Art sales bank on market for masterpieces
Works not seen in public for decades are expected to fetch record prices
Thursday 21 January 2010
The green brush strokes of recovery will be daubed across the London art scene next month when masterpieces by Picasso, Renoir and Matisse unseen for decades go under the hammer.
Owners have been encouraged to put works back on the market after several works sold for record prices last year. Jussi Pylkänen, president of Christie's Europe, said: "There is a masterpiece market – a Medici market – with significant collectors who have the appetite to buy the best. It is something I've not seen in the 20 years I've been working."
One French collector has consigned four works, including Mademoiselle Grimprel Au Ruban Rouge by Renoir, which has not been sold in 60 years. Its estimate is £2.5m.
Pablo Picasso's portrait of his second wife, Tête De Femme (Jacqueline), to be sold by another collector, is expected to fetch £3m to £4m. It has not been seen in public since 1967.
Also up for sale will be Nu Aux Jambes Croiseés, by Henri Matisse, which dates from 1936 when the artist embarked on an intense relationship with a 22-year-old Russian emigré Lidia Delektorskaya, whom he had hired as his assistant. His ailing wife demanded he dismiss her, which he duly did, but she divorced him anyway after 31 years of marriage. Miss Delektorskaya was promptly re-hired, and the painting produced. It has not been seen in public since 1863, and may fetch upwards of £4m.
Last year the sale of the French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent's private collection broke several records, including a Matisse painting that fetched £27m and an early wooden sculpture by Constantin Brancusi, never before seen in public, which sold for more than £25m.
Christie's will also auction post-war and contemporary works in a separate sale. Among them is a rare "gold sponge relief" – a sponge fixed with resin and painted gold – by the French early postmodernist Yves Klein. Highlights from the sales are on show at Christie's London gallery in St James's. The impressionist sale is on 2 February and the post-war and contemporary sale is on the 11th.
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Double chins could be 'cured' without surgery or dieting using new injection
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Thank heavens for Louise Mensch and her foul-mouthed tweets to world leaders
- 5 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Ed Sheeran texts Noel Gallagher to offer him tickets after that Wembley Stadium rant
Blink-182 split: Tom Delonge is 'disrespectful and ungrateful' say Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus
Emma Watson to play Belle in Beauty and the Beast
Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia