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Dear Readers,

The digital age has led to an economic and societal revolution the likes of which mankind has seldom seen – and it is not over yet. With our new “online only” auctions – beginning in November 2018 under the label “ibid” – we will offer works online which until now have appeared in our “Koller West” auctions. The lots in our ibid auctions in November and December are from such diverse collecting categories as Fashion (with handbags and accessories by Hermès, Chanel and Louis Vuitton), Design (including works by Eileen Gray, Le Corbusier and the Milan firm Danese), Silver, Wine, Paintings, Prints and Asian Art. You can read more about these auctions on page 22. We hope you will enjoy browsing our new ibid online catalogues beginning on 26 November. Important artworks, precious jewellery and rare Asian sculpture will continue to be featured in our classic saleroom auctions. We are especially pleased to present two well-known and rarely offered sunset paintings by Felix Vallotton and Adolf Dietrich in the same auction, on 7 December (page 7). One of the most important scholars of Vallotton and Dietrich, Rudolf Koella, will give a talk (in German) on the work of these two exceptional artists at our preview vernissage on 27 November. Please be sure to reserve early, as space is limited.In closing, we draw your attention to the numerous works of art from past centuries featured in this issue that were offered in our 2018 auctions (page 14 ff). We are currently accepting consignments for our March 2019 auctions of Old Masters and 19th Century Fine & Decorative Arts. We would be very pleased to hear from you.I hope you enjoy the magazine and look forward to welcoming you back soon to Koller, either in our salerooms or via our website.

Cyril Koller


Roy Lichtenstein.
Crying Girl. 1963.
Two colour offsets. 43,2 x 58,4 cm.
Estimate: CHF 20 000 / 30 000

The cosmos behind the black

Preview of the Modern Prints and PostWar & Contemporary Art Auctions

on 8 December 2018

On 24 December 2018, the painter and graphic artist Pierre Soulages, one of the leading figures of French contemporary art, will celebrate his 99th birthday. Together with German artist Hans Hartung (1904–1989) and Russian painter Serge Poliakoff (1900–1969), Soulages influenced an entire generation of abstract artists. His early interest in prehistoric and Romanesque art was followed by an intense dialogue with the works of Rembrandt, Courbet, Cézanne and Picasso. With his friends Hartung and Francis Picabia, he participated in the Salon des Surindépendants in 1947, and one year later his works went on tour with the exhibition "Französische Abstrakte Malerei". Since that time, his works have achieved international recognition.



Pierre Soulages.
Untitled. 1973.
Gouache on paper mounted on canvas. 75 x 54,5 cm.
Estimate: CHF 80 000 / 240 000



Marcia Hafif.
Untitled. 1963.
Acrylic on canvas. 140 x 140 cm.
Estimate: CHF 8 000 / 12 000

The art of the 20th century is also represented by several ceramic works by Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) and prints by Swiss artist Lili Tschudi (1911–2004). "KASS-II", 1973, an acrylic painting by Hungarian art­ist and student of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Victor Vasarely (1906–1997), possesses all of the characteristics of the Op-Art style which Vasarely co-founded. With its seemingly spatial geometric structure, it sheds its two-dimensionality and tests the limits of the viewer's perception.

The German Luitpold Domberger, along with his son Michael Domberger, are considered pioneers and developers of the screen printing technique in Germany. Through "Edition Domberger", they edited countless artists' works. In the current auction are featured a series of printed works by 20th-century artists from the Domberger collection such as the Bauhaus artist Anni Albers (1899–1994) and the American minimal­ist painters Sol LeWitt (1928–2007) and Robert Mangold (*1937).

Alessandro Guerriero.
Unique piece for Alchimia.
Laminated wood with polychrome decoration. 147 x 28 x 174 cm
Estimate: CHF 35 000 / 55 000




Emil Nolde.
Doppelbild (Sie seltsames Licht). 1918.
Oil on canvas. 60,6 x 56,2 cm
Estimate: CHF 600 000 / 900 000

Life choices in the time of ostracism

Preview of the Impressionist & Modern Art Auction 


The post-1933 landscapes of Otto Dix (1891–1969) were made during the period of "inner emigration" after the Nazi accession to power in Germany. Dix, who was one of the first art professors to be dismissed from the Kunstakademie in Dresden, witnessed the systematic removal of 260 of his artworks from German museums and their subsequent inclusion in the infamous "Degenerate Art" propaganda exhibit in Munich in 1937. The artist, who considered himself to be one of the founders of the Neue Sachlichkeit ("New Objectivity") movement, and whose work during the years of the Weimar Republic was marked by scenes bitingly critical of society, withdrew to Randegg castle in southern Germany. There, in view of political conditions, he devoted himself above all to landscape painting. "I was banned to the countryside. […] I fled into the countryside, and painted and painted." he noted.



Otto Dix.
Wintertag in Randegg. 1933.
Mixed media on panel. 60 x 80 cm.
Estimate: CHF 70 000 / 100 000

Christian Schad.
Angelika Herrschmann. 1947.
Oil on canvas backed with masonite. 41 x 34 cm.
Estimate: CHF 25 000 / 35 000

"Wintertag in Randegg", 1933 (ill. 2.), to be offered in the 7 December auction, is an excellent example of this phase of Dix's work. Painted in a glazed mixed media technique, Dix employs the savoir faire of the Old Masters to depict the atmosphere of the southern German countryside near the Lake of Constance and the Upper Rhine. He drew inspiration from the Danube School painters, from Romantics such as Caspar David Friedrich, as well as from the painterly technique of Pieter Brueghel the Elder. At the same time, the choice of these peaceful motifs speaks to his forced withdrawal from big-city life and a society that had suddenly so fundamentally changed.

Dix's contemporary and fellow countryman Emil Nolde – actually Hans Emil Hansen (1867–1956), who in 1902 adopted the name of his Northern Schleswig (and from 1920 Danish) birthplace – is considered to be one of the greatest watercolour artists of the 20th century. In 1937, this important Expressionist was surprised and dismayed by the defamation of his works by the Nazis.

