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Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Art


10 AM, November 9, 1999

"Yvette Guilbert" by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

"Yvette Guilbert," partially glazed ceramic,

by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

By Carter B. Horsley

This morning sale of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Art at Christie's is a large sale of mostly decorative works.

There are, however, some gems such as Lot 274, "Yvette Guilbert," shown above, a partially glazed ceramic by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901). This 20 1/4-by-11 1/8-inch work was executed in 1895 and is especially vibrant. The plaque was commissioned by Yvette Guilbert as the top for a small tea table, according to the catalogue, and the artist handpainted it himself and the entertainer inscribed it herself. It is very conservatively estimated at $40,000 to $60,000 and it is certainly one of the highlights of the fall auction season. It sold for $123,500.

Another fine work is Lot 276, "Vue de Pont-Aven," a 35 1/2-by-24 3/4-inch oil on canvas by Emile Bernard (1868-1941). This 1888 work, shown below, is very striking and reminiscent of Paul Gauguin's palette. Its very strong, almost startling, composition conjures the work of Richard Diebenkorn and to a certain extent the brushwork of Paul Cézanne. It is also very conservatively estimated at $90,000 to $120,000. It sold for $255,500.

"Vue de Pont-Aven" by Emile Bernard

"Vue de Pont-Aven" by Emile Bernard

Lot 248 is a large and quite good example of Edouard Vuillard's style of painting with peinture à la colle, or distemper, a medium he liked for its quick-drying properties and its rather chalky, matte surface. This 63-by-69-inch canvas depicts a daughter of Alfred Natanson, one of the founders of the famous La Revue Blanche, with two women in a very patterned interior. It is appropriately estimated at $300,000 to $400,000. It sold for $310,500.

Lot 218 is a very nice, small landscape sketch by Louis Valtat (1869-1952) that is quite colorful and dynamic. Executed in 1923, it is estimated at only $6,000 to $8,000. It sold for $43,700.

Lot 219 is a very pleasant and quite delicate watercolor by Maurice Utrillo (1883-1955) that the catalogue notes "originally decorated one of the first-class cabins of the transatlantic liner 'France.'" It carries a $12,000 to $16,000 estimate. It sold for $23,000.

A quite atypical and interesting work by Salvador Dali (1904-1989) is Lot 223, a gouache and pastel on paper, 60 1/4 by 40 1/8 inches. It depicts three women and was acquired from the artist by Akram Ojjeh and is one of many works from his collection being offered at Christie's this season. It has an estimate of $70,000 to $90,000. It sold for $63,000.

Another work from the Ojjeh Collection is Lot 226, a very pleasant landscape with a soldier drummer by Alfred Sisley (1839-1899). Painted in 1890, this 30 3/4-by-25-inch oil on canvas has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. It sold for $178,500.

A strong riverscape by Maurice de Vlaminck (1876-1958) is Lot 335. This 21 3/4-by-26-inch oil on canvas is quite boldly painted with a strong composition and is estimated at only $60,000 to $80,000. It sold for $101,500.

Lot 346 is a very good scene of a port by Albert Marquet (1838-1947) that would probably be a masterpiece were it not for the lower right corner of the composition that is somewhat awkward. It is estimated at $300,000 to $400,000. It was the back cover illustration of the catalogue and it passed.

A very large canvas of flowers by Bernard Buffet (1928-1999), Lot 368, is one of his finest works and is estimated at only $40,000 to $60,000. It sold for $51,750.

The auction includes numerous works by such other artists as Pierre Bonnard, Herni Lebasque, Gustave Loiseau, Raoul Dufy, Marie Laurencin, Moise Kisling, Norbert Goenuette, Maximilien Luce, Paul Signac and Marc Chagall.

About 80 percent of the lots offered sold for a total of $14,323,160, a pretty respectable showing for this category that includes many relatively minor artists. All 14 lots in this auction from the Akram Ojjeh Collection sold. Cyanne Chutkow, vice president and specialist in charge of the sale, remarked that there was "a significant percentage of new buyers" at the auction and the market responded "particularly well to classic works and the School of Paris."

The top lot was Lot 288, "En bateau," by Pierre Bonnard, which fetched from a private European collector $827,500, more than double its high estimate.

Lot 260, another Vuillard, entitled "Madame Hessel lisant son journal devant la cheminée," was sold to an anonymous buyer for $662,500, more than double its low estimate.

A Raoul Dufy, Lot 310, "La Place d'Hyères: l'obelisque de le kiosque a musique," sold to a European dealer for $552,500, well over its high estimate of $450,000.

Marie Laurencin's "Trois filles," Lot 358, sold to an American private collector for $497,500, more than triple its high estimate.

See The City Review article on the Nov. 8, 1999 Impressionist and Post-Impressionist auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the afternoon auction Nov. 9, 1999 of Impressionist and Twentieth Century Works on Paper at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Christie's Nov. 9, 1999 evening auction of Twentieth Century Art

See The City Review analysis of Part 1 of the Sotheby's auction May 11, 1999 of Impressionist and Modern Art

See The City Review analysis of Part 2 of the Sotheby's May 12, 1999 auction of Impressionist and Modern Art

See The City Review article on the Christie's May 12, 1999 auction of Impressionist Art and 19th Century Art

See The City Review of the Christie's May 13, 1999 auction of 20th Century and Modern Art

Recap of the Spring 1998 Impressionist and Modern Auctions

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