had been renting for the previous eight years; the house exists to this day, in a street named after the artist.
  • James Ensor, Les Pochards (The Drunkards),
    Sold for £ 706,000.
    Les Pochards (The Drunkards) depicts two world-weary Flemish men in the throes of advanced inebriation; the man on the right sunk into a drunken stupor, whilst his companion gazes blankly out into the middle distance. The subject matter was one that Ensor explored more than once, having produced a work in 1883 of the same title; it was also an extremely personal one, having witnessed his father struggle with alcoholism. 
  • Jacques Lipchitz, Arlequin à l'accordéon.
    Sold for £574,000.
    After arriving in Paris from his native Lithuania in 1909, Jacques Lipchitz became the leading Cubist sculptor, after surrounding himself with key figures of the movement, such as Pablo Picasso and Juan Gris. Belonging to a series of works depicting musicians and varying instruments, the present work is particularly notable for its accordion: the formal similarities between an accordion that is being played and that of the prominent Cubist trope of an open fan are immediately evident.
  • Alfred Sisley, Vieille chaumière aux Sablons.
    Sold for £550,000.
    Vieille chaumière aux Sablons was painted in 1885, one of the most prolific years in Sisley’s career. It depicts the landscape surrounding Veneux-les-Sablons, a village situated at the junction of the Seine and Loing rivers in the Ile-de-France region, where Sisley lived from 1883 to 1889. Sisley applied his paint in quick brushstrokes in varying directions, and in this way creates a richly textured surface saturated with colour, exemplary of the most successful Impressionist paintings. 
  • Raoul Dufy, La Baie des Anges à Nice.
    Sold for £514,000.
    Raoul Dufy’s bold palette and gestural brushwork is rooted in the rhetoric of Fauvism. Dufy’s vistas of the Côte d’Azur are imbibed with lucid Mediterranean light, and seem to capture the lively hum of the Riviera with its ebb and flow of elegantly-dressed visitors. The present work shows the renowned stretch of coastline in Nice, La Baie des Anges, running along the right side of the composition, giving primacy to the warm blue spectrum of sea and sky which dominates the centre of the work.
  • Kees van Dongen, Vue de Cannes, Le Suquet.
    Sold for £442,000.
    Vue de Cannes, Le Suquet depicts the picturesque old quarter of Cannes, celebrated for its winding cobbled streets and charming architecture. Van Dongen illustrates the scene from a particularly striking birds’ eye perspective, allowing the sweeping expanse of the wider bay in the background to be glimpsed in the distance.
  • Amedeo Modigliani, Femme à la robe décolletée allongée sur un lit (Anna Akhmatova).
    Sold for £430,000.
    Beautiful, pure and concise, the present work is exemplary of the distinctive style for which Modigliani is celebrated. The sitter of this work is the celebrated Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, who shared an intense emotional and intellectual intimacy with the artist.

    Modigliani's Nu couché (sur le côté gauche)  was recently sold at Sotheby’s in New York for a record-breaking $157.2 million — the highest price ever achieved at Sotheby’s for a work of art.
  • WestImage - Art Digital Studio
    Henri Matisse, Le Pont.
    Sold for £394,000.
    Painted circa 1901, a year that marks a turning point in Henri Matisse’s career, the present work announces the daring palette and bold brushwork that would characterise the height of Matisse's Fauve years. Exemplary of his proto-Fauve works, Le Pont reveals the precise nature of Matisse’s genius as a colourist.
  • After Fernand Léger, La Lecture.
    Sold for £346,000.
    La Lecture was executed by the mosaicist Heidi Melano at the behest of Fernand Léger after his 1924 painting of the same title. Léger's composition is structured around a series of contrasts and repetitions; there are echoes and tensions between horizontal and vertical masses, as well as rounded and angular forms.
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