Portraits not only hold a major place within the body of Nolde's work, they are also a fascinating reflection of the artist's profound interest in the human spirit. Nolde was not a portraitist in the classic sense, but rather sought to render a psychological image. His subjects were often friends and close family members. An example of this is "Doppelbild (Sie seltsames Licht)", 1918 (ill. 1.), to be offered on 7 December. The characteristics of the individuals depicted led him towards a free, universally valid representation in strong colours and distinctive forms. "Duality held an important place in my paintings and graphic works. Together or in conflict, man and woman, delight and sorrow, deity and devil. The colours were also set in contrast: cold and warm, light and dark, weak and strong," wrote the artist in 1948.

Pablo Picasso
Hibou. 1968.
Vase. Painted ceramic. 59/500. H 30 cm.
Estimate: CHF 8 000 / 12 000



Giovanni Giacometti.
Mountain landscape. 1931.
Oil on canvas. 75,5 x 80 cm.
Estimate: CHF 120 000 / 180 000

The drama of landscape

Preview of the Swiss Art Auction

on 7 December 2018

The art of landscape painting has continually undergone transformations throughout its long history. Naturalistic representations with geographically identifiable elements, which existed in Europe from the 15th century, subsequently branched out towards idealised landscapes. These compositions contained symbolically charged visual inventions or motifs which communicated the atmospheric qualities of the original visual content while subtly imbuing it with human perceptions. Landscape painting, especially in the waning years of the 19th century, eventually freed itself from optical and formal fidelity to nature. The Barbizon school with its paysage intime and the Impressionists rediscovered the landscape and attached completely new meanings to the colour spectrum and analytical painting techniques. With the Expressionist movements in the early 20th century, these tendencies were given a further stimulus, leading to the next metamorphosis in landscape painting.



Gottardo Segantini.
Sera l'inverno. 1919
Oil on canvas

. 105 x 152 cm.
Estimate: CHF 120 000 / 180 000



Adolf Dietrich's (1877–1957) impressive lake view in the 7 December auction of Swiss Art (ill. 3) shows intriguing parallels to the landscape paintings of Swiss artist Félix Vallotton (1865–1925) (ill. 4), even though Dietrich was not familiar with Vallotton's work. Remarkably, both artists arrived separately at similar creative solutions. Like Vallotton, Dietrich was seeking intensification of colour and motif in the portrayal of landscapes. For both artists, the focus was less on a realistic rendering than on a symbolically charged depiction, which occasionally recalls dream sequences, references to which are clearly found in Metaphysical Art.

The Untersee at twilight was a favourite subject for Dietrich, especially in the mid-1920s and the early 1930s. In 1926, he filled two almost identically sized fields with this motif, with an eerily exact reflection of the sky in the perfectly still water. The static equilibrium is unsettling for the viewer; it symbolises the diminishing light after sundown and the transformation from day to night, which will never be fully realized in this artistically captured moment. Time is suspended. The subject of this painting is not a specific place (in this case a part of Lake Constance), but rather the expression of a particular mood. Dietrich's landscape paintings were preceded by numerous pastel studies from his early career, in which he captured the diversity of light effects on Lake Constance. The expressivity and colour of the pastel works are intensified in the oil paintings, rendering them even more dramatic and imaginative. The painting featured on 7 December was first auctioned by Koller in 1994 and has remained in the family collection of the purchaser. It can be classed among a series of comparable views in which Dietrich worked exhaustively on depictions of the Southern German landscape.



Rembrandt Bugatti.
Le flamant en marche. Circa 1912.
Bronze with black patina. H 33,5 cm.
Estimate: CHF 70 000 / 100 000

Animals, with empathy

Preview of the Art Nouveau & Art Deco Auction

on 6 December 2018

Fascinating animal sculptures were Italian artist Rembrandt Bugatti's (1884–1916) signature creations. The name Bugatti would become world famous because of the automobile company founded by the artist's elder brother Ettore. It was not by chance that Bugatti's parents followed the suggestion of his godfather, established sculptor Ercole Rosa, to christen their new-born child "Rembrandt", thus predestining him to an artistic future. In the Bugatti family and circle of friends there were already numerous artists, beginning with his grandfather who worked as a sculptor; his father, a furniture and jewellery designer; Rembrandt's uncle, none less than the artist Giovanni Segantini, and among the family's friends was the composer Giacomo Puccini.



Edouard Marcel Sandoz.
Groupe de chèvres. 1937.
Bronze with brown patina. H 42 cm.
Estimate: CHF 45 000 / 60 000

Tiffany Studios N.Y.
«Twelve-light-lily» floor lamp. Circa 1910.
Gilt bronze and Favrile glass. H 141 cm.
Estimate: CHF 30 000 / 40 000

A self-taught artist, Rembrandt Bugatti learned bronze casting from the Parisian gallerist and bronze founder Adrien-Aurélien Hébrard, whose clients included such artists as Edgar Degas and Auguste Rodin. Bugatti – who from his youth had demonstrated considerable artistic talent and already enjoyed commercial success with his exhibitions – was an animal lover who obsessively studied the natural world in the zoological gardens of Paris and Antwerp. He was especially drawn to the exotic wild animals in these zoos, which resulted in an impressive array of sculptures of elephants, peacocks, camels, anteaters, yaks, kangaroos, and countless feline predators. The flamingo offered in the 6 December auction (ill. 4) is one of approximately 300 animal sculptures that Bugatti created. This genre was very popular in the years around 1900 and sculptors, known as animaliers, made animals in every imaginable shape, size and material. These were not only destined for high-society sitting rooms, but also for the private and public collections of the time.

Unlike other artists who worked primarily from sketches, Bugatti modelled his clay figures directly on site in zoos, and even sometimes in the animals' enclosures. He was able to reproduce the animals with astonishing realism, yet always with sensitivity and individuality. Many of his sculptures still bear the marks of his fingerprints on their surfaces – "as if he wanted to capture the fleeting movement of an animal with his two hands." The nervous energy of these years before the First World War is latent beneath the pelts, feathers and skins of his subjects.

