One of the most important works by Pablo Picasso to appear on the market over the last several years will be offered by Sotheby’s in New York on the evening of November 3, 2008.
Arlequin dates to 1909, a pivotal moment in the history of modern art; just two years after Picasso completed his watershed composition, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Modeled with luminous shades of jade, rose and amber, this spectacular portrait depicts a harlequin, one of the most poignant motifs in the artist’s oeuvre.
For the last 50 years, this jewel of Picasso’s Cubist production has been a treasured possession of the Surrealist artist Enrico Donati, who died earlier this year at the age of 99. He purchased it in the 1940s directly from Daniel Henry Kahnweiler, the legendary dealer of Picasso and the Cubists.
The painting, which is expected to bring over $30 million, has been consigned by Mr. Donati’s estate. It will be seen by the public for the first time in more than 45 years when it goes on view at Sotheby’s London beginning October 3, 2008. It will then go on display at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art from 16-19 October and Sotheby’s New York from 29 October to 3 November.
Emmanuel Di-Donna, of Sotheby’s, said it was one the “greatest” Cubists to be sold on the open market. He added: “International collectors have not been presented with such a fantastic opportunity to compete for one of the great Picasso portraits since Sotheby’s sale of Dora Maar au chat.
South African born artist Marlene Dumas set a new record this month for the most expensive living female artist, when her painting The Visitor, fetched Â£3.1 million ($6.2million) at a Sotheby’s auction.
Dumas’s painting was sold at the Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale held in London on the 1st of July.
The Â£3,177,250 million bid for the painting surpasses Dumas’ previous record of Â£1.8 million set in February 2005.
Both Sotheby’s and Christie’s are holding significant Impressionist and Modern evening sales in London this week. “We’re seeing a very strong market for top quality Impressionist paintings this summer,” the vice chairman of Impressionist & Modern Art Worldwide at Sotheby’s, Helena Newman, said.
On Wednesday, Sotheby’s will put up Monet’s “La Plage Ã Trouville” expected to fetch between $14 million and $20 million. “It’s an iconic work,” Ms. Newman said. “Monet was exploring the effects of the wind and the light on the water, all quintessentially Impressionist effects.”
Monet completed his painting in 1870 while vacationing with his wife and son at the tony French resort town of Trouville.
Sotheby’s lately sold a Guarneri violin once a lavish possession by the musician Henri Vieuxtemps to a Russian entrepreneur for the maximum auction price ever paid for any musical instrument. Word is around that Maxim Viktorov paid an unrevealed sum, “well in excess” of pre-recorded last auction of the device. The preceding record was inked by a 1708 Stradivarius identified as the Hammer that got sold for $3.54 million at New-York based Christie’s in May 2006.
Whilst the record for a Guarneri was set up during an auction in 1988, when a 1743 specimen from Cremona generated $1,126,088 at Sotheby’s in London. This proud owner of the Guarneri would be adding it to his existing collection of 15 violins. The violin has not been played in public for almost 70 years, but Viktorov assured that the instrument would now be played frequently in public.