Heir to a fortune: Huguette Clark, pictured in 1930, was notoriously exclusive.
New York – Christie's is honored to announce early highlights and international tour dates for the upcoming sales of property from the Clark Family Collection. As one of the nation’s wealthiest men at the turn of the 20th century, William Andrews (W.A.) Clark’s (1839-1925) name is synonymous with American aspiration, having built a successful personal empire in multiple industries, most notably copper mining. His vast wealth allowed him to pursue a lifelong passion for art and culture that he shared with his wife and daughters, who expanded the family collection over the decades. In Senator W.A. Clark Anna and W.A. Clark total, over 400 items, including fine art, musical instruments, Gilded Age furnishings, decorative arts, and rare books collected by two generations of the Clark family will be offered for sale at Christie’s this spring, opening a new chapter in the story of one of the cornerstone dynasties of the Industrial Age in America.
Four masterworks by Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir will be presented in the Evening Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art at Christie’s New York on May 6, followed by a dedicated sale titled An American Dynasty: The Clark Family Treasures on June 18. Highlights of the collection will be shared with the public through a series of preview exhibitions around the globe in the coming weeks, beginning with an unveiling of the Impressionist and Modern works at Christie’s London that runs through February 4, 2014. The total collection is expected to realize in excess of $50 million.
THE ‘COPPER KING’ AND A LEGACY OF COLLECTING
llustrious: Former U.S. Sen. William A. Clark, center, was the father of Huguette Clark. He is seen here walking through New York's Easter Parade with his niece Katherine Clark.
From humble beginnings, W.A. Clark rose to national prominence, standing alongside men like John D. Rockefeller as one of the wealthiest men in the United States. Born in a log cabin in Pennsylvania in 1839, Clark moved to Iowa with his family in 1856, where he taught school and enrolled in law school. Like many men of his generation, Clark was struck by “gold fever,” traveling West in the hopes of striking it rich.
Throughout the mid-1800s, W.A. Clark’s business interests expanded and transformed with the needs of Western commerce. Clark married Katherine ‘Kate’ Stauffer, and moved his family east to study assaying and mineralogy in New York. He soon returned to the West, where Clark fostered a growing empire around the town of Butte, Montana. Dubbed the “Copper King,” Clark’s enterprises flourished, with ventures that included railroads, banking, publishing, sugar, and timber companies. He was responsible for spurring the development of a remote stop on his railroad line in Nevada, creating the city now known as Las Vegas in the heart of Clark County. His business interests eventually led him toward a career in politics, where he represented the state of Montana in the U.S. Senate from 1901 to 1907.
Art lovers: Huguette, pictured with her father W A Clark, shared his love of collecting paintings and instruments.
Fourteen years after his wife Kate’s death in 1893, Clark remarried in a secret ceremony in France. His second wife, Anna Eugenia La Chapelle (1878-1963), was a musician who excelled at the harp, and the couple went on to have two children: Louisa Amelia Andrée Clark (1902-1919; known as Andrée) and Huguette Marcelle Clark (1906-2011). The Clark girls experienced the privileged and cultured upbringing befitting the daughters of one of America’s wealthiest men, attending Miss Spence's School for Girls among the children of New York’s social elite. Their home, a Beaux-Arts mansion on Fifth Avenue, was a marvel of Golden Age architecture, and was considered one of the grandest private residences in American history.
By the late 1870s, W.A. Clark had begun to amass one of the country's greatest collections of fine and decorative art. Clark rarely sold or exchanged works, preferring to watch his collection grow. When he died in 1925, Clark left a vast fortune that was said to be equivalent to one day’s share of the United States' gross national product at the time. A significant portion of his collection -- over 200 works of art, including paintings, sculpture, tapestries, rugs, antiquities, and furniture -- were gifted to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., with W.A. Clark's heirs providing funds for the museum’s celebrated Clark Wing.
Andrée Clark died in 1919, just before her 17th birthday, leaving Huguette with her mother, Anna, upon W.A.’s death. Ms. Clark and her mother moved to 907 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, where they maintained three apartments. Together, Anna and Huguette expanded the collection W.A. had started, appointing their properties at 907 Fifth Avenue in New York and at the Bellosguardo Estate in Santa Barbara, California with sumptuous French furnishings, Asian antiquities, European paintings and fine musical instruments.
Huguette inherited her parents’ love for fine art and music, and became an accomplished artist and musician in her own right. In 1929, the Corcoran Gallery hosted an exhibition of her paintings, which were well-received by critics. After her mother’s death in 1963, Huguette Clark lived quietly in New York, shunning the spotlight to focus on her art and collecting. She died in May 2011 at the age of 104, with a fortune estimated in the hundreds of millions and with no direct descendants. As part of the settlement of the Clark estate, the collection is being offered at auction by the Honorable Ethel J. Griffin, New York County’s Public Administrator, by the authority of the Surrogate’s Court of the State of New York, County of New York. The proceeds from the sales will go back to the Estate for distribution in accordance with the settlement agreement.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE UPCOMING SALES
Claude Monet (1840-1926), Nymphéas, signed 'Claude Monet' (lower right) , oil on canvas, 39 3/8 x 32 in. (100.1 x 81.2 cm.). Painted in 1907. Estimate: $25,000,000-35,000,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
Huguette Clark purchased Claude Monet’s Nymphéas in 1930 in New York from the Durand-Ruel Galleries, whose Paris branch had jointly acquired the work with the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune directly from the artist ten years earlier. A splendid example of the artist’s pre-eminent theme – his beloved lily pond at Giverny – Clark’s Nymphéas was painted in 1907, during an intense creative period in Monet’s career. The artist had enjoyed a celebrated career in Paris as the leading artist of the Impressionist movement when he moved with his family to the small farming community of Giverny in 1883 and began working on the elaborate gardens that would inspire him for the last two decades of his life. Between 1905 and 1908, Monet worked feverishly to complete more than 60 increasingly abstract views of the pond, equivalent to about one every three weeks. The painting is distinguished by its strong color contrasts, aggressive brushwork, and novel vertical format. One contemporary critic enthused about the Nymphéas series, “There is no other living artist who could have given us these marvelous effects of light and shadow, this glorious feast of color.” Since entering the collection of Huguette Clark, the present Nymphéas has remained out of the public eye. The international tour in anticipation of the May auction will be the first time the painting is publicly exhibited since 1926.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), Jeunes filles jouant au volant, signed 'Renoir.' (lower right), oil on canvas, 21½ x 25 5/8 in. (54.6 x 65.2 cm.). Painted circa 1887. Estimate: $10,000,000-15,000,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
