Paul Cézanne, Vue sur L’Estaque et Le Château d’If, circa 1883-1885. Estimate: £8-12 million. Image courtesy of Christie’s
LONDON – After Christie’s sale of an important sculpture by Adrien de Vries to Rijksmuseum museum in Netherlands for $27.9 Million, the auction house is set to auction another masterpiece by a famous artist. On February 4, 2015 during the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale, Christie’s will present for auction Vue sur L’Estaque et Le Château d’If, a masterpiece by Paul Cézanne. The piece which is coming to the market for the first time since it was acquired in 1936 by Samuel Courtauld, the founder of the illustrious Courtauld Gallery and Institute of Art in London, was painted circa 1883-1885. The painting is the result of one of Cézanne’s last visits to L’Estaque, a fishing port and small seaside resort in his native Provence, where he sought inspiration repeatedly from the mid-1860s.
Estimated at £8-12 million, this beautiful landscape is a rare example of Cézanne’s genius at capturing the identity of a landscape. Painted on a vertical canvas, Cézanne’s treatment of this iconic motif reveled in the warmth emotions enhanced by color and form. Following the three plane composition, the piece, which was from the hilltop above the town, looking over the rooftops toward the bay of Marseille and the distant islands of Frioul, takes viewers from foreground to middle ground and horizon.
Framed by majestic pine trees that guides the eyes through broad horizontal bands of land, sea, and sky, the piece shows the influence of the classical landscape tradition of Poussin, which Cézanne used to organize his sensations before nature. Located at the center of the painting are houses rendered as architectural geometry of flat, overlapping planes that came to characterize Cézanne artistic career. That stylistic approach to painting helped the artist fully realize his goal to “make of Impressionism something solid and enduring like the art in museums.”
Jay Vincze, International Director and Head of The Impressionist and Modern Art Department, Christie’s London explains the great opportunity this art sale affords art collectors: “The exceptional quality, rarity and freshness of Vue sur L’Estaque et Le Château d’If provides collectors and institutions around the world with a once in a generation opportunity to secure an important and very beautiful masterpiece landscape by Cézanne.
Acquired in 1936 by one of the 20th century’s greatest connoisseurs, the inspirational patron of the arts and generous philanthropist Samuel Courtauld, there has been great excitement since the news of the art sale broke that Cézanne’s masterpiece will highlight Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in London. At Christie’s auction there is also high hopes that Vue sur L’Estaque et Le Château d’If, especially with its provenance, will attract discerning buyers – both new and established – across Asia and Russia to Europe and America.