Ten Lots to Watch: The Highest Estimates at the Impressionist-Modern Auctions

Estimate: Available upon request; reportedly estimated in excess of $25 million.

Lot description: Gustav Klimt (1862 – 1918) Litzlberg am Attersee Signed Gustav Klimt (lower right) Oil on canvas 43 1/4 by 43 1/4 in.

This painting, which previously hung in the Museum der Moderne in Salzburg was recently returned to Georges Jorisch, a retired Montreal camera shop manager, after the museum determined that it had been stolen from Mr. Jorisch's grandmother Amalie Redlich by the Nazis after the annexation of Austria in 1938. Mr. Jorisch has promised to donate over $1 to the museum for a wing, to be named after his grandmother.
Estimate: $25,000,000 - $35,000,000

Lot Description: Edgar Degas (1834-1917) Petite danseuse de quatorze ans signed, numbered and inscribed with foundry mark 'Degas HER A.A.HEBRARD CIRE PERDUE' (on the base) bronze with muslin skirt and satin hair ribbon with wooden base Height (including base): 40½ in. (102.9 cm.) Executed in wax circa 1879-1881 and cast in bronze at a later date

This was the only sculpture piece that Degas exhibited in his lifetime, though his was cast in wax.
Estimate: $20,000,000 – $30,000,000

Lot Description: Inscribed with the signature Henri Matisse, stamped with the foundry mark Georges Rudier fondeur, Paris, inscribed with the initials HM and numbered 0/10 Bronze Height: 74 in. 188 cm Conceived in Issy-les-Moulineaux in 1908-09 and cast in 1959.

The first and most figurative in a series of four that becomes more and more abstract as it progresses, Sotheby's decided to split up the lots when it couldn't find a buyer for all four.
Estimate: $18,000,000 - $25,000,000

Lot description: Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) L’Aubade Signed Picasso (lower left); dated 20/6/67 on the reverse Oil on canvas 511/4 by 763/4 in. 130.1 by 195 cm Painted on June 20, 1967.

This painting depicts the artist's second wife, Madoura Pottery, whose nail varnish he used to sign it.
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Estimate: $12,000,000 - $18,000,000

Lot Description: Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Femme endormie signed 'Picasso' (upper left); inscribed and dated '-Paris 17 janvier XXXV-' (on the stretcher) oil on canvas 21¾ x 18¼ in. (55.2 x 46.4 cm.) Painted in Paris, 17 January 1935

Extremely similar to "Jeane fille endormie," which sold for $21.9 million in London this spring, this portrait also features the artist's young lover Marie-Thérèse Walter.
Estimate: $12,000,000 - $18,000,000 Lot Description: Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Tête de femme au chapeau mauve dated '27.10.39.' (upper left); dated again and inscribed 'Royan 27.10.39.' (on the reverse) oil on canvas 21½ x 18 in. (55.2 x 45.7 cm.) Painted in Royan, 27 October 1939 Provenance: Estate of the artist. Bernard Ruiz Picasso, Paris. Galerie Beyeler, Basel. Private collection, New York (acquired from the above, 1986). Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Estimate: $10,000,000 - $15,000,000

Lot Description: Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) Femme de Venise VII signed and numbered 'Alberto Giacometti 1/6' (on the base side of the base); inscribed with foundry mark 'Susse Fondeur Paris' (on the back of the base) bronze with dark brown and green patina Height: 46 in. (116.8 cm.) Conceived in 1956 and cast in 1957 Guaranteed by Christie’s

One of a series of nine, another statue in this series made waves last year when it sold at the New York sale for $10.2 million.
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Estimate: $9,000,000 - $12,000,000

Lot Description: Rene Magritte Les vacances de Hegel signed 'Magritte' (lower left); titled and dated '"LES VACANCES DE HEGEL" 1958' (on the reverse) oil on canvas 23¾ x 19¾ in. (60 x 50 cm.) Painted in 1958

One of many Magrittes to hit the block this seasons, Magritte wrote in a letter shortly after he'd completed the work. "I thought that Hegel...would have greatly appreciated this object, which has two opposite functions - at one and the same time not wanting water (rejecting it) and wanting it (containing water). He would have been charmed, I think, or amused (as if on holiday)"
Estimate: $9,000,000 - $12,000,000 Lot decription: Gustave Caillebotte (1848 – 1894) Le Pont d’Argenteuil et La Seine Stamped with the signature G. Caillebotte (lower right) Oil on canvas 25 3/4 by 32 1/4 in. 65.5 by 81.6 cm Painted circa 1883. This painting was last sold in 2008, and has been on extended loan at the Met in the time since then.
Estimate: $8,000,000 - $10,000,000 Lot Description: Constantin Brancusi (1867-1957) Le premier cri signed 'C. Brâncusi' (on the underside) polished bronze Length: 10¼ in. (26 cm.) Conceived in 1917 Relatively new to the market, this piece has only had three owners in the history of its existence, the first acquiring it directly from the artist.

Early next week, Christie’s and Sotheby’s will hold their biannual evening Impressionist and modern art auctions, events that will set the mood of the market for the rest of the year.

A quick glance at the top ten lots across the two auction houses provides a glimpse at what is popular, or at least what collectors at the top echelon of the market are willing to part with right now. This year we see a few solid Picassos, as well as a continued interest in Surrealism. A juicy provenance, as usual, goes a long way. But don’t take our word for it: see for yourself.

Next week, Dan Duray will provide detailed, up-to-the-minute coverage of the auctions on Gallerist.

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