Rembrandt Bugatti's work, much celebrated in his lifetime, was forgotten soon after his early death. After a modest exhibition in the Hamburg Museum für Kunst und Gerwebe in 1983, this injustice was finally rectified with a comprehensive retrospective in the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin in 2014. It showed Bugatti as a virtuoso and empathetic sculptor in the tradition of the 19th century, who left his own unique mark on the history of European art.

Erwin Blumenfeld
Hat Fashion, Dior, New York. 1946.
Silver gelatin print. Vintage. 33 x 26,7 cm.
Estimate: CHF 20 000 / 30 000



A limited edition Patek Philippe
anniversary chronograph. 2015.
18K yellow gold. Ref. 5975 J.
Estimate: CHF 40 000 / 60 000

Cartier, Bulgari and Patek Philippe

Preview of the Watches and Jewellery Auctions

on 5 December

Over 400 lots of Jewellery and Watches will be offered on 5 December, including numerous diamonds and coloured precious stones, High Jewellery by Chopard, Harry Winston, Bulgari and Cartier, and fine pieces by Van Cleef & Arpels, Boucheron, Lalaounis, Vourakis and Buccellati. Of special note are a pair of ear pendants with two large, pear-shaped natural pearls, and a natural pearl brooch from the family of the Marquise Bevilacqua Ariosti



Natural pearl and diamond brooch.
Circa 1900.
Silver and pink gold
Estimate: CHF 30 000 / 50 000

Emerald and fancy diamond corsage brooch
Circa 1950. 18K white gold. Suspending a
Colombian pear-shaped emerald of ca. 59.00 ct.
Estimate: CHF 120 000 / 180 000

Other lots of particular interest are a very decorative diamond brooch with a pinkish-orange pear-shaped 6.93 carat fancy diamond; a Colombian emerald, circa 59 carats, suspended as a pendant, and an octahedron diamond with a captivating asterism effect.

Harry Winston. Diamond bracelet, platinum 950.
Set with 10 pear-shaped, 30 marquise-shaped and
220 brilliant-cut diamonds totalling ca. 38.00 ct.
Estimate: CHF 80 000 / 120 000



A Bhuta mask of Panjurli
India, Karnataka, Tulu Nadu
18th/19th century. Bronze. H circa 27 cm.
Estimate: CHF 4 000 / 6 000

Magic masks

Preview of the Asian Art Auctions

on 3 and 4 December 2018

Ritual masks play a central role in the religious celebrations of the southwestern Indian coastal region of Tulu Nadu. These elaborately crafted masks do not represent popular Hindu deities such as Shiva and Vishnu, but rather local gods and heroes like Daiva and Bhuta. Through theatrical dance performances, professional dancers bring the honoured deities to life. During these trancelike enactments by the Pambada, the gods take possession of the dancers, who then – endowed with superhuman qualities – accept offerings and wishes, resolve conflicts, administer justice and heal the sick. Along with the sacred masks, the ritual involves opulently decorated costumes and majestic structures, up to several meters high. Behind these expressive mask dances lies the fascinating mythology of the relatively small geographic region in which Tulu culture thrives, recounted in music and song during the festivities. The myths are passed on orally from one generation to the next. The elaborate religious celebrations mark the annual calendar, and ritual masks are frequently part of the performances. In the 4 December auction, a Panjurli mask from the 18th/19th century is rendered as a stylised head of a wild boar (ill. 1), while Pilichandi masks always take the form of a tiger (ill. 2).



A large Pilichandi Bhuta mask.
India, Karnataka, Tulu Nadu.
18th/19th century. Bronze. H 38.5 cm.
Estimate: CHF 5 000 / 8 000

A fine Dehua figure of Manjushr.
China, 18th century
Blanc de Chine. H 22,2 cm.
Estimate: CHF 10 000 / 15 000

A much more introspective manner of honouring deities is represented by a 16th-century Tibetan figure of Vajradhara (ill. 2). Seated on a double lotus throne, the richly bejewelled, transcendent "primordial buddha" (Adhibuddha) assumes the position of a teacher, with his hands before his chest. In the cosmology of Tibetan Buddhism, Vajradhara is considered the highest essence of all buddhas. His name signifies "lord of the Vajra essence". Figures like this one were made for temples as well as for private use – for veneration and for meditation.


A pair of elegant two-part cabinets in the 3 December auction (ill. 4) were purportedly made for the sixteenth and last Ming emperor Chongzhen (1611–1644). This information was communicated by the seller, Xu Shoushao, who offered them in Beijing in 1923 to the New York banker and collector Henry H. Wehrhane. The seller's grandfather, Xu Tong (1819–1900), acquired them from the emperor Guangxu (1871–1908), whom he tutored. The provenance is related in a notice translated into English in 1923 by J.C. Fitzhugh, which was given to Wehrhane when he purchased the cabinets. Many families among the nobility and civil servants found themselves in difficult financial straits after the fall of the Qing dynasty, and were forced to sell all of their valuables. The cabinets are of the finest quality and typical of the lacquer workshops of Yangzhou, which brought this style, with its multicolour stone inlay – the so-called "hundred treasures" inlay – to perfection in the later years of the Ming dynasty. Pieces of this quality of craftsmanship seldom appear on the market.

A splendid pair of Yangzhou style lacquer two-part
cabinets. China, late Ming dynasty. Overall height 173 cm.
Estimate: CHF 120 000 / 180 000



Carstian Luyckx
Memento Mori still life.
Oil on canvas. 73,5 × 92,5 cm
Sold for CHF 538 000

Death and the devil

Review of the Old Master Paintings Auctions in 2018

Phantasmagorical scenes became prominent in the visual arts in the early modern era. Various artistic motifs were developed to address the passage from here to the beyond, the uncertain transition from life to death. Themes such as the "temptation of Saint Anthony", representations of Purgatory, apoc­alyptic horsemen announcing the end of the world, illustrations of the Last Judgement, and vanitas paintings all allowed artists to breach the established canons of motif and figure and to explore a new world of imagery. Paintings, woodcuts and sculpture during the last years of the 15th century were particularly laden with symbolically charged images of death and the devil, evil, corruption and sin personified as hybrid creatures, gnomes and monsters. Such scenes increased the omnipresence of death in art, while bringing the confrontation of the viewer with his or her own transience to a new level.



