Impressionist and Modern Art auctions warm up London waiting for Contemporary art – First appointment at Christie’s on 4-5 February

Pablo Picasso, Femme au costume turc dans un fauteuil Painted in 1955 Estimate: £15,000,000 - 20,000,000 Christie's Images Ltd. 2014

Pablo Picasso, Femme au costume turc dans un fauteuil
Painted in 1955
Estimate: £15,000,000 – 20,000,000
Christie’s Images Ltd. 2014

First test for 2014 with the auctions of Impressionist and Modern Art held in London between 4 and 6 February. It is in fact the first significant sales since the beginning of the new year, called to confirm whether or not the positive mood that closed the market in 2013.
Christie’s opens the week on February 4, with an Evening sale of 48 lots estimated between £ 94.1 million and 134.9 million. Highlight of the sale is the painting of the Spanish master Pablo Picasso Femme au Costume turc dans un fauteuil , November 20, 1955, never appeared on the market in the past 55 years, part of a small group of works showing Jacqueline Roque in the costume of an ‘odalisque’, a woman of the harem (estimate: £15-20 million). Having met Jacqueline three years earlier, this painting dates from relatively early in their relationship and is a colourful, sexually charged celebration of Jacqueline, whom Picasso would marry six years later and who would become one of the most important muses of the artist’s life.  The theme of the odalisque is inspired by Delacroix’s masterpiece Les femmes d’Alger dans leur appartement, without forgetting Ingres and Matisse .

The catalog of the evening sale features works that have an exceptional provenance : from the MOMA in New York City , Trois homes here Marchent I by Alberto Giacometti, sold to finance the acquisitions found of the museum (£ 6200000-8000000); from a Swiss private collection , Juan Gris , Nature morte à la tassels à carreaux, 1915 (£ 12000000-18000000 ) and Piet MondrianComposition with No. 2 with Blue and Yellow, 1930 ( £ 8000000-12000000 ) ; Les cylindres colorés by Fernand Léger, from the collection of Louis Carré, the famous dealer of the artist (£ 5000000-7000000 ), painted in 1918 when he returned from the front of the First World War.

Other highlights are the paintings from the group of works by Joan Miro sold by the Portuguese government: Femmes et oiseaux, 1968 ( £ 4-7 million) and Peinture of 1953 (£ 2500000-3500000 ) . Impressionism is represented by Claude Monet, Eglise de Varengeville , soleil couchant , painted at a turning point in Monet’s life and career. Having returned to his native Normandy in 1882 in order to paint there, against the complicated domestic background of the death of his wife Camille three years earlier and his current love affair with Alice Hoschedé.

Christie’s anticipates the appointment with The Art of the Surreal on February 4 , with 54 lots in the catalog estimated £ 42.9000000 to 64.5000000 , including Magritte, Les Chasseurs au bord de la nuit, 1928 , exhibited at MoMA in 2013 (£ 6000000-9000000 ) , and Le regard intérieur (£ 500-700000 ) , Carlo Carrà, with Loneliness (£ 2500000-3500000 ) . Made during the First World War , one of the most significant years in the career of the artist, 1917, when he began working with Giorgio De Chirico and he developed his own vision of Pittura Metafisica.

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