Renoir painted Jeunes filles jouant au volant circa 1887, after a three-year period of intense questioning of Impressionist methods and experimentation with his own techniques. Renoir reintroduced traditional notions of draftsmanship into his art. Seeking to give the human form a more monumental presence, he focused increasingly on contour, which he used to silhouette his figures sharply against the background. Jeunes filles jouant au volant is among the most complex compositions from this period of Renoir’s work, depicting five contemporary female figures playing a racquet sport in a rural landscape. The result is an intentional hybrid of timelessness and modernity, the idyllic and the everyday, which gives the painting its particular power.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), Chrysanthèmes, signed 'Renoir.' (lower right), oil on canvas, 25¾ x 21¼ in. (65.5 x 54 cm.). Painted circa 1876-1880. Estimate: $3,500,000-5,500,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Chrysanthèmes was purchased in November 1929 by Huguette Clark and her mother, Anna Eugenia La Chapelle, just two weeks after the Wall Street Crash that would begin the Great Depression. The painting, executed circa 1876-1880, is one of five large-scale paintings of chrysanthemums that Renoir produced by 1884. In the early 1880s, Renoir painted a sequence of elaborate floral compositions that number among the boldest and most fully resolved still-lifes of the artist’s career. Renoir relished the opportunity to depict still-lifes, as they allowed him to paint more freely and develop his techniques. While part of the appeal of chrysanthemums for Renoir was surely practical (the flowers are hardy and do not wilt easily), they also carried a potent iconographic significance. Chrysanthemums had strong associations with East Asia in the artist’s day, and Renoir, being well aware of the vogue for japonisme, may have chosen this particular flower to heighten the appeal of his paintings to collectors.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), Femme à l'ombrelle, signed and dated 'Renoir. 73.' (lower right), oil on canvas, 18 1/8 x 15 1/8 in. (46 x 38.3 cm.). Painted in 1873. Estimate: $3,000,000-5,000,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
Renoir’s Femme à l’ombrelle was painted in 1873, a critical point in both the artist’s career and in the history of the Impressionist movement; this was the same year Renoir helped found the Société Anonyme Coopérative des Artistes, Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs, etc., a group which later came to be known as the Impressionists. Throughout the 1870s, one of Renoir’s favorite subjects was the contemporary young woman in a secluded garden oasis, often holding a parasol, a crucial accoutrement for the bourgeois woman. Few of his sitters, however, have the arresting presence of the young woman in Femme à l’ombrelle, who may in fact be Monet’s wife, Camille. In addition to having an art historical significance, the work also has noteworthy provenance, having first been owned by Erwin Davis, one of the pioneering collectors of Impressionism in the United States.
AN AMERICAN DYNASTY: THE CLARK FAMILY. AMERICAN ART. TREASURES. 18 JUNE 2014
Leading the group of American Art is John Singer Sargent’s Girl Fishing at San Vigilio (estimate: $3,000,000-5,000,000). Beginning in 1905, the artist sought refuge from the demands of his portrait commissions, preferring instead to paint his friends and relatives luxuriating in vacation destinations throughout Switzerland and Italy. San Vigilio was a small fishing village at the southern end of Lake Garda and Sargent was so taken with this picturesque locale that he referred to the spot as “paradise” in a letter to his friend Ralph Curtis. In Girl Fishing at San Vigilio, painted in 1913, Sargent painted one of his companions fishing along the shore, draped in a cashmere shawl, which appears in many of Sargent’s compositions from the period. This lively, impressionistic composition shows the artist’s sheer delight in exploring the effects of the sunlight on the rippling cerulean water.
John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), “Girl Fishing at San Vigilio” signed “John S. Sargent” (upper left) and dated “1913″ (upper right), oil on canvas, 19 1/2 x 28 in. Estimate: $3,000,000-$5,000,00. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
William Merritt Chase’s A Water Fountain in Prospect Park (estimate: $500,000-700,000) was painted in Brooklyn, New York in 1886. It depicts a water fountain near the lake in the park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the landscape architects also responsible for Central Park. This small work was probably painted en plein air at the park and belongs to a series of works he painted in the same park between 1886 and 1887. In 1915, Chase was commissioned to paint a portrait of Senator Clark and it has been surmised that this painting was given to Clark as a token for having commissioned the portrait.
William Merritt Chase (1849-1916), “A Water Fountain in Prospect Park” signed “Wm. M. Chase” (lower left), oil on panel, painted circa 1886. 6 1/4 x 9 1/2 in. Estimate: $700,000-$1,000,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
AN AMERICAN DYNASTY: THE CLARK FAMILY. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. TREASURES. 18 JUNE 2014
The Clark family has a long-standing history of collecting musical instruments, with a proclivity for rare works by Antonio Stradivari, in particular. For the last two centuries Antonio Stradivari has been recognized as the greatest violinmaker in history and his work has remained the bar by which all other violinmakers are measured against. He is believed to have produced close to a thousand instruments during his time, of which approximately 650 survive today. In all, nine Stradivarius instruments can trace their provenance to the family at some point in history. W.A. Clark purchased two in his lifetime and, after his death, Anna and Huguette continued to acquire them, going so far as to reunite the four exceptional instruments that comprised the Paganini quartet, which Huguette would later donate to the Corcoran Gallery of Art. The Stradivarius violin to be offered in this sale (estimate upon request) is a particularly fine example, which dates to circa 1731. Known as the Kreutzer, the instrument was named for Rodolphe Kreutzer (b.1766-d.1831), the great French violinist for whom Beethoven composed the famous Violin Sonata No. 9, and once owned this particular example.
A Violin, Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, Italy, Circa 1731, Known As The Kreutzer. Estimate: Upon Request. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
In addition to the Kreutzer Stradivarius, several other rare musical instruments from the Collection will also be offered in the sale on June 18, including a Louis XV-style forty-seven string double action concert harp (estimate: $3,000-5,000), which dates to circa 1912-1915 and stands six feet tall.
A Forty-Seven String Double Action Concert Harp Erard, Louis XV Style, Paris Circa 1912-1915. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
AN AMERICAN DYNASTY: THE CLARK FAMILY. RARE BOOKS. TREASURES. 18 JUNE 2014
Senator Clark and Huguette were both discerning collectors of rare books, leaving behind a vast collection that spanned centuries and genres. Among those to be offered in the sale in June is an extraordinary copy of the first edition Charles Baudelaire’s Les fleurs du mal (estimate: $80,000-120,000), printed in Paris in 1857. In addition to being a scarce first issue, containing seven poems that were later suppressed, this copy has been extra-illustrated with drawings, prints and, most importantly, two letters by Baudelaire himself to the publisher of the book. Each of the included letters mentions Edgar Allan Poe, the author Baudelaire translated and championed in France. The book is in a very fine fin-de-siecle mosaic binding by Charles Meunier.
Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal, Paris, 1857. 8vo. 1 vol. Contemporary morocco extra by Meunier, 2 pg ALS sgd. Ch. Baudelaire, and 3 pg ALS sgd. CB. Estimate: $80,000-$120,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
A Book of Hours dating to the first quarter of the 16th century (estimate: $40,000-60,000) is an exceptional example of an illuminated manuscript on vellum. Every page of this manuscript has a full-page border on a ground of liquid gold, and each of the numerous devotions opens with a miniature painted in a vibrant and dramatic style. It is a particularly full Book of Hours in both text and illumination, and constitutes a telling demonstration of the cross-currents and common interests of those involved in the production of printed and manuscript books in Paris in the first decades of the 16th century.
Book of Hours, use of Paris, first quarter of the 16th century, illuminated manuscript on vellum, 183 x 127mm, 148 folios. Estimate: $40,000-$60,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
A particularly fine first edition copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (estimate: $100,000-150,000), printed in Brooklyn in 1855 will also be among the highlights from the sale on June 18.
Walt Whitman, “Leaves of Grass,” Brooklyn, 1855. Estimate: $100,000-$150,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
AN AMERICAN DYNASTY: THE CLARK FAMILY. EUROPEAN FURNITURE AND DECORATIVE ARTS. TREASURES. 18 JUNE 2014
Among the fine examples of European furniture and decorative arts to be offered from the Clark Collection is a fantastic Louis XV chinoiserie mantel clock, circa 1750 (illustrated left; estimate: $100,000-150,000). This charming Louis XV clock, its movement supported by lacquered bronze figures of exotic Chinese figures and festooned with porcelain flowers and naturalistic foliage, reflects the taste for chinoiserie which was so prevalent among sophisticated collectors in the 18th century. Such exotic goods were promoted in Paris by the marchands-merciers such as Lazare Duvaux, the favorite dealer of Madame de Pompadour, whose passion for chinoiserie and Japanese lacquer is well-documented. It was later in the collection of George Blumenthal, the legendary collector and patron of the Art Deco designer Armand Albert Rateau, and was sold from his hôtel particulier at auction in Paris in 1932, together with the candelabra (illustrated page 7).
A Louis XV Porcelain-Mounted, Patinated And Polychrome decorated Vernis Martin, Bronze And Ormolu Mantel Clock The Figures Attributed To Martin Freres, Circa 1750, The Dial Signed Estienne Le Noir A Paris, 13 in. high, 12 in. wide, 4 1/2 in. deep. Estimate: $100,000-$150,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
A Pair Of Louis XV Porcelain-mounted, Patinated And Polychrome-Decorated Vernis Martin, Bronze And Ormolu Twin Light Candelabra The Figures Attributed To Martin Freres, Circa 1750. Estimate: $60,000-$90,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
A French Ormolu-Mounted Tulipwood, Satine and Fruitwood Marquetry And Parquetry Bureau Cylindre By Maison Krieger, Paris, Last Quarter 19th Century. Estimate: $50,000-$80,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
A George I Walnut and Beech Wing Armchair. Circa 1725, covered in 18th century gros and petit point needlework. Estimate: $60,000-90,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
AN AMERICAN DYNASTY: THE CLARK FAMILY. CHINESE WORKS OF ART. TREASURES. 18 JUNE 2014
A Greenish-White Jade Dish, 18th-19th Century. Estimate: $80,000-$120,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
A White Hardstone Carving Of Guanyin, 19th Century Or Later. Estimate: $15,000-$25,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
AN AMERICAN DYNASTY: THE CLARK FAMILY. SILVER. TREASURES. 18 JUNE 2014
A George II Silver Caddy set in Tortoiseshell and Ivory Case William Tuite, London, 1757. Estimate: $7,000-$10,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
Lu Yang (Chinese, born 1984), Wrathful King Kong Core (2011). HD video, color. Courtesy of Beijing Commune
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.- My Generation: Young Chinese Artists is one of the most compelling exhibitions of contemporary art ever presented at the MFA. It looks at the new generation of artists who have emerged in mainland China since 2000, a period marked by increased openness to the West and greater experimentation. The Chinese art scene has exploded with more than 400 galleries and 700 new museums opening in the last four years alone.
Installations, video, photographs, paintings, drawings, and mixed-media works by 27 artists will be on view from Saturday, June 7, through Sunday, September 28. The curator, New York-based art critic Barbara Pollack, interviewed more than 100 young artists from every region of China in preparing the exhibition. The works will be divided between the MFA and the Tampa Museum of Art, creating a cultural corridor across the bay.
“My Generation brings a brilliant group of young artists to Tampa Bay for the first time,” said MFA Director Kent Lydecker. “Their astonishing work shows us that Chinese art is at the very cutting edge of creativity.”
All the artists represented were born after 1976, the year Mao died, and the end of the Cultural Revolution, which began in 1966. Almost all are products of the One-Child Policy and have grown up in a country with a high-powered market economy. Some of the artists, while also working individually, have formed partnerships and collectives.
Ms. Pollack has divided My Generation into four overriding themes: politics, the environment, intimate relationships, and family. The MFA will display works that explore the first two concepts.
Liu Di is one of the youngest artists with work in the show and created his Animal Regulation series in 2010 when he was just 23. Using Photoshop, he places enormous animals in the midst of Beijing construction sites and projects, conveying a sense of desolation and absurdity. In his video Flying Blue Flag (2004-2005), Hu Xiangqian plays a candidate for mayor in his hometown, even buying votes, in what is ultimately an impossible race. Shi Zhiying’s stunning paintings combine Eastern and Western influences and display her spiritual journey, influenced by Buddhism. Lu Yang pushes the boundaries of technology, combining 3-D animation, medical illustrations, and techno music. Sun Xun has devised a new installation especially for the MFA. Primarily using animation and drawing, he conjures up fantastical nations and worlds.
Political activism and censorship remain complicated in China. Unlike the previous generation who developed during the Cultural Revolution and lived through Tiananmen Square, younger artists tend to be more subtle in their work, avoiding direct opposition to the government. Ms. Pollack points out in the catalogue that “sexuality and depictions of nudity are forbidden according to censorship regulations, but galleries have easily circumvented these rules. Museums are more strictly controlled.” Artists are examining gender issues and gay identity, but they face intense family pressure to marry and have children. Gays and lesbians are only beginning to step out of the closet and young women artists are reluctant to call themselves “feminists.”
Ms. Pollack writes “that China, going back to the Silk Road, has always been the site of cross-cultural influences, both appropriating and disseminating imagery and techniques to enrich its own aesthetic development. As such, the influx of everything from McDonald’s to Warhol, instantly synthesized by Chinese artists, is as genuinely Chinese as any Imperial ceramic or scroll painting.”
In fact, many of these young artists have studied traditional Chinese art forms in the demanding academies they have attended and have reacted to them in their work. The MFA’s significant collection of Asian art, including Chinese ceramics, a magnificent Han Dynasty-horse, and Tibetan bronze Buddhas, encourages visitors to place this new work in a longer stream of history and culture.
The striking catalogue will feature insightful essays by Ms. Pollack and multimedia artist and curator Li Zhenhua, based in Shanghai and Zurich; a foreword by Tampa Museum of Art Executive Director Todd D. Smith and MFA Director Kent Lydecker; reproductions of all the works in the show; and artist biographies. Katherine Pill, Assistant Curator of Art after 1950, is coordinating the project at the MFA. My Generation will travel to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art later this year. A free application about the exhibition for iPhone, iPad, and other devices will be available.
Di Liu, animal regulation no. 4, 2010. C-print, 80 x 60 cm. edition of 10. © Di Liu / pekin fine arts
NDB: Others Di Liu: animal regulation series:
Di Liu, animal regulation no. 2, 2010. C-print, 80 x 60 cm. edition of 10. © Di Liu / pekin fine arts
Di Liu, animal regulation no. 5, 2010. C-print, 80 x 60 cm. edition of 10. © Di Liu / pekin fine arts
Di Liu, animal regulation no. 6, 2010. C-print, 80 x 60 cm. edition of 10. © Di Liu / pekin fine arts
Di Liu, animal regulation no. 7, 2010. C-print, 80 x 60 cm. edition of 10. © Di Liu / pekin fine arts
Di Liu, animal regulation no. 8, 2010. C-print, 80 x 60 cm. edition of 10. © Di Liu / pekin fine arts
Triptyques: Jean Nouvel's latest design of a series of limited edition mirrors on view at Gagosian London
Jean Nouvel was born in Fumel in 1945 and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Photo: Dave J Hogan / Getty Images for Gagosian Gallery.
I want colored mirrors; they are the key to this story. Some are fixed, others shift, others are angled…sometimes two or three models are in different scales, their meaning is established by the interior. —Jean Nouvel
LONDON - Following Jean Nouvel's exhibition of exclusive designs Table au KM and Boite à outils at Gagosian Paris Project Space in 2011, Gagosian London, once again in collaboration with Galerie Patrick Seguin, is pleased to present Triptyques, his latest design of a series of limited edition mirrors.
Like many of his Modernist predecessors who worked across related disciplines, Nouvel describes himself as an architect who also makes design. His non-architectural products derive from his architectural commissions, or from alternative visions that correspond to his building design, but which are linked to specific use. Regardless of the scale of the object or the architecture, Nouvel employs the same rigorous approach, imbuing the objects and accoutrements of everyday life with a lyricism that is striking and emotive yet austere and utilitarian.
As the title suggests, Triptyques are three-paneled colored mirrors, each in an edition of six. The central panel is fixed to the wall, while flanking and cantilevered panels are engineered to be movable. Four mirrors will be presented, each different in color and orientation. As Nouvel says, "The mirror is a piece that you want to live with, in which you reflect intimate images—images from your home; you can capture a piece of a window in it somewhere." The available colors range from dark orange and light orange, to blood orange to red, Nouvel’s signature color.
The mirror finds its essence whether open or closed. When opened these mirrors bring out the importance of color in their surroundings; when closed, they preserve a certain austere elegance.
Jean Nouvel was born in Fumel in 1945 and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. A key protagonist of intellectual debate in France regarding architecture, he was a founding member of Mars 1976 and Syndicat de l’Architecture. Nouvel’s buildings include Musée du Quai Branly, Paris; Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, Paris; Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre, Switzerland; Torre Agbar, Barcelona; and Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis. The Louvre Abu Dhabi, the National Museum of China (NAMOC), and the Philharmonie de Paris at La Villette are among the projects currently in planning. Nouvel’s distinctions include the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the Institut du Monde Arabe (1989); the Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects (2001); the Wolf Prize in Arts (2005); and the Pritzker Prize (2008). Exhibitions of his work—including “Jean Nouvel,” a retrospective at Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2001)—have been held throughout the world, from New York to Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.
In 1995 Nouvel created the Jean Nouvel Design Agency (JND) to develop design and interior architecture projects in parallel with the architectural practice Ateliers Jean Nouvel. Several series of furniture and industrial objects have been developed and commercialized, from the Less collection (Unifor), coffee service (Alessi), lighting (Artemide & Troll), partitioning systems (Methis), seating (Roset), and tables (Cassina & Molteni).
Nouvel recently collaborated with Gagosian in the design of a 1850 square meter gallery at Le Bourget, Paris, which opened in October 2012. He will also design a limited edition mirrored shoe in collaboration with Ruco Line, Italy, to accompany the London exhibition.
Jean Nouvel, Miroir A, 2014. Walnut and colored mirrors. Dimensions variable. Ed. of 6. (View 1). Photo by Mike Bruce
Jean Nouvel, Miroir A, 2014. Walnut and colored mirrors. Dimensions variable. Ed. of 6. (View 2). Photo by Mike Bruce
Jean Nouvel, Miroir B, 2014. Walnut and colored mirrors. Dimensions variable. Ed. of 6. (View 1). Photo by Mike Bruce
Jean Nouvel, Miroir B, 2014. Walnut and colored mirrors. Dimensions variable. Ed. of 6. (View 2). Photo by Mike Bruce
Jean Nouvel, Miroir B, 2014. Walnut and colored mirrors. Dimensions variable. Ed. of 6. (View 3). Photo by Mike Bruce
Jean Nouvel, Miroir B, 2014. Walnut and colored mirrors. Dimensions variable. Ed. of 6. (View 4). Photo by Mike Bruce
Jean Nouvel, Miroir C, 2014. Walnut and colored mirrors. Dimensions variable. Ed. of 6. (View 1). Photo by Mike Bruce
Jean Nouvel, Miroir C, 2014. Walnut and colored mirrors. Dimensions variable. Ed. of 6. (View 2). Photo by Mike Bruce
Jean Nouvel, Miroir D, 2014. Walnut and colored mirrors. Dimensions variable. Ed. of 6. (View 1). Photo by Mike Bruce
"JEAN NOUVEL: Triptyques". Installation view. Photo by Mike Bruce
"JEAN NOUVEL: Triptyques". Installation view. Photo by Mike Bruce
"JEAN NOUVEL: Triptyques". Installation view.Photo by Mike Bruce
"JEAN NOUVEL: Triptyques". Installation view. Photo by Mike Bruce
Wassily Kandinsky, Painting with a Red Mark, 1914. Oil on canvas, 51 3/16 × 51 3/16 in.© Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI/ Adam Rzepka / Dist.RMN-GP© 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.