Albrecht Dürer.
The four horsemen of the apocalypse.
Circa 1497/98. Woodcut. 39,6 × 28 cm.
Sold for CHF 54 000

Follower of Hieronymus Bosch. Circa 1550.
he temptation of Saint Anthony (detail).
Oil on panel. 45 x 57 cm.
Sold for CHF 200 000

One of the central figures in this pictorial narrative is the Christian monk Saint Anthony, also known as Anthony the Great. Legend has it that during his long isolation in the desert he was continually assailed by torturous visions that tempted him to abandon his existence as a hermit. Anthony had to resist the devil, who appeared to him in the forms of a knight and a seductive woman, as well as suffering physical injuries inflicted by a host of demonic beasts. The numerous representations of his ordeals – from 10th century frescoes, early illuminated manuscripts, and paintings by Hieronymus Bosch and Mathias Grünewald, to works by Max Ernst – are based on written accounts, especially the Vita Antonii by Evagrius of Antioch. Anthony's trials also found echoes in literature, for example in works by E. T. A. Hoffmann and Gustave Flaubert. These impressively demonstrate how profoundly Anthony became enshrined as the "divine man" (theios aner)


The visual arts possess an entire lexicon of emblematic vanitas symbolism related to the fleeting nature of earthly existence, designed to remind viewers that we have no power over life and death. The skull, the lifeless snail shell, empty glasses and staged ruins are somewhat one-dimensional ways of communicating this message, while mirrors and parrots (as symbols of abhorrent vanity), masks (which stand for the absence of their wearers) and playing cards (representing the tendency towards pointless pastimes) represent more complex relationships. Within the context of art, a crucial distinction remains between the illusory trappings of immediate sensuality and indirect religious symbols.



A parcel-gilt silver nef-form drinking cup.
Nuremberg, early 17th century and later.
Maker's mark Esaias zur Linden. H ca. 44 cm. 697 g.
Sold for CHF 110 000.

A conversation among artworks

Review of the Fine Furniture, Silver and Porcelain Auctions, 25 and 27 September 2018

"The true collector is an artist, squared. He chooses pictures and hangs them on the wall. In other words, he paints himself a collection." This quote by conceptual artist and Dadaist Marcel Duchamp presciently describes a recent trend in collecting. The history of collecting includes both the eclectic diversity of princely cabinets of curiosities as well as coin collectors, who strive to assemble complete collections. Today's art buyers often make their decisions based on their own personal criteria and acquire works with which they are ready to enter into a dialogue, which contain their own stories, and will help to advance the story of the entire collection. In this type of collecting, breaking down borders is not discouraged, but positively sought after: periods, styles and categories confront one another and ignite a wholly subjective debate. Classicism meets Bauhaus, Baroque encounters Mid-century, furniture seeks paintings, and precious metals find their counterparts in porcelain. This kind of internal osmosis has the greatest chance for success when the artworks meet each other face-to-face.



An ivory hunting horn/olifant.
Portugal, probably circa 1480.
L 40 cm.
Sold for CHF 95 000

A maiolica "ghirlanda di frutta".
A Florence, Della Robbia workshop, probably 15th/16th century
D 62 cm/41 cm/11 cm
Sold for CHF 118 000

Collectors take the objects of their desire out of the river of time, and also out of their context; at the same time there is a new context in which the artwork is allowed to develop. Although the plenitude of the cabinet of curiosities remains the inspiration, more important than the accumulation of curiosities and precious items is the authenticity of the objects and their individual idiosyncrasies. Each acquisition stands alone, yet corresponds to its neighbor. With this opportunity comes a facilitated access to others – in the words of Goethe, "Give much, and then to each one something passes. And each one leaves the house with a happy heart."


The 27 September Fine Furniture auction offered a large, superbly carved console "à la coquille" made over 300 years ago in a Parisian master workshop. This striking piece is a fine example of the Régence style and the transition from the rigid, architectonic and monumental forms typical of Louis XIV furniture to lighter, scrolling and serpentine outlines. Further developments in this direction would lead in the following decades to the Louis XV style. This console is thereby an eloquent witness to the evolution of form in French furniture from the Baroque to Rococo among the French royal court and nobility in the early years of the 18th century. Splendidly gilded like the console, an impressive silver drinking vessel in the form of an exquisitely detailed sailing ship changed hands in the Majolica, Porcelain & Silver auction on 25 September. Created a century earlier than the console, it was made by the Nuremberg goldsmith Esaias zur Linden (active from 1609 to 1632), who most likely crafted the piece for a particular client who wished to demonstrate his social rank by possessing such a precious object. Some of the most important museums dedicated to the decorative arts, such as the Hermitage and the Victoria and Albert Museum, possess drinking vessels by zur Linden, and another of his ship-form drinking vessels was in the Yves Saint Laurent collection.

A large Régence carved giltwood console "à la coquille".
From a Parisian master workshop.
Circa 1710/20
Sold for CHF 78 000



Félix Ziem.
«Fête de l'Assomption, dans le bassin».
Oil on canvas. 67 × 82 cm.
Sold for CHF 86 000.

The century of change

Review of the 19th Century Paintings Auctions in 2018

Before circa 1800, periods in Western art can be seen as a series of alternating styles. In the course of the 19th century, this evolutionary process was increasingly superseded by a pluralism of styles, in which several different artistic movements vied for the public's attention at the same time. The art contained contradictions, was fast-moving and multi-dimensional – much like the Industrial Revolution that occurred during the same period – and was often disharmonious. Art became categorized by various "isms" and styles that no longer followed one another but existed simultaneously: Classicism, Biedermeier, Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism, Historicism and Impressionism. On the threshold of the 20th century, Post-Impressionism, Symbolism, and especially Art Nouveau set forth their own artistic premises, but even these main movements left ample room for numerous sub-movements to develop.



