The Masterpiece Moment: Art Auction Highlights

  • Claude Monet's "Les Peupliers," part of the artist's celebrated poplars series, is up for auction at Christie's the evening of May 4. In pristine condition, an Asian collector purchased it at auction in 2000 for just over $7 million. It's been quite a decade in the art market: the painting is now estimated at around $20 million to $30 million. The auction record for a Monet is $80.4 million set in May 2008.

     

     

    CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2011

  • The spring art season is not short on works by Picasso. "Couple à la guitare," property from the collection of late society hostess Dodie Rosekrans, was painted late in Picasso's life, on January 11, 1970, and is expected to fetch $10 million to $15 million, or more, at Sotheby's. Chaotic, explicit and powerful, it shows a man serenading his lover.

     

    Courtesy of Sotheby's

  • The painting has been part of a private collection for over a century: Claude Monet's 1877 "La Seine à Agenteuil." At Sotheby's, it has an estimated price of $6 million to $8 million, but Monets have sold for five times that.

     

    Courtesy of Sotheby's

  • Painted in 1936, 'Le Petit Dejeuner' depicts the small sitting room on the upper floor of Le Bosquet, Bonnard's home. The piece is predicted to go for $6 million to $9 million at Christie's May 4.

     

    CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2011

  • Paul Gauguin first visit to Tahiti mesmerized him; he was later to abandon his family and move there. This unique 1893 painted tamanu wood, pasted paper, red coral and shell bust was carved during that first trip. Sotheby's has assigned it an estimate of $10 million to $15 million. It's the piece's first public appearance since it was purchased in 1961.

     

    Courtesy of Sotheby's

  • Maurice de Vlaminck's "Paysage de Banlieue" may become one of the top-selling artworks at auction this season. It is a landscape painted at the peak of the French artist's career in 1905 and was the top-selling work at Christie’s New York Evening Sale in May 1994. Christie's places an estimate of $18 million to $25 million.

    CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2011

  • Two babies set amidst a circle of toys is the topic for this 1901 Picasso painting, made when the artist was only 19. Christie's is offering it with a $5.5 million to $7.5 million estimate.

    Christie's