MILWAUKEE, WIS.- Renowned as a painter, printmaker, watercolorist, theoretician, and Bauhaus teacher, Wassily Kandinsky’s prodigious accomplishments span almost all the major artistic movements of the first half of the twentieth century, a time of experimentation and innovation in art, conducted against the upheavals of a society entering the modern world. Beginning Thursday, June 5, 2014, the Milwaukee Art Museum will present a major retrospective of this modern master, side by side with his contemporaries in the Blaue Reiter movement.
Kandinsky: A Retrospective is conceived by the Centre Pompidou, Paris, one of the major repositories of Kandinsky’s works, and organized together with the Milwaukee Art Museum. It is co-curated by Angela Lampe, the Curator of Modern Art at the Centre Pompidou, and Brady Roberts, Chief Curator at the Milwaukee Art Museum.
The centerpiece of the exhibition will be the reconstruction of an extraordinary lounge Kandinsky created for the 1922 Juryfreie exhibition in Berlin. Made of large scale mural panels, the lounge was meant as a total environment to immerse the viewer in a complete aesthetic experience. It thus predates and anticipates the development of artistic installations and environments later in the century. These murals, reconstructed in 1977 under the supervision of his widow Nina Kandinsky for the opening of the Centre Pompidou, will be presented in the United States for the first time at the Milwaukee Art Museum.
The exhibition follows the artist through several decades to reveal in five chapters every one of Kandinsky’s creative periods, moving from his native Russia to turn-of-the-century Munich and Murnau, Germany, awash with bold ideas. From there the exhibition returns to revolutionary Russia, before exploring the heady intellectual world of the German Bauhaus, and finally, the dynamic art world of Paris before and during World War II.
From Art Nouveau’s sinuous, organic forms, to Fauvism and Blaue Reiter’s shocking colors, to Kandinsky’s signature, deeply spiritual abstraction, to the mysteries of Surrealism to the constructivism of the Bauhaus period and the biomorphic forms of the thirties —Kandinsky experienced it all led the way to the invention of radical new forms of modern art.
The exhibition features over eighty works and documents drawn from the world famous Kandinsky collection of the Centre Pompidou which has one outstanding particularity: nearly all of these works belonged to the artist himself and have been given by his widow Nina Kandinsky to the French State. It allows the visitor the unique opportunity to discover an exhibition made with Kandinsky’s favorite works, those he kept with him all his life.
The selection is enriched by the exceptional German Expressionist holdings at the Milwaukee Art Museum. A number of paintings from the Bradley Collection will add a complementary art historical dimension to the narrative. The works of Kandinsky’s Munich peers from Milwaukee’s collections will provide rich artistic visual dialogues for visitors. Dazzling works by Alex Jawlensky, August Macke, and Marianne Werefkin, in addition to the Museum’s world-renowned holdings by Kandinsky’s lover and colleague, Gabriele Münter, will gain a new depth from their proximity to her one-time teacher. Two major loans from the Guggenheim Museum and the Walker Art Center will complete this stunning journey through Kandinsky’s career.
“The Milwaukee Art Museum is the premier venue for Kandinsky: A Retrospective. This exhibition celebrates one of the key figures in Modern art by showcasing two extraordinary institutions: the exhaustive collections of works by the artist in the Centre Pompidou; and the superb work of the related Blaue Reiter artists in the Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley Collection at the Milwaukee Art Museum,” said Daniel Keegan, director of the Milwaukee Art Museum. “This international collaboration tells the story of some of the most dynamic and influential modern art created in the first half of the twentieth century.”
Wassily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866 – 1944), Achtyrka—A Neighboring Dacha on the Pond (Achtyrka—Eine Nachbar-Datscha am Teich), 1917. Oil on canvas board, 8 1/4 × 11 5/16 in. Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris. Bequest of Mrs. Nina Kandinsky in 1981 AM 81-65-39 © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI/ Service de la documentation photographique du MNAM / Dist.RMN-GP© 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Wassily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866–1944), Fragment I for Composition VII (Center), 1913. Oil on canvas, stretchers, 34 15/16 x 39 7/16 in. (88.74 x 100.17 cm). Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley M1958.12. Photo credit Larry Sanders © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
The largest flawless vivid blue diamond in the world leads Christie's Geneva Magnificent Jewels Sale
THE BLUE is estimated to fetch US$21,000,000 – 25,000,000 / SFr.19,000,000 – 23,000,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2014.
GENEVA.- Christie’s announces the sale of THE BLUE, the largest flawless vivid blue diamond in the world. Weighing 13.22 carats this sensational stone will lead Christie’s auction of Magnificent Jewels to be held in Geneva on 14 May 2014 at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues. Just six months earlier, Christie’s Geneva sold THE ORANGE, the largest fancy vivid orange diamond in the world for US$35.5 million, a world record for an orange diamond and a world auction record price per carat for any diamond at US$2.4 million. THE BLUE is estimated to fetch US$21,000,000 – 25,000,000 / SFr.19,000,000 – 23,000,000 and is the leading gem of the 250 lot strong sale which is estimated to fetch a total in the region of US$80 million / SFr.73 million.
The sale will also feature many important coloured and colourless diamonds such as THE OCEAN DREAM, at 5.50 carats the largest fancy vivid blue-green diamond in the world to come to auction, with an estimate of US$7,500,00 – 9,500,000 / SFr.6,300,000 – 9,000,000. The combination of its size, natural origin, hue, and saturated color makes it an extremely unusual occurrence.
THE OCEAN DREAM is estimated to fetch US$7,500,00 – 9,500,000 / SFr.6,300,000 – 9,000,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2014.
The Light Pink cut-corned square-cut diamond of 76.51 carats set as necklace center piece by Leviev (estimate: US$7,000,000-10,000,000 / SFr.6,300,000 – 9,000,000), is another rare coloured diamond in the sale. A pear-shaped D-colour Flawless diamond of 75.97 carats, estimated at US$13,500,000 – 15,500,000 / SFr. 12,300,000 – 14,000,000, will lead the large offering of perfect diamonds on 14 May.
A magnificent coloured diamond necklace, by Leviev is estimated to fetch US$13,500,000 – 15,500,000 / SFr. 12,300,000 – 14,000,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
A PASSION FOR JEWELS ‘A PASSION FOR JEWELS:
The Collection of a European Gentleman’ comprises a total of 14 jewels including The Rajah diamond, an old-mine brilliant-cut diamond of 26.14 carats (estimate: US$3,000,00 – 5,000,000 / SFr.2,600,000 –4,400,000). It belonged to Mrs. Mary J. Morgan (d. 1885), second wife of Charles Morgan (1798-1878). Little was known about Mrs. Morgan’s collection of works of art and jewellery until it was auctioned in March 1886.
Tiffany & Co. bought two important diamonds from the collection, including The Rajah and sold them within a month to another Bostonian socialite, Mrs. Isabella Stewart Gardner, the collector and philanthropist who founded a museum of the same name. In 1924, the diamonds changed hands again and went into a private collection until 1997, when Christie’s Geneva sold The Rajah for the first time above its pre-sale estimate of SFr.1.8-2.2 million.
The Rajah diamond is estimated to fetch US$3,000,00 – 5,000,000 / SFr.2,600,000 –4,400,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2014.
The highlight of ‘A PASSION FOR JEWELS’ and the iconic piece of the sale is a sensational Belle Époque Devant-de-Corsage brooch, crafted in 1912 by Cartier (estimate: US$7,000,000-12,000,000 / SFr.6,500,000-11,000,000). Salomon Barnato Joel (1865-1931), a director of De Beers Consolidated Diamond Mines from 1901 to 1931 in South Africa, took four of his most beautiful diamonds to Cartier in 1912, asking for a brooch to be designed around them. This great example of a Belle Époque jewel, centered upon a pear-shaped diamond of 34.08 carats, alongside a heart-shaped diamond of 3.54 carats and two navette-shaped diamonds of 23.55 and 6.51 carats, set in the delicate, so called Lily-of-the-Valley setting, used by Cartier at the time and mastered by their famous workshop “Atelier Henri Picq”, is very rare to appear at auction. This unique jewel which combines magnificent diamonds, a delicate design, a remarkable make and a famous provenance will be offered for the second time at Christie’s in 23 years.
A Belle Époque diamond devant-de-corsage brooch, by Cartier is estimated to fetch US$7,000,000-12,000,000 / SFr.6,500,000-11,000,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
Twenty pieces from the Estate of Baroness Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kaszon will be another highpoint of the auction. This section is led by a natural pearl and diamond necklace estimated at US$550,000-700,000 / SFR.500,000-700,000 with Royal provenance. The impressive pearl was in the personal jewellery casket of Queen Elizabeth of Prussia (1801-1873). Upon her death her jewels were given to the Crown Treasury. When Empress Augusta Victoria and her husband William II had to leave Germany to take exile in the Netherlands in 1919, the pearl and other jewels accompanied them. After the Empress’ death in 1923, William II sold the jewels, including the pearl, via the Swiss gem dealer Alphonse de Sondheimer, who listed the impressive pearl in his inventory made in Doorn. How the pearl entered the Baroness Thyssen-Bornemisza’s collection is not recorded but her husband, Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza was also living in exile in the Netherlands, escaping Hungary, at the time of the private sale of the Royal Prussian jewels and presumably purchased it during the time.
An impressive natural pearl and diamond necklace, with Royal provenance, is estimated to fetch US$550,000-700,000 / SFR.500,000-700,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
RARE AND UNIQUE GEMS
The cushion-shaped Alexandrite of approximately 21.41 carats (illustrated right) is accompanied by a report of the Swiss Gemological Institute stating that the Alexandrite is of Russian origin, with no indications of treatment and a distinct colour-change from green to purple, and an appendix letter indicating that “a natural Alexandrite from Russia of this size and quality is very rare and exceptional and thus can be considered a very exceptional treasure of nature.” (Estimate: US$500,000 – 700,000 / SFr.450,000 – 650,000).
A rare and important spinel bead necklace is another unique jewel Christie’s Geneva will offer this season (estimate: US$1,500,00 – 2,000,000 / SFr.1,350,000 –1,800,000). The seven Mughal engraved spinel beads date back to the 17th century. Mughal emperors have had, for centuries, a particular love for precious stones. The Timurids, ancestors of the Mughals, had begun the tradition of engraving titles and names on stones of outstanding quality and, along with diamonds and emeralds, large spinel beads were certainly their favourite. As much as these gems were a symbol of the opulence and dignity of the empire, they were also treasured as protective talismans. Important engraved spinel beads are scarce. A very fine collection can be seen in Qatar where the Museum of Islamic Art exhibits an important necklace with eleven Mughal spinel beads, for a total weight of 877.23 carats, three of them engraved with the names of Emperor Jahangir and one with that of Emperor Shah Jahan. The present necklace, engraved mainly with the names of Emperor Akbar Shah and his successor Emperor Jahangir Shah, is an exceptionally rare opportunity for any collector to own a museum quality Mughal jewel.
Natural pearls are very much in demand and Christie’s Geneva is pleased to offer a five-strand necklace composed of eighty-seven, eighty-one, seventy-six, seventy-one and sixty-five natural pearls, coming to a total of 380 natural pearls of exceptional quality stated by the appendix report from the SSEF, Swiss Gemological Institute, issued on 17 November 2013 (estimate: US$2,000,000 – 3,000,000 / SFr.1,800,000 – 2,700,000).
Considered as the greatest contemporary jeweller, Joel Arthur Rosenthal, JAR is synonymous of exceptional craftsmanship. Passion for perfectionism are terms freely used in a world that revolves around exaggerated sensation, but these two words seem to perfectly sum up the extraordinary creativity and drive of this unique creator. JAR jewels are extremely rare and whenever they come up for auction they attract the interest of the world’s most demanding collectors. The spring sale in Geneva will offer an elegant three rectangular-cut diamond ring estimated at US$330,000 – 460,000 / SFr.300,000 – 420,000 with proceeds to benefit ‘Ospendale Pediatrico Bambino Gesu’ in Roma and the Pediatric department of the ‘Ospedale San Paolo’ in Milan.
A three-stone diamond ring, by JAR is estimated to fetch US$330,000 – 460,000 / SFr.300,000 – 420,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2014
In 2006, to celebrate their centenary, Van Cleef & Arpels has launched 'Une journée à Paris', an homage collection to the Maison's birthplace: Paris. Each of the unique creations was inspired by one of the six selected iconic sights of the City of Light: Jardin des Tuileries, Ile de la Cité, Avenue Montaigne, Eiffel Tower, Opera Garnier and Place Vendôme. Evoking the rich burgundy velvet grand drapes of the Opéra Garnier, lot 170 a pair of mystery-set ruby and diamond ear pendants, entitled Entrée en scène form part of this exceptional collection estimate: US$ 200,000 – 310,000 / SFr.180,000 – 280,000.
Photo Christie’s Images LTD 2014.
NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s will offer an exceptional ceramics collection in Impressions in Clay: Pablo Picasso Ceramics featuring Property from the Estate of Edgar M. Bronfman from May 2nd to May 16th. Following the overwhelming success of previous dedicated Picasso ceramics sales at Christie’s, the sale will be offered exclusively as an online-only auction and features 47 superb works with prices beginning at $1,200. Top lots include Picasso’s Tripod (A.R. 125) (estimate: $50,000-70,000) and a complete 8-piece Service Corrida set (A.R. 416-423) (estimate: $70,000-90,000). The entirety of the Bronfman ceramics collection will be on view in New York during the Prints & Multiples exhibition (April 18-22), and highlights will be presented during the Impressionist & Modern view (May 2-6).