Carl Spitzweg.
Vor der Stadt. 1875–80.
Oil on panel. 16 × 30 cm.
Sold for CHF 68 000

Eugène Louis Boudin.
"Dordrecht, bateaux sur la Meuse". 1884.
Oil on canvas. 46,5 × 65,3 cm.
Sold for CHF 118 000

Central to 19th century art, throughout all of its techniques and styles, is the treatment of light. William Turner (1755–1851) and John Constable (1776–1837), both outstanding English landscape painters, influenced the ensuing generation of artists, above all the Barbizon school, with their plein air painting techniques. The close link between technical advancements and artistic developments at this time is best illustrated by the influence of photography on the visual arts. The ground-breaking discovery of photographic principles and the invention of processes to conserve the resulting images – on paper by Henry Fox Talbot in 1834, and daguerreotypes on silvered copper plates in 1839 – opened completely new horizons for painting, such as the colour analysis works of the Divisionists, including Georges Seurat (1859–1891).


A fine example of the treatment of light in the Barbizon school is the view of Venice by French painter Felix Ziem (1821–1911), sold in September 2018. The composition, in effervescent colours, is dominated by an imposing sailing ship. Ziem creates a sunny, Mediterranean atmosphere through rapid brushstrokes and impasto. Carl Spitzweg (1808–1885) is considered one of the most important representatives of the 19th-century Munich school. The September auction featured a typical landscape by Spitzweg, created – as was often the case – in plein air. With rapid, almost ephemeral touches and in a small format, he succeeded in conveying the airy feeling that pervades the landscape. Eugene Boudin (1824–1898) was called by some of his contemporaries the "king of the skies". He was also fascinated by light and shadow, and their effect on the perception and artistic rendering of landscapes. Boudin always paid particular attention in his work to the true-to-nature depiction of sky and water, as in "Dordrecht, bateaux sur la Meuse".



ANTWERP MASTER, CIRCA 1610 – 1615
A study of the head of a mon looking upwards.
Oil on panel. 47,5 x 37,7 cm.
Sold for CHF 336 000

POST-SALE PRESS RELEASE

Old Master & 19th Century Paintings auctions at Koller Zurich, 28 September 2018.

Rediscovered Old Masters Highlight the auctions at Koller Zurich.

One of the most captivating works in the Old Master Paintings auction at Koller Zurich was also an interesting discovery: a oil study of the head of a monk, recently identified as the model for a work by Peter Paul Rubens. Representing the head of Saint Dominic in Rubens’ 1618 altarpiece “Saints Dominic and Francis Saving the World from Christ’s Anger”, today in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, the painting on panel is striking in its use of minimal brushstrokes and highlighting to create a fascinating portrait which still, after four centuries, appears distinctly modern. Itsold to a private collector, following spirited bidding, for CHF 336,000.



SIMON DE VOS
The Visitation. Circa 1639.
Öl on panel. 23 × 17,3 cm.
Sold for CHF 30 000



FOLLOWER OF HIERONYMUS BOSCH, CIRCA 1550.
The Temptation of Saint Anthony.
Oil on panel. 45 x 57 cm.
Sold for CHF 204 000

Other highlights among the Old Masters include a winter landscape by Joos de Momper and Pieter Brueghel the Elder which fetched CHF 144,000, and a mid-16th century depiction of the Temptation of Saint Anthony by a follower of Hieronymus Bosch, which sold for CHF 204,000. A print by Martin Schongauer on the same theme from circa 1469-73 doubled its estimate in the Old Master Prints auction to sell at CHF 58,000.

Among the 19thCentury works on sale, an arctic landscape by Russian painter Ivan Federovic Choultsé is particularly interesting, as it was painted from the sketches he made while on an expedition to Spitsbergen in 1907/08. Choultsé painted a dozen paintings following this expedition, some of which were used as diorama backdrops for the Alexander Koenig Natural History Museum in Bonn. This view of a glacier has now entered a private Russian collection for CHF 120,000.

The 19th Century Paintings auction was led by a still life of apples by Gustave Courbet with an impressive provenance, which sold for more than five times its estimate at CHF 138,000. A plein-air view of the Maas at Dordrecht by Eugène Boudin also exceeded its pre-sale estimate, selling at CHF 118,000.

IVAN FEDOROVIC CHOULTSÉ
Glacier in Spitsberg. 1911.
Oil on canvas. 60,5 x 90,7 cm.
Sold for CHF 120 000



 



A selection of Highlights

JOOS DE MOMPER & JAN BRUEGHEL THE ELDER
Winter landscape with figures.
Oil on panel. 45 x 68,5 cm.
Sold for CHF 144 000



GUSTAVE COURBET
Still life with apples on a plate and wine on a table.
Circa 1846–47. Oil on panel. 45,5 x 55 cm.
Sold for CHF 138 000



EUGÈNE BOUDIN
View of the Maas at Dordrecht.
Oil on canvas. 46,5 x 65,3 cm.
Sold for CHF 118 000



 

MARTIN SCHONGAUER
Saint Anthony tormented by demons.

Circa 1469–73. Copper engraving.
Sold for CHF 58 000



HUNTING HORN / OLIPHANT
Portugal, probably circa 1480.
Ivory. L 40 cm.
Sold for CHF 96 000



FELIX ZIEM
Fête de l'Assomption, dans le bassin.
Oil on canvas. 67 x 82 cm.
Sold for CHF 87 000



 

MASTER OF THE MADONNA LAZZARONI
Madonna dell'Umiltà. Circa 1375.
Tempera and gold ground on panel. 90,5 x 50,5 cm.
Sold for CHF 96 000



A LOUIS XV LACQUER "SECRETAIRE A ABATTANT"
With signature L. BOUDIN.
Paris, circa 1760/65. 104 x 40 x 144 cm.
Sold for CHF 78 000



A SILVER-GILT NEF
Nuremberg, early 17th century.
Maker's mark Esaias zur Linden. Height circa 44 cm.
Sold for CHF 144 000



 




KOLLERview is published four times annually.

Next issue: November 2018

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Dear Readers,

Did you know that pure yellow diamonds are known as “canary diamonds”? Or that Andy Warhol collected wind-up toys? And did you know that an altarpiece has stood in an important Antwerp church for almost four hundred years, whose authorship can only now be fully clarified following the rediscovery of a small oil study?

