7 masterpieces you should have been bidding on

Forget the 8-digit high estimates that never were. Here is a short list of remarkable artworks from the Krugier sale you should have been bidding on. Some of the items on our list may still be available, so if you see something you have to have – it’s worth reaching out to Christie’s and inquiring about a price.

Jean-Louis-Theodore Gericault – Fabrique artisanale a Montmartre

Black chalk, pen and brown ink and watercolor, 1819 – 1820. Working in the Neoclassicist school of painting, Gericault drew inspiration from, among others Rubens, Titian, Velazquez, and Rembrandt. He mainly painted human figures, often depicting scenes with horses. Perhaps it is because this sketch falls outside of his usual spectrum, comprising only of unfinished buildings, that it failed to reach its estimate of $30,000-40,000. This drawing didn’t reach its reserve and may still be available.

Otto Dix – Verwundetentransport

Charcoal on buff paper, 1917. German painter, Otto Dix’s drawing focused mainly on the Weimar society and the harsh realities of war. This artwork was created during in 1917 at the height of World War I. Perhaps the rough and erratic strokes capture his mental state during this time? This drawing was acquired by Jan Krugier at a 2001 Christie’s sale and was estimated to sell between $40,000-60,000. However, Verwundetentransport failed to reach the target price and was sold for $38,000.

Jean-Francois Millet – Ferme sur les Hauteurs de Vichy, Probablement les Malavaux

Black chalk, pen and brown ink, watercolor, heightened with white on brown paper, 1866-67. A small-scale painting (5 1/8 x 8 1/8 in), this landscape by Millet was made during one of the trips he took with his wife to Vichy in the summers of 1866-68. He made numerous sketches and paintings of landscapes during this time, associating them with rest and relaxation, virtues missing from his everyday life. Several of these sketches were later transformed into paintings. This work was estimated to sell between $18,000-25,000 but  ultimately went for $52,500 with premium , garnering steady interest throughout the bidding process.

See Millet’s Haystacks: Autumn in ArtEx.

Odilon Redon – Visage – Germination

Redon was the best selling artist during the 1913 historic Armory Show in New York, outselling every other artist represented at the fair. In Redon’s own words, he was trying to transform the ghosts in his mind onto paper. This typical Redon image quickly flew past its estimate of $100,000-150,000 and at $233,000 with premium, landed itself a Parisian buyer.

Emil Nolde – Bergsee

Watercolor on Japan paper, circa 1930 – 1938. Dark blues and purples dominate this sumptuous Emil Nolde watercolor making it reminiscent of a turbulent, stormy day. One of the first German Expressionists, Nolde is known as one of the masters of oil and watercolors century. Use of bold colors, usually warm reds and yellows, distinguishes his works, this one being special for the use of bold, cool pigments. The deeply emotional work was expected to be sold between $200,000-300,000, and ended up right within the range selling for $317,000 with premium.

See Robert Motherwell‘s Lyric Suite on ArtEx.

Franz Marc – Abstraktes Aquarell II

Tempera, watercolor and brush, and black ink of paper, 1913 – 1914. Franz Marc’s “Abstraktes Aquarell II” makes one think of colorful birds surrounded by musical notes. A key member of the German Expressionist movement, Marc’s work often depicted animals using bright colors, though shown in very simplistic, almost cubist forms. This vibrant and energetic watercolor was painted two years before his untimely death in 1916. At the time of its execution, Marc was experimenting more with non-objective painting, seeking to achieve an organic aesthetic devoid of any prior idealism. Thus, he gravitated more towards curvilinear shapes, instead of the sharp, angular edges of the Cubist or Futurist movements. The painting surpassed its estimate range and ultimate sold for $437,000 with premiums.

See Simultaneous Contrasts by Sonia Delaunay on ArtEx.

Gino Severini – Expansion Centrifuge de la Lumiere

Gouache, watercolor, and pencil on paper, 1913 – 1914. Severini’s “Expansion centrifuge de la lumiere” (Centrifugal expansion of light), made in 1913-14, at once evokes the image of bright, dancing lights. A Futurist by style, the artist separates himself from the movement by leaving behind any traces of realism, and instead focuses purely on lively bursts of color. Images of light-filled prisms are evoked through the use of colors and angular forms, as is the feeling of erratic movement. This is a glorious work that belongs to a series of similar paintings made by Severini, and was estimated at $400,000-600,000. At auction the watercolor placed well within the estimated range selling for $665,000 with premiums.

This article ©galleryIntell. Additional reporting by Neha Athvale. Images courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd.