Giacometti painted bronze figurine leads de Witt sale at $2m


2015-06-26 13:15:56


Giacometti painted bronze figurine leads de Witt sale at $2m

One of Alberto Giacometti's first painted bronze figurines heads a magnificent collection

One of the earliest painted bronze figurines byAlberto Giacometti will lead bids in Sotheby's auction of the Collection of Comtesse Viviane de Witt.

Alberto Giacometti painted bronzeGiacometti's oeuvre is characterised by his gaunt painted bronze figures, making this early work of the utmost importance

The exceptional piece is expected to see bids up to $2m on June 5-6, as part of Sotheby's Paris sales of impressionist, modern and contemporary art.

De Witt was one of France's first female auctioneers, and is married to Jerome de Witt, a descendant of Napoleon's brother Jerome, King of Westphalia. She has amassed a stunning art collection during her years in the business, which also includes Picasso, Calder, Basquiat and De Kooning.

The Giacometti figure is extremely important to his oeuvre, as one of the first painted bronzes he ever created. Designed in 1949-1950, it was unveiled at the artist's first post-war exhibition in Paris, which was staged at the Galerie Maeght in June 1951.

He later gave the bronze to his close friend Balthus, suggesting that he attached a certain amount of personal importance to the piece.

At Christie's in November 2012, Alberto Giacometti's La Jambe - another, more accomplished painted bronze - sold for an impressive $11.2m.

Basquiat Crown Hotel (Mona Lisa Black Background)The market for Basquiat's work has grown from strength to strength, with the auction record broken three times in 2012 alone

Also starring in the de Witt sale is the Comtesse's prized Basquiat work, Crown Hotel (Mona Lisa Black Background), which is hailed as "the most important Basquiat ever to appear at auction in France" and carries a $6.6m-9.2m estimate.

On May 15, Jean-Michel Basquiat's 1982 piece Dustheads is expected to topple to world record for his work with an estimate of $25m-35m at Christie's New York.

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