Two of the most pioneering, important and beloved artists of the 20th century, who lived and worked alongside each other in perfect harmony for over five decades, Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne resided in the village of Ury near Fontainebleau, spreading their magic across buildings that they combined to make one wonderland of whimsical art. The world of nature that surrounded their atelier provided constant, and seemingly limitless, inspiration, and their home became an extension of their art.
Following Claude’s passing in 2019, Sotheby’s hosted a landmark dedicated two-day sale of their extraordinary collection, with each lot in the sale appearing at auction directly from their home and studio. Showcasing over 280 artworks with which they chose to surround themselves, the invitation into their intimate world captured the attention of the collectors from 43 countries and the auction was 100% sold, quadrupling its estimate to achieve €91.3 million (a record at the time for a Sotheby’s sale in France).
This October, Sotheby’s Paris will offer just under twenty sculptures by Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, rediscovered in Ury, the last pieces remaining in their private collection. The treasure trove had remained hidden in a separate room in one of the buildings that made up their home, the door long-concealed by large bronze bulls, among François-Xavier’s largest, and heaviest, creations. The offering includes some of the artists’ most recognisable designs as well as lesser-known and unique creations.