Renoir’s Impressionist masterpiece ‘Baigneuse’ heads to auction

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2015-06-26 10:45:45

Renoir’s Impressionist masterpiece ‘Baigneuse’ heads to auction

The Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale scheduled for later this month will offer masterpieces from the likes of Renoir, Picasso, Signac and Gauguin.

The hugely anticipated sale, which takes place in London on June 20, features 71 lots and is expected to achieve £86 - £126 million. Following hot on the heels of numerous record-breaking sales in the category, and with several works appearing at auction for the first time in a generation, expectations are undoubtedly high.

“Impressionist and Modern Art continues to attract international demand as witnessed by February’s record week of sales in London and the May auctions in New York which produced some of the highest sell-through rates seen for the category,” said Jay Vincze, International Director and Head of The Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale. “The auction in June reflects the current demand of collectors, offering rare opportunities to acquire a rich variety of art from distinguished and treasured private collections.”

Headlining the auction is one of the finest works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir still in private hands – the 1888 painting ‘Baigneuse’. This stunning figural female nude is one of Renoir’s many influential works on the subject, and has previously graced the collections of Robert de Bonnières, Adrien Hébrard, the Prince de Wagram and Georg Reinhart. It will appear with a pre-sale estimate of £12 - £18 million, having previously sold in 1997 for a record price of $20.9 million.

Other major highlights include two works by Pablo Picasso – ‘Femme au chien’ and ‘Femme assise’.

‘Femme au chien’, painted in 1962, has remained hidden from public view in a private collection for close to 40 years and has an estimated price of £6 million - £9 million. The 1949 work ‘Femme assise’ documents the impending birth of Picasso’s daughter Paloma, and will cross the auction block with an estimate of £5 - £7.5 million.

These will be joined by ‘La Corne d'or - Les Minarets’ by Paul Signac which will be sold for the first time in close to a century, having remained in the same private collection since the 1920s (estimate: £4 million - £6 million) and the recently discovered Paul Gauguin work ‘Paysage aux troncs bleus’ painted on the artist’s first visit to Tahiti in 1892 (estimate: £3 million - £5 million).

“Many works are being offered for the first time in a generation, having been unseen in public for decades,” said Vincze. “The quality, rarity, beauty and strong provenance of these works of art - led by Renoir’s masterful nude - highlight the artistic innovation, excellence and influence of this category, together with its international appeal.”

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