Following hot on the heels of the events of Art Basel just last week, the London outposts for Christie’s and Sotheby’s will open their doors for a pair of highly touted Impressionst and Modern Art Evening sales, beginning two final weeks of major art auctions before the art world moves into the summer lull.
The sales begin Monday at Sotheby’s, where the auction house is bringing forward a brisk 46 lots with a total estimate around £86 million ($142 million). The top end of the sale seems dominated in particular by the works of Claude Monet, with three paintings by the artist included among the top five highest estimates. Leading the sale (and also serving as the cover lot of the evening) is one of Monet’s iconic water lily paintings, Nymphéas, which is initially estimated to sell for £20 million to £30 million, and which is joined by La Seine À Argenteuil (est. £7 to £10 million) and Antibes, Vue Du Plateau Notre-dame (est. £6 to £8 million). Alongside these works, bidders will also vie for an impressive Mondrian from 1927 (est. £13 to £18 million), which has not seen the auction room in over 50 years. Rounding out the top lots are a Picasso portrait, Portrait de Femme (est. £4 to £6 million), and a striking Kandinsky (est. £3 to £5 million).
The following night, Christie’s will open its own entry into the week of Impressionist and Modern sales, putting forth a 60 lot offering that has a pre-sale total estimate of £96.4 to £141.4 million. The auction is led by a pair of impressive Giacometti sculptures, including the faint La Main, a slim arm and hand sculpture supported on a frame pedestal, which is estimated to bring in £10 to £15 million, with, Femme de Venise II, close behind, estimated at £10 to £12 million. Christie’s is also offering its own Mondrian near the top of its sales, with the artist’s Composition A, With Double Line And Yellow offered with a pre-sale estimate of £5 to £8 million. A striking, segmented work by Joan Miró can also be had, estimated at £4 to £6 million, as can a florid, early Matisse which is boasting an estimated price of £7 to £10 million.
Alberto Giacometti, Le Main (1947) via Christie’s
— D. Creahan