Highlighting the sale are 35 Picasso ceramics from the Estate of Edgar M. Bronfman. Mr. Bronfman’s thoughtfully acquired collection was formed over the course of several decades and spans the categories of Impressionist & Modern Art, American Art, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Prints & Multiples, and Decorative Arts. In addition to the impressive group of Picasso ceramics, a rare set of 19 silver Picasso plates will also be offered from the Bronfman estate in the May 6th Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale. The collection boasts a further selection of works by such blue-chip artists as Picasso, Monet, Degas, and Avery, among others. The collection will be sold in New York, London, and Hong Kong, as well as in this online-only sale.
Pablo Picasso Wood-Owl (A.R. 542) Partially glazed white earthenware pitcher painted in colors, 1968 Estimate: $6,000-8,000 © 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo Christie’s Images LTD 2014.
Pablo Picasso Tripod (A.R. 125) Glazed white earthenware vase painted in colors, 1951 Estimate: $50,000-70,000 © 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Pablo Picasso Corrida (A.R. 182) White earthenware dish painted in brown and green with white enamel, 1953 Estimate: $6,000-8,000 © 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Pablo Picasso Grey Face (A.R. 206) Partially glazed white earthenware dish painted in colors, 1953 Estimate: $7,000-10,000 © 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.Photo Christie’s Images LTD 2014.
Pablo Picasso Service Corrida (A.R. 416-423) The complete set of eight partially glazed white earthenware dishes painted in colors Estimate: $70,000-90,000 © 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo Christie’s Images LTD 2014.
A red-ground silk jacket with dragon motif & An embroidered red-ground satin silk robe with blue flower design, China, late Qing
A red-ground silk jacket with dragon motif, China, late Qing dynasty, Guangxu period. Photo Nagel.
Shoulder worn, stained. L. 105 cm. Estimate 1800 €
An embroidered red-ground satin silk robe with blue flower design, China, late Qing dynasty, Guangxu period. Photo Nagel.
Silk partly discoloured, wear due to age. L. 110 cm. Estimate 600 €
Nagel. "Asiatische Kunst". 9.5.2014 - http://www.auction.de/
Jacopo Carrucci, known as Pontormo (1494-1557), Visitation, 1528. Oil on panel; 202 x 156 cm. Carmignano, Pieve di San Michele.
Firenze (Florence) - Palazzo Strozzi will present a major exhibition entitled Pontormo and Rosso. Diverging Paths of Mannerism, devoted to the work of the two painters who were without question the most original and unconventional adepts of the new way of interpreting art in the Italian Cinquecento which Giorgio Vasari called the “modern manner”. This landmark exhibition brings together for the first time a selection of some 80 works – paintings, frescoes, drawings and tapestries – accounting for 70% of the artists’ output. Loaned by major museums in Italy and around the world, many of the works have been especially conserved for the occasion.
Giovan Battista di Jacopo, known as Rosso Fiorentino (1494-1540, Madonna and Child with the Young St John the Baptist, c. 1515? Oil on panel; 102.1 x 77.5 cm. Frankfurt, Städelsches Kunstinstitut, inv. no. 952.
Florence is the ideal place to stage such an exhibition as so many of the two artists’ most important works, which 20th century critics acclaimed as masterpieces of Mannerism, are to be found in the city and in the surrounding region of Tuscany. This extraordinary examination of their careers offered by the Palazzo Strozzi exhibition has been made possible by the generous collaboration of such eminent Italian museums as the Galleria Palatina in Palazzo Pitti, the Uffizi and the Museo di Capodimonte, and such leading foreign institutions as the National Gallery in London, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the Musée du Louvre, Paris, and Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum, without which such a complete retrospective of the two artists’ work could not have been possible.
Jacopo Carrucci, known as Pontormo (1494-1557), Double Portrait of Friends, 1523-1524. Oil on panel; 88.2 x 68 cm. Venice, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Galleria di Palazzo Cini, Cini 40025.
Pontormo and Rosso both trained under Andrea del Sarto yet each maintained an independent approach and enormous freedom of expression. Pontormo, always a favourite with the Medici, was a painter open to stylistic variety and to a renewal of the traditional approach to composition. Rosso, on the other hand, was more tightly bound to tradition, yet was fully capable of flights of originality and innovation. He was also much influenced by Cabalistic literature and esoteric works.
Giovan Battista di Jacopo, known as Rosso Fiorentino (1494-1540, Virgin and Child enthroned with Saints John the Baptist, Anthony Abbot, Stephen and Jerome, 1518. Oil on panel; 172 x 141.5 cm. Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi,
inv. 1890 no. 319?
The exhibition sets out to offer a new interpretation and a critical illustration of the cultural complexity and variety of expression of a movement conventionally labelled “Mannerism”, within which Rosso and Pontormo are generally held to be the two sides of the coin. Vasari, while situating them both within the “modern manner”, hinted at their different ideological and stylistic approaches. Thus, right from the outset and as the title implies, the exhibition clearly states that each of the two artists represents an independent approach in the complex political and cultural dynamics of the city.
Jacopo Carrucci, known as Pontormo (1494-1557), Portrait of a Gentleman with a Book, c. 1541-1542. Oil on panel; 88.2 x 71.5 cm. Private collection.
Curated by Antonio Natali, director of the Uffizi Gallery, and Carlo Falciani, a lecturer in art history, the exhibition will showcase new philological, historical and iconological research into the work of the two artists since 1956 when Palazzo Strozzi hosted Exhibition of Pontormo and Early Florentine Mannerism, the last major monographic exhibition devoted to this leading player in a movement which had only recently been fully reinstated by the critics. Its aim is to provide visitors with a new awareness of the artistic spirit that drove two of the great masters of Italian Cinquecento painting.
Giovan Battista di Jacopo, known as Rosso Fiorentino (1494-1540, Holy Family with the Young St John the Baptist, c. 1521-1522. Oil on panel; 63.5 x 42.5 cm Baltimore, Walters Art Museum, inv. 37.1072.
The exhibition will be divided into eight sections, allowing visitors to explore different aspects of the two great artists’ work while at the same time tracking their history in chronological order, from their earliest training to the artistic legacy. Designed as two parallel monographic overviews mirroring one another, the exhibition displays the work of Pontormo and Rosso in chronological sequence, enabling visitors to appreciate the two painters’ profoundly different approaches to artistic expression. In addition to the chronological installation, visitors will encounter a number of themes such as draughtsmanship, portraiture, or the interest in orthodox (or indeed heterodox) religious sentiment that surfaces in so much of their work.
Jacopo Carrucci, known as Pontormo (1494-1557), Portrait of a Bishop (Monsignor Niccolò Ardinghelli?), c. 1541-1542. Oil on panel; 102 x 78.9 cm. Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1961.9.83.
