Art Buzz May 8, 2013: Cezanne painting goes for $41.6 million at Sotheby’s Auction of Impressionist and Modern Art

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Cezanne painting goes for $41.6 million at Sotheby’s Auction of Impressionist and Modern Art

Source: Art Daily, AFP 5-8-13


Sotheby’s

Cézanne’s painting ‘‘Les Pommes,’’ from around 1890.

Paul Cezanne’s “Les Pommes” sold for $41.6 million at an auction of Impressionist and Modern art held by Sotheby’s in New York, while a painting owned by pop star Madonna went for $7.16 million….READ MORE

Art Buzz May 9, 2012: Christie’s Record Making Contemporary Art Auction Takes $388.5 Million — Mark Rothko’s “Orange, Red, Yellow, 1961” Alone Sold for $87 Million

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Rothko Leads a Record Contemporary Art Sale

Source: NYT, 5-9-12

In a surge of bidding unprecedented in art market history, Christie’s Tuesday evening sale of contemporary art took in $388.5 million, the highest amount ever in that field.

Christie’s

Mark Rothko’s “Orange, Red, Yellow, 1961,” which sold for just under $87 million, had not appeared in the market for 45 years.

Christie’s

Yves Klein’s “FCI (Fire Color I),” which was completed in 1962 shortly before the French artist’s death, brought an astounding $36.48 million.

A world auction record was set for a work of contemporary art when Mark Rothko’s “Orange, Red, Yellow” painted in 1961 sold for just under $87 million. Christie’s estimate was $35 million to $45 million, plus the sale charge of more than 15 percent. Christopher Burge, who conducted the session with exceptional brio, brought down his hammer on the $77.5 million winning bid after one of the longest bidding matches yet witnessed in a contemporary art sale.

The Rothko had everything going for it. Acquired from Marlborough Fine Art in London in 1967 by David Pincus, one of the leading American collectors in the second half of the century, the picture, consigned from the connoisseur’s estate, had never appeared in the market during the intervening 45 years….READ MORE

Art Buzz May 2, 2012: Edvard Munch: ‘The Scream’ auctioned for record $119.9 million at Sotheby’s

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Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ goes for $119.9 million at Sotheby’s

Source: LAT, 5-2-12

Edvard Munch's 1895 pastel 'The Scream'

Sotheby’s sells Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ for $119.9 million on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 (Carl Court / AFP /Getty Images / April 29, 2012 / May 2, 2012)

Sometimes beauty is trumped by the beast. After bullish expectations and an aggressive marketing campaign for an image considered the quintessential expression of modern horror, Sotheby’sNew York sold Edvard Munch‘s 1895 “The Scream” for $119.9 million on Wednesday night, setting a record for the most expensive artwork sold at auction.
The top spot was previously held by Picasso’s 1932 “Nude, Green, Leave and Bust” — a painting of his much-younger lover Marie-Therese Walter that sold at Christie’s in 2010 for $106.5 million.

The identity of the buyer, who was bidding by phone during the 12-minute auction, has not been confirmed. Bidding started at $40 million, with at least five bidders. Rumors before the sale, not confirmed, focused on interest from the royal family of Qatar.

Munch’s “The Scream” achieved another milestone: It now ranks as the most expensive drawing publicly sold. For this version of “The Scream” — one of four — is best described as a crayon or pastel drawing, not a painting, on board. The Munch Museum in Oslo owns a pastel as well as a painted version, while the National Gallery of Norway holds the earliest painting, dated 1893….READ MORE

And it easily beat out the previous auction record for Munch, also held by Sotheby’s. In 2008, the auction house sold the 1894 Munch painting “Vampire,” a melodramatic image of a red-haired, bare-armed woman kissing a man’s neck, for about $38 million.

Art Buzz April 15, 2012: Christie’s to unveil a very rare 15th century Renaissance Jewish prayer book in New York

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Christie’s to unveil a very rare 15th century Jewish prayer book in New York

