5 Fine Art Pieces to Hit the Auction Block This July

Nazia Safi
Published on

Auctions presented by Phillips, Sotheby’s, Bonhams, and Christie’s will include works by Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso, and Rembrandt, among others.

Several major auction houses have announced their events for this month. Fine art collectors will have many pieces to consider, including works by 20th-century artists Roy Lichtenstein and Pablo Picasso. A self-portrait of Rembrandt will also cross the auction block. Here are several of the featured fine art pieces coming to auction this July: 

1. Nude with Joyous Painting, 1994 by Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein, Nude with Joyous Painting, 1994
Courtesy: Christie’s
Roy Lichtenstein, Nude with Joyous Painting, 1994
Courtesy: Christie’s

Roy Lichtenstein’s Nude with Joyous Painting will be a key lot in the New York session of Christie’s ONE: A Global Sale of the 20th Century, with an estimate of USD 30 million.

Coming from an American collection, the 1994 Nude with Joyous Painting is from Lichtenstein’s last series of nudes that the artist began in 1993 and continued until he died in 1997. The series marked the artist’s return to the comic book style that gave him fame in the early 1960s. The work on offer is a production of an image from Girls’ Romances, a 1950-71 romantic comic series by DC.

To date, Lichtenstein’s Masterpiece holds the artist’s auction record of $165 million at Acquavella Gallery in 2017.

2. Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘F’), 1955 by Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso, Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘F’), 1955
Courtesy: Christie’s
Pablo Picasso, Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘F’), 1955
Courtesy: Christie’s

Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘F’) from 1955 by Pablo Picasso is another painting highlighting the New York session of Christie’s ONE: A Global Sale of the 20th Century, with an estimate of $25 million.

Inspired by the French Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix’s Les femmes d’Alger, Picasso created a series of 15 paintings under the same name from December 1954 to February 1955. He assigned each work an identifying letter, from ‘A’ to ‘O.’ The available work, Version ‘F’, is the sixth painting in the series and will go under the hammer for the first time.

Picasso’s Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’) was sold for a record $179 million at Christie’s Looking Forward to the Past evening sale in 2015.

3. Self-Portrait, 1632 by Rembrandt

Rembrandt, Self-Portrait, 1632
Courtesy: Sotheby’s
Rembrandt, Self-Portrait, 1632
Courtesy: Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s first-ever Cross-Category Evening Sale in London will offer a rare self-portrait by Rembrandt—one of only three in private hands, with an estimate of $15 million–$20 million.

This intimate self-portrait, executed in 1632, when the Dutch master was 26 years old, depicts Rembrandt wearing a white ruff and black felt hat. It is among the estimated 80 self-portraits that the artist painted between ages 22 and 63. This is one of only two self-portraits by Rembrandt in which he is dressed in a formal outfit. According to Sotheby’s, Rembrandt may have painted this when he was courting his second wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh. Dressed as a nobleman, Rembrandt wanted to convince his future wife’s relatives that he was a “prosperous and suitable husband.”

The current auction record for Rembrandt stands at $180 million for the Portraits of Maerten Soolmans and his wife Oopjen Coppit, 1634 at Christie’s Private Sales in 2016.

4. Onement V, 1948 by Barnett Newman

Barnett Newman, Onement V, 1948
Courtesy: Christie’s
Barnett Newman, Onement V, 1948
Courtesy: Christie’s

Barnett Newman’s Onement V will be another featured lot in Christie’s New York session of ONE: A Global Sale of the 20th Century, with an estimate of  $30 million–$40 million.

Executed in 1948, the work shows a deep blue canvas divided in the middle by a thin vertical stripe in a contrasting tone. With the inception of World War II, the American artist Barnett Newman stopped painting and did not start again until 1944. In 1948, Newman began painting the series in the aftermath of World War II. He completed six works from the Onement series, which are considered the artist’s most valuable paintings. It was from the same series that Newman started his trademark “zip,” a vertical line running through the center of the canvas. 

Barnett Newman’s Anna’s Light holds the artist’s highest auction record of $105 million. It was sold at Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art in 2013.

5. Victor 25448, 1987 by Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Victor 25448, 1987
Courtesy: Phillips
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Victor 25448, 1987
Courtesy: Phillips

Jean-Michel Basquiat is once again a featured artist, this time at Phillips’ 20th Century and Contemporary Art Evening Sale in New York. Titled Victor 25448, the work being put up for auction is one of the largest works on paper Basquiat ever executed, standing 6 feet by 11 feet. This piece is estimated at $8 million–$12 million.

Executed in 1987, a year before his death, the paper painting features Basquiat’s signature scrawls and fractured figures. 

The auction record for Basquiat is $110 million at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in 2017.