Lot 27. Paul Cézanne, Nature morte. Painted circa 1890. Oil on canvas, 11 1/8 by 15 7/8 in. 28.3 by 40.5 cm. Estimate 7,000,000 — 10,000,000 USD. Courtesy Sotheby’s.
NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s will present Property from the Collection of Barbara and Martin Zweig as a highlight of their Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale on 14 November in New York. Led by Paul Cézanne’s vibrant still life Nature morte (estimate $7/10 million), the collection features exceptional examples by many of the greatest French artists working at the turn of the 20th century – from high Impressionist pictures by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Gustave Caillebotte, to the post-Impressionist modernity of Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Pierre Bonnard and Édouard Manet. With the majority of the collection assembled by Mr. and Mrs. Zweig in the 1990s, the collection offers works that are both exquisite and fresh to the market.
The Evening Sale will offer ten works from the collection in total, together expected to achieve in excess of $25 million. The group will be on view in Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale exhibition, open to the public beginning 3 November in New York.
Jeremiah Evarts, Head of Evening Sales for Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Department in New York, commented: “It is a privilege to be offering this superb selection of works from Barbara and Martin Zweig’s exquisite collection this November. Further to the collection’s illustrious characteristics, the outstanding provenance of many of the paintings on offer is quite remarkable: Degas’s Avant la course was once in the collection of Mr. John Hay Whitney, while Leo Stein, the brother of famed author Gertrude Stein, was among one of the first owners of Renoir’s Baigneuse (assise). We look forward to offering these exceptional pieces in our Evening Sale this fall.”
Paul Cézanne, Nature morte. Painted circa 1890. Estimate $7/10 million
The most fully-worked still life by the artist to appear at auction since Sotheby’s 2013 sale of the Lewyt Collection, Nature morte encapsulates Cézanne’s artistic achievement, and displays the brilliance and economy which characterize his best work. The strikingly modern composition foregrounds his unrivaled facility with the medium and his ability to imbue a still life with all of the subtlety and emotional potency of portraiture.
Cézanne’s still lifes have long been recognized among his greatest achievements − the works which demonstrate most vividly the innovations that led to the stylistic developments of early 20th-century art, and breathed new life into the tradition of still life painting. His mature still lifes in particular are considered the harbingers of Modernism, and provided a profound inspiration for the Cubist compositions of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque nearly 15 years later. The genre allowed him the greatest time in which to capture his subject, since in the studio environment he could create and control the composition, arranging the elements in ways that provided an infinite variety of formal challenges to be solved on the canvas.
Lot 34. Gustave Caillebotte, La Place Saint-Georges. Painted in 1880. Signed G. Caillebotte (lower right). Oil on canvas, 28 3/4 by 36 1/4 in., 73 by 92 cm. Estimate 4,000,000-6,000,000 USD. Courtesy Sotheby’s.
A Trio of Early Paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
The collection’s three early canvases by Renoir are led by Baigneuse (assise), painted circa 1882, (estimate $2/3 million) − an exceptional example of the artist’s key subject of the female nude, rendered at the pinnacle of his achievements in this avant-garde style. The development of Renoir's style in depicting nudes draws from both his early experience as an Impressionist painter, and the influence of Renaissance masters in the early 1880s.
Lot 33. Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), Baigneuse (assise). Painted circa 1882. Signed Renoir. (lower left). Oil on canvas, 21 5/8 by 16 1/2 in., 55 by 41.9 cm. Estimate 2,000,000 — 3,000,000 USD. Courtesy Sotheby’s.
Mademoiselle Henriot ou Jeune fille au ruban bleu (estimate $2/3 million) is an engaging portrait of Renoir's favorite model in the mid-1870s, Marie-Henriette Grossin, known by her stage name, Madame Henriot. Renoir’s portraits of her at the beginning of her career emphasize Henriot’s innocence, depicted in the precise paint applications on her eyes and brows, while still preserving Renoir's characteristic light and ethereal handling of the medium. Executed in 1883, La danse à la campagne (estimate $800,000/1.2 million) is a meticulous work on paper depicting a dancing couple – Renoir’s close friend, Paul Lhote, and the artist’s mistress who would later become his wife, Aline Charigot – which directly relates to a painting bearing the same name, now in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. Renoir’s routine artistic process at this time did not call for sketches and studies, though La Danse à la campagne was an exception. Several studies exist in wash and watercolor, in pencil and chalk, as well as one dazzlingly emotive oil sketch.
Lot 29. Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), Mademoiselle Henriot ou Jeune fille au ruban bleu. Painted circa 1876. Signed Renoir. (lower left). Oil on canvas, 16 1/2 by 13 in., 41.9 by 33 cm. Estimate 2,000,000 — 3,000,000 USD. Courtesy Sotheby’s.
Lot 30. Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), La danse à la campagne. Executed in 1883. Signed Renoir (lower left). Pen and ink and crayon on paper. Sheet: 19 3/8 by 12 1/8 in.; 49.2 by 30.7 cm. Image: 16 1/8 by 9 3/8 in.; 40.9 by 23.8 cm. Estimate 800,000 — 1,200,000 USD. Courtesy Sotheby’s.
Edgar Degas’s Rare Bathers and Jockeys
Executed in 1903, Après le bain (estimate $5/7 million) is a striking example of Degas’s fascination with the female nude. The remarkable range of rich, vibrant tones coupled with the beautifully-balanced proportions of the woman’s body rank the present work among the most accomplished examples of the artist’s celebrated bathers series and one of his finest pastels.
Lot 35. Edgar Degas (1834 - 1917), Après le bain. Executed circa 1903. Stamped Degas (lower left). Pastel and chalk on paper laid down on board, 33 7/8 by 29 1/4 in., 86 by 74.2 cm. Estimate 5,000,000 — 7,000,000 USD. Courtesy Sotheby’s.
Degas’s exploration of the world of the racetrack and steeplechase, brilliantly depicted in Avant la course (estimate $3/5 million), developed in tandem with his survey of other aspects of the modern world, notably the world of the dance. In his depictions of equestrian subjects, similar to those of the ballet and opera, Degas moved away from the precise delineation of complex arrangements of figures in space in the first half of his career to a much broader, more atmospheric approach in the latter half.
Lot 31. Edgar Degas (1834 - 1917), Avant la course. Painted circa 1882-88. Signed Degas (lower left). Oil on paper laid down on board in a cradled panel, 11 5/8 by 18 1/4 in., 29.5 by 46.5 cm. Estimate 3,000,000 — 5,000,000 USD. Courtesy Sotheby’s.