NEW YORK – Simon Shaw, Co-Head, Worldwide, Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Department, commented: “Tonight we saw a discerning and efficient market at work. Connoisseurs were drawn to works that displayed a key combination of unrivaled quality, great rarity and exceptional provenance. Such was the case with Auguste Rodin’s romantic marble sculpture L'Éternel Printemps, which inspired competitive and international bidding that drove the work to achieve $20.4 million – marking a new auction record for the artist. Tonight was the first time a marble of this subject has come to auction in over two decades, demonstrating the type of rarity that is a main driver of success in today’s market.”
Tonight’s auction was led by Auguste Rodin’s L'Éternel Printemps, an iconic marble of embracing lovers which sold for $20.4 million -- marking a new auction record for the artist (estimate $8/12 million). Conceived in 1884 and carved in 1901-03 from a single block of marble, it ranks among Rodin’s most skillful renderings of embracing lovers.
Tonight’s auction of L’Éternel Printemps follows Sotheby’s February 2016 sale of Iris, Messagère des dieux in London, which achieved a then-auction record for Rodin in GBP when it sold for £11.6 million / $16.7 million.
Lot 17. Auguste Rodin (1840 - 1917), L'Éternel Printemps. Inscribed with the signature Rodin. Marble. Height: 26 1/4 in., 66.6 cm. Conceived in 1884 and carved in 1901-03. Estimate 8,000,000 — 12,000,000 USD. Lot sold 20,410,000 USD to an Anonymous. Auction record for the artist. Courtesy of Sotheby's.
Paintings were led by Maurice de Vlaminck’s explosive Fauve landscape, Sous-bois, sold for $16.4 million (estimate $12/18 million). Acquired in 1954 by art patron and philanthropist Sarah Campbell Blaffer of Houston, Texas, it has remained in the family’s collection since. The work depicts a scene near Chatou, along the Seine in Paris, where Vlaminck lived at the time.
Lot 14. Maurice de Vlaminck (1876 - 1958), Sous-bois. Signed Vlaminck (lower right). Oil on canvas, 23 5/8 by 28 1/2 in., 60 by 72.5 cm. Painted in 1905. Estimate 12,000,000 — 18,000,000 USD. Lot sold 16,378,000 USD to an Anonymous. Courtesy of Sotheby's.
Another Fauve work from 1906, Henri Charles Manguin’s Les Oliviers à Cavalière set a new auction record for the artist at $1.2 million.
Lot 33. Henri Charles Manguin (1874 - 1949), Les Oliviers à Cavalière. Signed Manguin and dated 1906 (lower right). Oil on canvas, 32 1/4 by 26 in., 81.5 by 65.5 cm. Painted in 1906. Estimate 1,000,000 — 1,500,000 USD. Lot sold 1,150,000 USD. Auction record for the artist. Courtesy of Sotheby's.
After a prolonged bidding battle, Paul Signac’s Pointillist view of Saint-Tropez, Maisons du port, Saint-Tropez, sold for $10.7 million (estimate $8/12 million). The ‘Opus’ painting has remained in the family collection of Ambassador John Langeloth Loeb, Jr. since his parents acquired it in July 1958, and appeared at auction for the first time tonight. Painted in 1892, his first year visiting the coastal town, Maisons du port, Saint-Tropez was created at the peak of Signac's time as the leader of the Neo-Impressionist painters.
Lot 8. Paul Signac (1863 - 1935), Maisons du port, Saint-Tropez. Signed P. Signac and dated 92 (lower right) and numbered Op. 237 (lower left). Oil on canvas, 18 3/8 by 21 3/4 in., 46.5 by 55.3 cm. Painted in 1892. Estimate 8,000,000 — 12,000,000 USD. Lot sold 10,700,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's.
Six works from the collection of prominent New York philanthropists Mamdouha & Elmer Holmes Bobst totaled $20.6 million, exceeding the group’s high estimate of $16.1 million. Led by Claude Monet’s Marée bassee aux Petites-Dalles, which soared to $9.9 million - double its high estimate. Assembled by the Bobsts in the 1960s, their collection of Impressionist & Modern Art has remained untouched for half a century. The Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale on 10 May will feature 17 further works from the collection.
Lot 25. Claude Monet (1840 - 1926), Marée bassee aux Petites-Dalles. Signed Claude Monet and dated 84 (lower right). Oil on canvas, 23 5/8 by 28 3/4 in., 60 by 73 cm. Painted in 1884. Estimate 3,000,000 — 5,000,000 USD. Lot sold 9,882,000 USD to an European Private Collector. Courtesy of Sotheby's.
An exquisite example of Claude Monet’s early Impressionist technique, Camille à l'ombrelle verte, sold for $9.4 million. Painted in 1876, it depicts his wife in the garden of their family home in Argenteuil. An 1883 coastal scene by Monet, Près Monte-Carlo, sold for $7.1 million, meeting its high estimate.
Lot 36. Claude Monet (1840 - 1926), Camille à l'ombrelle verte. Signed Cl. Monet (lower left). Oil on canvas, 32 by 23 3/8 in., 81.3 by 59.5 cm. Painted in 1876. Estimate 9,000,000 — 12,000,000 USD. Lot sold 9,434,000 USD to an American Private Collector. Courtesy of Sotheby's.
Another highlights includes:
Lot 59. Claude Monet (1840 - 1926), Près Monte Carlo. Signed Claude Monet and dated 83 (lower left). Oil on canvas, 25 7/8 by 32 1/4 in., 65.6 by 82 cm. Painted in 1883. Estimate 5,000,000 — 7,000,000 USD. Lot sold 7,082,000 USD to an Anonymous. Courtesy of Sotheby's.
Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973), Paloma. Dated 15.4.52. (upper right). Oil on canvas, 25 1/2 by 21 1/4 in., 65 by 54 cm. Painted on April 15, 1952. Estimate 4,000,000 — 6,000,000 USD. Lot sold 4,506,000 USD to a Private Collector. Courtesy of Sotheby's.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), Glaïeuls dans un vase. Signed A. Renoir (lower right). Oil on canvas, 28 1/2 by 23 1/2 in., 72.8 by 60.1 cm. Painted circa 1874-75. Estimate 3,800,000 — 4,500,000 USD. Lot sold 4,282,000 USD to a Private Collector. Courtesy of Sotheby's.
Fernand Léger (1881 - 1955), Composition au cheval blanc. Signed F. Léger and dated 45 (lower right); signed F. Léger, dated 45 and titled Composition au cheval blanc on the reverse. Oil on canvas, 26 by 36 in., 66 by 91.3 cm. Painted in 1945. Estimate 3,500,000 — 5,000,000 USD. Lot sold 4,170,000 USD to an Anonymous. Courtesy of Sotheby's.