Lot 137, "Monsieur et Madame Jos Hessel, rue de Rivoli," by Edouard Vuillard, oil on board, 24 1/2 by 24 1/8 inches, circa 1904
Vuillard masterpiece from the same collection is Lot 137, "Monsieur et
Madame Jos Hessel, rue de Rivoli," an oil on board that measures 24 1/2
by 24 1/8 inches. It was painted circa 1904. It has been
widely published and exhibited. It has an modest estimate of
$200,000 to $300,000. It failed to sell.
"Murano, matin," by Henri Edmond Cross, oil on canvas, 15 1/4 by 18 1/8 inches, 1904
121 is a great Pontilist oil on canvas by Henri-Edmond Cross
(1856-1910). Entitled "Murano, matin," it measures 15 1/4 by 18
1/8 inches and was painted in 1904.
The catalogue provides the following commentary:
"Murano, matin is
one of a series of paintings that Henri-Edmond Cross produced following
a five-week trip to Italy with his wife in July 1903. Like generations
of artists before him, Cross was immediately seduced by the region's
winding canals and the dancing reflections of the buildings’ façades.
In a letter to fellow artist Charles Angrand dating from February 1904,
Cross wrote, “The admiration and the taste that one has for the coast
of Provence prepares one for the sensual joy of Venice. Their two
contrasted beauties create a happy balance: one is brown and stripped
bare, the other is blonde and bedecked in the most marvelous jewels. As
it is in Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love,
the two gaze at one another in the same water” (quoted in Françoise
Baligand, Cross et le néo-impressionnisme, Musée de la Chartreuse de
Douai, Douai, 1998, p. 42; translated from French).
"Just as Cross had been seduced by
the light and color of the Mediterranean coast following his move there
in 1891, so too in Italy he found much to inspire him. While he was
greatly impressed by the works of Italian masters such as Jacopo
Tintoretto, Vittore Carpaccio, Paolo Veronese and Francesco Guardi, the
city itself had the most profound effect on him. Cross filled notebooks
with sketches and watercolors which show him delighting in not only the
vibrant hues and dazzling light of the city, but also in its grandiose
architecture and maze of canals. These watercolors serve as the basis
for a series of oils that Cross completed upon returning home to
Saint-Clair in the fall, which he would exhibit over the next few
years, most notably at a show at Galerie Druet in 1905....As evidenced
in the present work, Murano provided the ideal setting for Cross
to continue the scientific exploration of color that he had pioneered
along with his fellow Neo-Impressionists. Using the small, deft
brushstrokes that characterize his later work, Cross perfectly captures
the contrasts between the cool, shimmering hues of the canals and
the colorful movement of the gondolas and sailing boats."
The lot has an estimate of $300,000 to $500,000. It sold for $560,000.
Lot 149, "Bar-maid," by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, pastel on paper, 25 1/2 by 19 1/4, 1898
149 is a charming and very fine pastel on paper of a "bar-maid" by
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. It measures 25 1/2 by 19 1/4 inches
and was painted in 1898.
The catalogue provides the following commentary:
"In turn-of-the-century Paris, Toulouse-Lautrec had no rival as chief
chronicler of café culture and night life. Born into an aristocratic
French family in 1864, Lautrec spent much of his life among the
Parisian demimonde, revealing his genius in sharp, analytical
portrayals of the twilight world. With almost 300 cafés opening between
1890 and 1900, fin-de-siècle Parisian nightlife was ever
growing. A brilliant interpreter of this lively and debauched world,
Lautrec did not limit himself—as so many of his contemporaries had
done—to social critique. Whether it was the quick sketch of a face, the
curving lines of a group of dancers, a scene in a café, at the Théâtre
des Variétés or in a maison close, he succeeded in capturing the
humanity that lay beneath the illusory social façades of his subjects.
"Portraiture played an important role in Toulouse-Lautrec’s oeuvre, and
he approached his sitters with a keen psychological acuity. Freed from
the necessity of seeking portrait commissions due to his family’s
wealth, the artist rarely flattered or yielded too greatly to
convention in his portraits. He also felt free to cross class
boundaries, choosing between artists and performers, or the working
class and his own social circle of friends and family members. His
interest in the complex nature of each sitter’s personality naturally
led him toward the habit of executing multiple renderings of favored
models. The present work reflects Lautrec’s fundamental
ability to express the emotional and psychological tensions of human
"An exceptional example of the artist’s
portraiture, Bar-maid captures an archetypal figure in
Lautrec’s world. With the growth of Parisian nightlife, scores of women
were hired to staff the flourishing café-concerts, theaters and
brasseries of Montmartre and Montparnasse. Unconstrained by bourgeois
conventions, such women learned to navigate the intricacies of class
and economics that populated their new world. Traced in light strokes
of pastel, the central figure of Bar-maid personifies this growing population as she serves an absinthe-drinking patron in suit and bowler hat. While Manet’s Un bar aux Folies Bergère presented
such a woman to a scandalized Salon, more than a decade later it would
be Lauturec who fully captured the psychological experience of
life in the demimonde...."
It has an estimate of $500,000 to $700,000. It sold for $596,000.
Lot 155, "Nu au chapeau, buste," by Pablo Picasso, oil on canvas, 36 1/4 by
28 1/4 inches, 1965
155 is a very good 1965 oil on canva by Pablo Picasso entitled "Nu au
chapeau, buste." It measures 36 1/4 by 28 1/4 inches.
catalogue provides the following commentary:
only began using pastels late in his life, but he soon mastered the
subtleties of the medium. Completing his first pastel in 1874, Manet
went on to execute eighty-nine pastels, and more than seventy of these
are portraits of women. With the sitter’s soft yet thoughtful
expression and delicate features, Jeune fille au col cassé, de
profil exemplifies the breezy elegance and ephemeral atmosphere
Manet creates in his pastel portraits.
"The spirited technique in the application of the pastel contributes to
the air of spontaneity and the intimacy of the present work. Commenting
on the artist’s skill, Françoise Cachin wrote: “Between 1879 and 1882,
Manet did a series of dazzling portraits of women, about which Rewald
has noted that while ‘Manet had to fight frequently against a dangerous
tendency of faire folie, in his pastels he did not oppose this
tendency.’ Hence his great success with his models. Pastels allowed him
a freshness, a gay palette, a powdery texture more flattering to the
face” (Françoise Cachin, Manet 1832-1883 (exhibition
catalogue), Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris & The
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1983, p. 493).
“Pastel was for him a comparatively easy exercise, a diversion,”
explained Théodore Duret, “and gained him the company of the engaging
women who came to pose for him” (quoted in ibid., p. 429). Duret
noted that this straightforward medium offered Manet a break from the
labors of oil paint, especially as he grew weary during the final
months of his life.
"As Duret points out, Manet continued to seek out the company of
beautiful women, even as his health failed him and despite the
ever-abiding presence of his wife Suzanne. Joseph de Nittis provided
the following description of Mme Manet's tolerance for her husband's
indiscretions: “One day, [Manet] was following some pretty girl,
slender and coquettish. His wife suddenly came up to him, saying, with
her merry laugh, 'This time, I caught you.' 'There,' he said, "That's
funny! I thought it was you.' Now Mme Manet, a bit on the heavy side, a
placid Dutchwoman, was no frail Parisienne. She told the story herself,
with her smiling good humor” (quoted in ibid., p. 437)."
"Picasso's art was closely related to his pe