I am pleased to present the first issue of our new publication, KOLLERview, which will be published four times annually, before each auction series in March, June, September and December. In each issue we will not only present highlights from our upcoming auctions, but also review our recent past auctions and inform you of forthcoming consignment deadlines, preview dates and further activities and news about our company.

This issue’s cover depicts a life study of a monk’s head that was the model for the head of Saint Dominic in Peter Paul Rubens’ 1618 altarpiece Saints Dominic and Francis Saving the World from Christ’s Anger, today in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Lyon, France. This is a good example of the “modernity” that high-quality artworks of the past still possess today.

As always, the focus of our autumn auctions is on fine and decorative arts from past centuries. Old Master paintings from the 14th to 19th centuries, fine furniture, silver and porcelain from the Renaissance to the revival styles, and books and manuscripts are on exhibit in our galleries from 19 – 23 September 2018. Each auction series throughout the year also features a fine selection of jewellery.

In the second section of KOLLERview, we take a look at our June 2018 sales , which featured fine examples of Asian Art and a large selection of modern and c ontemporary European and American art. We are currently accepting consignments for our sales in November and December 2018 and would be happy to arrange a no-obligations appointment to provide an estimate of works you may wish to offer in view of these auctions.

We hope you enjoy reading this issue. If you have questions about any of the items featured in this publication, please don’t hesitate to contact our staff of specialists.

Cyril Koller


Willem Benson.
The Virgin and Child.
Oil on panel. 66 × 49,4 cm.
Estimate: CHF 200 000 / 300 000>

Discoveries with Roots in Antwerp

Preview of the Old Master and 19th Century Paintings auction

on 28 September 2018

Among the approximately 100 Old Master works offered at the 28 September auction is an outstanding Madonna and Child by Flemish artist Willem Benson (1521 – 1574) (ill. 6). This intimate image of high artistic quality is a valuable addition to the scant body of known works by Benson. Created presumably after 1555 in Bruges, this oil painting on oak panel is indebted to the tradition of Flemish artists such as Gerard David.



Simon de Vos.
The Visitation. Circa 1639.
Oil on panel. 23 × 17.3 cm.
Estimate: CHF 10 000 / 15 000



Hans Vredeman de Vries.
A Gothic church interior. 1594.
Oil on panel. 24.5 × 39.7 cm.
Estimate: CHF 80 000 / 120 000

An attractive early work by the Dutch marine and landscape painter Simon de Vlieger (1601 – 1653), a seascape tondo from circa 1626/27 (ill. 4), has recently been discovered in a Swiss private collection. The pictorial form and language point to the influence of de Vlieger’s teacher Jan Porcellis, as well as Hendrick van Anthonissen and Hans Goderis. Nothing in the tondo is arbitrary – in fact, the artist has arranged his composition with a pronounced sense of order in a fine example of classic marine painting.

Also rediscovered in a Swiss private collection is a panel depicting The Visitation (ill. 2). A noteworthy addition to the oeuvre of the Antwerp painter Simon de Vos (1603 – 1676), the composition is identical to that of an altarpiece in St James’ Church in Antwerp, which until now had been considered to be a work by Victor Wolfvoet. The Antwerp altarpiece was produced circa 1639 for the private chapel of the family of the Portuguese consul Franco Lopez Franco. Recent art historical research has identified the painting presented here as a study by Simon de Vos for the altarpiece itself. Simon de Vos was active as a painter and art collector, and specialised early on in cabinet paintings and genre scenes in the style of the Utrecht Caravaggisti. From circa 1640 onwards he increasingly painted large-format religious, allegorical or historical scenes in the style of Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck. One of de Vos’ pupils was Jan van Kessel the Elder.

From the 16th to the 18th centuries, St James’ Church was the most important parish church in Antwerp and also formed a pantheon of Dutch and Flemish painters. Famous and affluent figures are buried there in custom-built chapels, including Peter Paul Rubens and his wife Helena Fourment, the artists Jan and Hendrick van Balen, as well as Jan Boeckhorst and Cornelis Schut. Hans Vredeman de Vries (1527 – 1609) began his career as an architect before turning to painting. The depiction of a church interior offered here (ill. 1) is not only the first known by the artist, but also one of the oldest depictions of this type in the history of art, and comes from a German private collection. The auction also presents a high-quality example of Utrecht Caravaggism by Johannes Moreelse (ca. 1603 – 1634). With its typical Caravaggesque effects of light and shadow combined with highly realistic rendering of figures, Moreelse’s large-format oil painting depicts an alchemist engaged in an experiment (ill. 3). Also from the 17th century is a rediscovered work by Meindert Hobbema (1638 – 1709). The painting was part of the prestigious collection of the Earl of Lonsdale before entering a Swiss private collection and has not been presented on the art market since the 1960s.

Among the 19th century works is a compelling Arctic landscape by Russian artist Ivan Fedorovich Choultsé (1874 – 1939) that was created based on preliminary studies made during an expedition he took to Spitsbergen in 1907/08. Additional highlights include: a large painting of Venice in splendid colours by Felix Ziem (1821 – 1911), a view of the Maas at Dordrecht painted in 1884 by Eugène Boudin (1824 – 1898), and three attractive small landscapes by Carl Spitzweg (1808 – 1885), exemplifying this period’s exploration of plein air painting.

Simon de Vlieger.
Marine with sailing ships near the coast.
Oil on panel. Diamet er 40 cm.
Estimate: CHF 50 000 / 70 000


Johannes Moreelse.
An Alchemist.
Oil on canvas. 90.5 × 107.5 cm.
Estimate: CHF 200 000 / 300 000




A Louis XVI double globe clock by Philipp Mathhäus
Hahn, the glazed case possibly by Nikolas Friedrich von
Thouret, Echterdinge. Circa 1785. 39,5 × 20 × 40,5 cm.
Estimate: CHF 250 000 / 450 000

A Certain Fascination with the Universe

Preview of the Fine Furniture auction on 27 September 2018

Among the more than 300 lots of furniture, clocks, sculpture and decorative arts in the Fine Furniture auction on 27 September is an elegant and spectacular double-globe clock created by Philipp Matthäus Hahn (1739 – 1790) in Echterdingen, Germany in the second half of the 18th century (ill. 2). A brilliant example of the fascination with complicated mechanisms exhibited by many monarchs of the time, including the French king Louis XVI, the clock can be seen as an expression of Enlightenment themes. The desire to understand the workings of the entire universe is illustrated by the presence of both a terrestrial and a celestial globe. It also represents the need to advance knowledge, research and learning ever further; it is significant that the movement of this double clock, rather than hidden inside a clock case, is visible behind glass, allowing all a view into its intricate workings. The ebonised vitrine for this chronometer, which has been in a private collection for decades, is attributable to Nikolaus Friedrich von Thouret (1767 – 1845).



