Notable Impressionist and Modern Art Pieces to be Sold at Christie’s

Shreeya Maskey
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While pushing the boundaries of traditional art, Impressionism began to emerge in Paris in the 1860s. It paved the way for several other modern art movements, including Surrealism, Fauvism, Expressionism, and abstract art. An upcoming Christie’s event will highlight 132 Impressionist and Modern art pieces from the late 19th century and beyond. This live sale will be held at 10:30 AM EST on December 4th, 2020 in New York.

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989), Narcisse jeune endormi. Image from Christie’s.
Salvador Dalí (1904-1989), Narcisse jeune endormi. Image from Christie’s.

“Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision,” artist Salvador Dalí once said about the movement he helped launch. The artist spent a lifetime exploring that concept in his work. A central figure of the Surrealism movement, Dalí experimented with media ranging from painting and sculpture to product and set design. Many of his known works show his fascination with the juxtapositions of the subconscious mind and reality. “It is perhaps with Dalí that for the first time the windows of the mind are opened fully wide,” remarked the Surrealist leader André Breton

Dalí’s 1980 oil painting is among the highlighted lots in the upcoming auction. The offered piece depicts a sleeping Narcissus, a figure from Greek mythology who fell in love with his reflection. Christie’s estimate for the piece is between USD 300,000 – $500,000.

Joan Miró (1893-1983), Figure. Image from Christie’s.
Joan Miró (1893-1983), Figure. Image from Christie’s.

Joan Miró was known for creating surreal images in his paintings. Though Miró was ridiculed for his first exhibition in Barcelona, he eventually became one of the most celebrated Surrealists. He frequently pushed the limitations of classical art, helping develop a new style for the 20th century. His work mainly focused on imagined subjects, often drifting away from the real world.

Miró’s bronze sculpture will be offered in the upcoming sale (estimate: $250,000 – $350,000). “I only use the objects I find,” Miró said. “I lay the objects all around on the floor and choose this or that one. I never make sculptures from sketches, I just put them together.” The available piece demonstrates that mindset, combining objects of various shapes and textures to create a single form

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), Le petit peintre (Claude Renoir). Image from Christie’s.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), Le petit peintre (Claude Renoir). Image from Christie’s.

French painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir was among the first artists associated with the Impressionist movement. He sought to depict the everyday life of individuals in the neighborhood of Montmartre. Basing his work on emotion, Renoir worked to capture the “essence” of the subject through his vibrant colors and loose brushwork.

Renoir’s Le petit peintre (Claude Renoir) will be highlighted in the sale (estimate: $600,000 – $800,000). In this work, the artist’s youngest son can be seen painting at an easel, seemingly unaware of his surroundings. Completed in 1907, the oil painting shows Renoir’s fondness toward his son.

Impressionist and Modern art pieces from many other celebrated artists will go under the hammer with Christie’s at 10:30 AM EST on December 4th, 2020. Find the complete listings on Christie’s website. Interested collectors can also learn more about other Christie’s events, both past and future, on the auction house’s news channel.