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Caillebotte masterpiece is sold to Getty and four artists smash

Records during Christie’s New York sale of Edwin Cox’s Impressionist collection Who said that Impressionism was dead? The vaunted Impressionist art collection belonging to Texas oilman and philanthropist Edwin Lochridge Cox, who died in Dallas in November, at the age of 99, sold for $332 million at Christie’s New York last night.

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The sum (calculated without fees) for the 23-lot white-glove sale exceeded pre-sale expectations of $178.6m to $267.6m (calculated without fees) and the total for the hammer was equally impressive at $286 million.

Sixteen entries were backed by financial guarantees. These were either in-house or third party. Four artist recordings were established.

The evening kicked off with Claude Monet’s Nympheas (fragment, around 1912) that Cox was gifted in 1982 by the famous art dealer Daniel Wildenstein. It made $5.2m (with fees) and was well within its $700,000-$1m estimate.

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Odillon Redon’s flower-filled still-life, Grand bouquet des fleurs des champs (circa 1900-2005), was valued at $2.3m (plus fees). (Est. $1.2m-1.8m) and Vincent van Gogh’s light suffused-landscape, Cabanes de bois parmi les liviers et cypres, painted in Saint-Remy-de-Provence in October 1889 sold to Hugo Nathan of London’s Beaumont Nathan Art Advisory, shattering its estimate (unpublished, but in the region of $40m), realising $71.3m (with fees). Both works were acquired by the collector from Wildenstein & Company New York in 1981 and 1982 respectively.

It is refreshing to note that none of the works offered included an auction house provenance , and the majority of them passed through the closed doors of Wildenstein.

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A duplicate van Gogh work, Meules du ble which was a pencil, ink and watercolour on paper, was executed in Arles in June of 1888. It was sold to Beaumont Nathan for $31m ($35.8m plus costs). $20-30m). It came to market after a protracted settlement between the consignor as well as the heirs of earlier owners Max Meirowsky and Alexandrine de Rothschild, as the painting was seized during the Occupation of France and transferred to the Jeu de Paume, Paris in April 1941, decades before arriving at Wildenstein.

Cox’s favorite artist, Jeune homme au bluet an epoch-making painting that was made in Auvers-sur-Oise in the weeks prior to his suicide, featured a smiling young man holding the cornflower in his mouth. It was valued at $40.5m (with charges) in comparison to an estimated $5m to $7m.

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Paul Cezanne’s breathtaking seaside views uncommon to market and of impeccable provenance, L’Estaque aux toits rouges (1883-85) was bought by Cox in 1978 for $48 million (or $55.3m plus taxes). $35m-$55m).

Another version from the celebrated series Vue sur l’Estaque et le Chateau d’If was sold at Christie’s London in February 2015 for PS13.5m/$20.5m.

A more significant Claude Monet entry, Le basin d’argenteuil (1874), depicting various docked vessels and figures on the mirror-like waters and featuring an extensive exhibit history, was auctioned for $24 million ($27.8 plus fees, i.e. $15m-25m). It was secured by a third party guarantee as did Van Gogh and Cezanne.

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Last night’s only work by a woman artist, Berthe Morisot’s oil on canvas Fillette portant un panier (1888) was the only work. It was purchased by Cox in 1977 at the beginning of his collecting career . He bought it for $4.4m (plus charges). $2-$3m).

The last lot, the cover lot–the one that everyone was looking forward to and certainly reflected Cox’s exquisite taste was Gustave Caraillebotte’s enthralling composition Jeune homme a sa fenetre (1876), which was composed by Gustave Caillebotte. It sold to the New York dealer Adam Williams who bid on behalf the Getty Museum in Los Angeles for $46m ($53m plus fees, estimated. on request in the region of $50 million), setting records for the artist.

Cox acquired the work from Wildenstein in 1995, and in the same year that it was included in the travelling retrospective Gustave Caillebotte: Urban Impressionist It quickly became the linchpin in his carefully assembled collection. It features the sculpted back of a figure placed in front of an open and large French window that reveals his silhouette and the stunning Parisian boulevard he was looking out onto, the painting sparked one of the evening’s fiercest bidding battles. Though not part of the description, the standing figure was the middle brother of Caillebotte Rene who passed away shortly after the work was completed. It broke the previous record set by Chemin Montant (1881) at Christie’s London in February 2019, when it sold for PS16.6m/$22.2m (plus fees).

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Caillebotte was not just a painter with the Impressionists but was an outstanding financial contributor and, perhaps most importantly, gifted his substantial collection to the French state following his death.

Guy Wildenstein (the son of Daniel Wildenstein) said, “It was an extraordinary sales.” He left the salesroom. The pair had sold many of the evening’s work to Cox. “He was an avid collector who purchased very quick, but all of them are of the same quality and all went beyond the prices we’ve ever offered.”


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