A Louis XIV Boulle marquetry
armoire by Nicolas Sageot.
Paris circa 1715 / 25. 150 × 55 × 257 cm.
Estimate: CHF 250 000 / 450 000

A pair of Louis XVI ormolu-mounted
porcelain vases.
The porcelain China, Kangxi circa 1700,
the bronze mounts Paris, circa 1765 / 75. H 40.5 cm
Estimate: CHF 100 000 / 200 0000

Another outstanding piece is an important bibliothèque en armoire veneered with tortoiseshell and brass Boulle marquetry, created during the first quarter of the 18th century (ill. 3). Its maker, the master craftsman Nicolas Sageot (1666 – 1731), counted among his clients Parisian collectors, members of the French aristocracy, Maximilian II, elector of Bavaria, as well as the Swedish royal court. Although the forms and dimensions of Sageot’s cabinets and bookcases varied widely, his elaborate marquetry remained nearly identical from one work to another. This allows for a firm attribution of even unsigned pieces – such as the one offered here – to Sageot’s oeuvre. Sageot employed a large variety of ormolu mounts according to the individual desires of his clientele. The present piece displays mounts from the workshop of renowned cabinetmaker André-Charles Boulle (1642 – 1732) alongside laterexamples from the 18th and 19th centuries. With the exception of the very few pieces which remain in private hands, the majority of Sageot’s works are found in important museums such as the Musée National du Château de Versailles, the Musée du Petit Palais in Paris, the Bayerischen Nationalmuseum in Munich, and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

A pair of Chinese porcelain vases and covers from circa 1700 with Parisian ormolu mounts from 1760 / 65 (ill. 1) likewise boasts an important provenance: they were formerly in the remarkable collection of the French-Iranian connoisseur Djahanguir Riahi.

Another highlight is a lacquer fall-front secretary by Léonard Boudin (1735 – 1807), executed in Paris during the period of 1760 / 65. An extraordinary piece of furniture, it is veneered overall with Coromandel lacquer panels. This type of lacquer has its roots in the late Ming Dynasty, and combines the arts of lacquer and carving in a technique that involves the painstaking application of coat upon coat of lacquer in various colours, followed by selective carving through the layers to create a polychrome, multi-dimensional scene – in this case, figures in an idealised landscape with gardens and pagodas.

LACQUERED SECRETAIRE "A ABATTANT".
Louis XV, with signature by L. BOUDIN.
Guild stamp Paris ca. 1760/65.
Estimate: CHF 50 000 / 70 000



Plenarium. Augsburg, Anton Sorg.
1480.
Estimate: CHF 22 000 / 35 000

Schongauer, a Model for an Entire Generation of Artists

Preview of the auctions of Books & Autographs and Old Master Prints on 24 and 28 September 2018

The Augsburg printmaker Anton Sorg (circa 1460 – 1530) was one of the most productive members of his guild during the last quarter of the 15th century. His editions of books illustrated with woodcuts were particularly valuable even at the time they were produced, and have become exceptionally rare collectors’ pieces over the centuries. The plenarium presented here – published between 1478 and 1483 (ill. 2) – is a collection of Bible passages which were designated as readings for church services throughout the ecclesiastical year. The plenarium is the precursor of the later postil, in which Biblical texts and sermons were published. Among the works on offer on 24 September is an early example of a devotional book in the vernacular, of which only a handful of complete copies can be found in public libraries.



Martin Schongauer. Saint Anthony tormented by demons. Circa 1469 – 73. Copperplate engraving. 31,4 × 23,8 cm. Estimate: CHF 25 000 / 35 0000



A highlight of the auction of Old Master Prints on 28 September is the copperplate engraving Saint Anthony Tormented by Demons produced by Martin Schongauer circa 1470 (ill. 1). This famous engraving shows the saint serenely gazing at the viewer while wild demons tear at his limbs, clothes and hair, and strike at him with cudgels. Schongauer has depicted these imaginary beings most convincingly, the naturalistic rendering of their scales and fur indicating direct observation of animals. With images such as these, Schongauer (circa 1445 / 50 – 1491), called the hübsche Martin (handsome Martin), produced some of the most fanciful and simultaneously most grotesque works in the history of printing. The drama found in Schongauer’s images was innovative for the art of that period, and although this is one of the earliest of the artist’s 116 prints known today, it became one of his most influential works. Albrecht Dürer and Lucas Cranach the Elder made direct reference to Schongauer in their graphic works, and Giorgio Vasari recounted the story of Michelangelo, who at the age of thirteen produced a painting based on this extraordinary motif. Michelangelo’s oil on panel was rediscovered several years ago and is now in the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.



A Böttger stoneware teapot.
Circa 1710. H 10,5 cm.
Estimate: CHF 12 000 / 18 000

Centuries Old yet Fresh to the Market

Preview of the Porcelain and Silver auction on 25 September 2018

The Böttger teapot offered in the 25 September auction is among the earliest Meissen pieces that one can acquire (ill. 3). This stoneware example – which dates to 1710, the year the Meissen factory was founded – also possesses a stellar provenance. Formerly in the prestigious Ludwig von Darmstaedter collection in Berlin, it was acquired at the important Munich auction house of Hugo Helbing in 1930 by a private Basel collector, in whose family it has remained until now. In an early inventory from 1711 of the famous Saxon porcelain factory, this delicate model was described as an 8bassiger Thee-Krügel mit Adler-Schnäutzgen. Comparable teapots can be found in many of the world’s most important museums.