The exhibition is introduced by three large frescoes from the Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata, detached years ago and recently conserved: Andrea del Sarto’sJourney of the Magi, Pontormo’s Visitation and Rosso’s Assumption, alongside the San Marco Altarpiece painted by Fra Bartolomeo and Albertinelli. This group, illustrating the two painters’ shared yet multifaceted youthful experience, sets the scene for the subsequent contrast between them by highlighting the differences that could already be detected in their immature works. Pontormo’s penchant for naturalism, in the vein of Leonardo da Vinci, was a tendency totally alien to Rosso who, conversely, showed a greater affinity with the muscularity of Michelangelo’s cartoon for the Battle of Cascina.
Giovan Battista di Jacopo, known as Rosso Fiorentino (1494-1540, Portrait of a Man, c. 1524. Oil on panel; 88.7 x 67.9 cm. Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, Samuel H. Kress Collection, Inv. K1735, 1961.9.59, 1611.
The early sections of the exhibition use the harmonious and “flawless” (Vasari) painting of Andrea del Sarto to highlight Pontormo’s and Rosso’s gradual move away from his style right up to their final choice of directions in 1517, a crucial year represented by the juxtaposition of Andrea del Sarto’s Madonna of the Harpieswith Rosso’s Santa Maria Nuova Altarpiece, both from the Uffizi, and Pontormo’s Madonna and Child with Saints from the church of San Michele Visdomini. The latter has recently undergone sensitive cleaning to reveal its extraordinarily subtle palette.
Jacopo Carrucci, known as Pontormo (1494-1557), The penitent Saint Jerome, c. 1529. Tempera on panel; 105 x 80 cm. Hannover, Landesmuseum, inv. KM 132.54
Two rooms are devoted to the portraits of Pontormo and Rosso. About a dozen works serve to emphasise their different approaches to this genre, from their youth through to their maturity. The portraits come from the Louvre, London’s National Gallery, the Museo di Capodimonte, the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice and the National Gallery in Washington, and comprise 80% of all extant portraits painted by the two artists.
Giovan Battista di Jacopo, known as Rosso Fiorentino (1494-1540, The Death of Cleopatra, c. 1525. Oil on panel; 88 x 75 cm. Braunschweig, Herzog Anton Ulrich - Museum Braunschweig, Kunstmuseum des Landes Niedersachsen, inv. GG 479.
A section devoted to drawings, also displayed in chronological order, allows visitors to examine the development of the styles and techniques that the two painters used in their preparatory drawing for painting. Included are such emblematic drawings by Pontormo as the study for the angel in the Annunciation in the Capponi chapel in the church of Santa Felicità in Florence, and the study of a nude from the lost cycle of frescoes once in the choir of the Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence. Among the major drawings by Rosso are a study of Saint Sebastian loaned by the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi and a design for an altarpiece from the British Museum.
Jacopo Carrucci, known as Pontormo (1494-1557), After a cartoon by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), Venus and Cupid, c. 1533. Oil on panel; 128 x 194 cm. Florence, Galleria dell’Accademia, inv. 1890 no. 1570.
Visitors will also be able to track Rosso Fiorentino’s travels between Volterra and Florence as well as his trips to Rome, where he was involved in the city’s sack in 1527, and to Sansepolcro before he fled to France, through key works: the Madonna of the Holy Girdle from Volognano; the restored Marriage of the Virgin from the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence; the Death of Cleopatra from the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum in Braunschweig; and the Deposition from the Cross from Sansepolcro.
Giovan Battista di Jacopo, known as Rosso Fiorentino (1494-1540, Venus and Bacchus, 1535-1539. Oil on canvas; 209 x 162 cm. Luxembourg, Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art.
The influence of Dürer on Pontormo’s style is evident in the Supper at Emmaus from the Uffizi, which he painted for the refectory of the Certosa di Galluzzo monastery. Indeed, the variety of Pontormo’s figurative and thematic work is illustrated by a series of celebrated paintings, such as his Visitation from the church of San Michele in Carmignano (conserved for the exhibition) in sequence with, among other works, the Madonna and Child from the Capponi collection, the altar frontal from the Capponi Chapel in Santa Felicità and the St Jerome from the Niedersachsisches Landesmuseum in Hannover, and by two little-known panel paintings attributed to the artist.
Jacopo Carrucci, known as Pontormo (1494-1557), Study of a Nude (Self-portrait?), 1522-1525; 281 x 195 mm. London, The British Museum, 1936, 1010.10.
The final section is devoted to the period during which Rosso became the favourite painter of François I of France in Fontainebleau, while Pontormo in Florence was patronised by Cosimo I de’ Medici. Following the political and cultural events of the two courts in which they worked, the artists appear to draw closer together again despite their physical distance, through their shared adoption of the supranational figurative vocabulary forged around the style of Michelangelo’s mature work. In this room, two tapestries manufactured to a design by Pontormo for Palazzo Vecchio hang alongside a tapestry that once adorned the gallery of Fontainebleau, which Rosso painted for the eastern end of that gallery. Other major paintings from this period include Pontormo’s Venus and Cupid from the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence, and Rosso’s Venus and Bacchus from the Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art, Luxembourg, and his Pietà, c. 1530, a rare loan from the Louvre.
Giovan Battista di Jacopo, known as Rosso Fiorentino (1494-1540, Study of a Seated Nude, c. 1525-1527; 363 x 214 mm. London, The British Museum, 1946, 0713.513.
Devised by Florentine architect Luigi Cupellini, Pontormo and Rosso. Diverging Paths of Mannerism is designed to evoke the architecture of the two painters’ era in a layout which promises to interact admirably with Palazzo Strozzi, a textbook example of the Renaissance style.
A large blue and white porcelain bowl with lotos, willow tree and rocks, China, Qianlong period. Photo Nagel.
Few very small chips under the rim. D. 43,8 cm. Estimate 2000/3000 €
Property from a Dutch private collection
A blue and white landscape export porcelain tureen and cover on an oval plate, China, late Qianlong-Jiaqing period. Photo Nagel.
Few very small glaze frits. L. 32,5/34,3 cm. Estimate 1800/2500 €
Property from an old German private collection, bought from Stuker Auctions Bern (Switzerland), Nov./Dec. 1978, Lot 2640
Nagel. "Asiatische Kunst". 9.5.2014 - http://www.auction.de/
An ormolu mounted Imari porcelain bassin, China, Kangxi period, the mounts French, 19th century. Photo Nagel.
Orig. handles lost, few filled hairlines. B. 57,5 cm. Estimate 2500/3500 €
Property from a German private collection
Nagel. "Asiatische Kunst". 9.5.2014 - http://www.auction.de/