Offered at auction for the first time, the manuscript is estimated at $540,000-800,000. Photo: Christie’s Images Ltd 2012. 
On April 16-17, Christie’s New York will unveil a rare and splendid example of Renaissance Judaica, an illuminated manuscript Mahzor that will be included in the May 11, 2012 Books and Manuscripts auction at Christie’s Paris. Comprising over 400 pages, this illuminated manuscript on vellum is a festival prayer book written in Hebrew and was created in Tuscany, and probably Florence, circa 1490. Offered at auction for the first time, the manuscript is estimated at $540,000-800,000 (£360,000-530,000/€400,000-600,000).
The illuminating manuscript was purchased in Frankfurt before 1908 and was subsequently owned by Edmond Bicart-Sée. It has never been publicly exhibited and has remained in the possession of his descendants in Paris for over eighty years. This Mahzor, containing prayers for the entire liturgical year, is richly highlighted in gold with renaissance motifs and contains everyday customs, rituals and practices of Jewish life including daily prayers and blessings for Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkoth. The striking frontispiece of the Mahzor is in the characteristic style of Giovanni di Giuliano Boccardi, known as Boccardino il vecchio (1460-1529) – ‘one of the last representatives of the golden age of Florentine Renaissance Illumination.’ The Jewish community of Florence flourished in the 15th century, their position closely linked to the fortunes of the Medici. While there are other Hebrew manuscripts illuminated by Christian Florentines, this Mahzor is the only example we know illuminated by Boccardino. The coat-of-arms on the frontispiece is azure, a rampant lion or holding a flaming chalice and sun; the lion is flanked by a crescent moon and a sun or star, having some resemblance to the coat of arms of the Ambron family. Coats of arms used by Jewish families in Italy were inventions, often using traditional Jewish symbols and often variable, making certain identification difficult. The 16th century binding of the Mahzor has a central medallion with another coat-of-arms of two affronted rampant lions flanking a palm tree, combined elements featuring in the arms of a number of families in Italy, including the Tedesco/Tedeschi and Uzielli in Tuscany.

Art Buzz April 13, 2012: Edvard Munch’s Modern art masterpiece ‘The Scream’ up for auction at Sotherby’s

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The masterpiece ‘The Scream’ up for auction

Source: CNN, 4-13-12

It’s one of the world’s most famous paintings; Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” is an iconic image of despair. And now a version of the painting is up for grabs in a public auction next month. But the winning bidder may also need to fork out money for extra security because this masterpiece also holds the dubious honor of being the “most stolen work of art”.

“Shivering with anxiety, I felt the great scream in nature,” so wrote Norwegian artist Edvard Munch in 1895. They are lines from a poem that inspired one of the most famous paintings in the world. Simon Shaw with Sotheby’s says, “What Munch was trying to do was create the modern life of the soul as he described it. a new kind of history painting for the godless age where he would draw on his own personal experiences of love anxiety and death and create universal resonate images that we can all understand”

Munch created four versions of the painting, three of which are on public display in museums in Norway. This is the only version in private hands and the only one to feature the poem that inspired it hand painted on the original frame and the only one for sale to be auctioned off at Sotheby’s in New York in May. Shaw says, “Very challenging to put a price on a work so globally recognizable so famous as this one. Great modern masterpieces can sell for a bit over a hundred million dollars so we’re estimating that the scream will sell for somewhere above $80 million today.”

So what is so captivating about this painting? Shaw says, “It’s really a key image in the history of modern art. but on the other hand it’s become something quite different. It’s become a cornerstone of popular culture if you like.”…READ MORE

Sotheby’s London presents one of the most famous masterpieces in the world

Staff stand guard by Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ as it is hung for display at Sotheby’s Auction Rooms in London, Thursday, April 12, 2012. The picture made with pastels is one of four versions of the composition, and dates from 1895, it will be auctioned in the Impressionist and Modern Art Sale in New York on May 2, with an estimated price of 80 million dollars. AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth. 
Sotheby’s today presented Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream will lead its Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in New York on 2 May 2012. The iconic work is one of the most instantly recognizable images in both art history and popular culture, perhaps second only to the Mona Lisa. The present version of The Scream, which dates from 1895, is one of four versions of the composition and the only version still in private hands. It will be on view in London for the first time ever, with the exhibition at Sotheby’s opening on 13 April. In New York, and also for the first time ever, it will be on exhibition at Sotheby’s in advance of the sale beginning 27 April.
The work is owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father Thomas was a friend, neighbor and patron of Munch. “Munch’s The Scream is the defining image of modernity, and it is an immense privilege for Sotheby’s to be entrusted with one of the most important works of art in private hands” commented Simon Shaw, Senior Vice President and Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art department in New York. “Instantly recognizable, this is one of very few images which transcends art history and reaches a global consciousness. The Scream arguably embodies even greater power today than when it was conceived. At a time of great critical interest in the artist, and with the 150th anniversary of his birth in 2013, this spring is a particularly compelling time for The Scream to appear on the market. For collectors and institutions, the opportunity to acquire such a singularly-influential masterpiece is unprecedented in recent times.” Mr. Shaw continued: “Given how rarely true icons come to the market it is difficult to predict The Scream’s value. The recent success of masterpieces at Sotheby’s suggests that the price could exceed $80 million.”…READ MORE