A Neoclassical Russian partial service, patinated and gilt copper.
Ural, Demidoff Copper Manufactory.
Circa 1770.
Estimate: CHF 10 000 / 15 000

The auction will also present a set of tea caddies with tray that were produced in 1770 by the Demidoff copper factory in the Russian Ural – an identical model to a table service which was sold in the legendary Yves Saint Laurent auction in Paris in 2009. Demidoff copper held a well-established reputation for exceptional purity. These elegant collectors’ pieces with gilt and patinated copper surfaces exhibit a level of workmanship that is rarely found (ill. 1). A Maiolica plate likewise presents a unique type of decoration (ill. 2). Mannerist figures executed in a restrained palette occupy the entire pictorial space of this 44 cm plate, covering the centre as well as the rim, depicting the biblical scene known as La strage degli innocenti (the Massacre of the Innocents). This attractive piece was made approximately 450 years ago in central Italy and has been featured in various publications.

A very rare Italian Renaissance Maiolica plate
“La Strage degli Innocenti”.
Castelli d’Abruzzo, probably the workshop of Orazio Pompei,
circa 1561 – 1565. D 44 cm.
Estimate: CHF 60 000 / 80 000



A pair of fancy intense yellow diamonds. Radiant cut.
3.04 carats and 3.07 carats, IF.
Estimate: CHF 80 000 / 120 000

Rarities in Canary Yellow

Preview of the Jewellery auction on 25 September 2018

Treasures by Buccellati, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Bulgari, David Morris and others are featured in the Jewellery auction on 25 September. Among the items on offer, a fine pair of yellow diamonds is particularly striking (ill. 1). Decisive factors in the value of a diamond, alongside the purity of the stone, are its weight, colour and cut. Colourless diamonds with a high degree of purity are particularly rare. However, non-standard and intensely coloured diamonds – known as Fancy Diamonds, very rare gemstones outside the familiar colour spectrum – are also sought after and often very valuable, for example those in saturated pink, blue, red, green or yellow.



A pearl, sapphire and diamond brooch, circa 1900.
Estimate: CHF 5 000 / 8 000

Yellow, the second most common fancy colour for diamonds, is caused by the inclusion of nitrogen within the lattice of carbon crystals. Yellow diamonds come in a broad range of colour density, from fancy light to fancy and fancy dark to fancy deep. The most intense and strongest tones are graded fancy intense or fancy vivid and are sometimes termed “canary”. Some of the most famous Fancy Diamonds are yellow, such as the Kahn Canary, the Cora Sun Drop and the Canary worn by Audrey Hepburn in the promotional photos for Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Both diamonds offered here at auction are graded fancy intense yellow, weigh 3 carats each, and are an almost perfect pair, which is reflected in their estimate. Further highlights of the auction are a ring with a fine-quality emerald-cut diamond weighing 6.95 carats; a collectable minaudière by Buccellati set with diamonds, a pair of rare sapphire and diamond earclips by Harry Winston in the form of starfish, and a modern bracelet set with yellow diamonds. Upon purchasing a piece of jewellery or a precious stone at Koller, you will receive a comprehensive guarantee as outlined in our Auction Conditions with regard to quality, size, colour and material. Our jewellery specialists – qualified gemmologists – examine and evaluate each individual item. When necessary, the items at auction are checked by internationally recognised gemstone and diamond testing laboratories, independent experts, jewellery archives, or the Swiss Precious Metal Control.

SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND EARCLIPS, BY HARRY WINSTON.
Platinum, 10% Iridium, 35g.
Estimate: CHF 10 000 / 15 000






Karin Kneffel. Untitled. 2005.
Oil on canvas. 120 x 190 cm.
Sold for: CHF 105 000

From Kirchner to Warhol

Review of the Modern & Contemporary Art auctions on 29 and 30 June 2018

Unwavering interest continues for works of Modern and Contemporary German art. Twice a year Koller offers a broad range of German art – from Liebermann and Corinth to Kirchner, as well as artists active from the mid-20th century to the present. Contemporary art was well represented in the 30 June auction with works by Katharina Grosse (b. 1961) and Karin Kneffel (b. 1957). As an artist who mostly produces vast installations, pictures by Grosse rarely appear on the market. Kneffel’s untitled work from 2005 is a typical example of her slow and intensively elaborated artworks (ill. 1). Artists of an earlier generation whose works brought strong prices in the 29 June auction of Modern Art include Imi Knoebel, Georg Baselitz and Franz Gertsch. The Swiss painter and art theorist Johannes Itten is particularly known in Germany for his close relationship with the Weimar Bauhaus, and his works are sought after by collectors.



Tony Cragg.
Red Square. 2007.
Bronze, coloured
70 × 80 × 66 cm.
Sold for: CHF 140 000


Keith Haring
Pop Shop I-IV. 1988.
Lot of 4 colour screenprints. 183 / 200.
Varying image sizes on wove paper. 30.5 × 38 cm.
Sold for: CHF 50 000


John Chamberlain
Kiss #14. 1979.
Painted steel. 68,5 x 59,5 x 61 cm.
Sold for: CHF 526 000


IMPORTANT SCULPTURE
The life-size bust illustrated here (ill. 3) is a detail of the full-figure sculpture Emporsteigender Jüngling (Rising Youth) produced in 1913, a key work by Wilhelm Lehmbruck (1881 – 1919). The sculpture in cast stone with a reddish finish captivates through its level of detail, which only this and two other known casts possess. It was originally acquired directly from the artist by a collector in Duisburg, in whose family it remained until now. Also featured were two exceptional works by Die Brücke artist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880 – 1938), a contemporary of Lehmbruck. Two exceptional sculptural works by this artist came to auction: a bronze panel cast from a double-sided wooden relief, Tanz zwischen den Frauen / Alpaufzug auf die Staffelalp (Dance between the women / Cattle drive to the Staffelalp), from 1919 and a carved wooden fruit bowl, Obstschale II, from circa 1910 (ill. 7). Sculptural works have a central role in Kirchner’s creative production. Schooled in the technique of woodcut printmaking, the artist soon progressed towards three-dimensional work and created objects of everyday use, in addition to his own picture frames. These highly personal objects rarely appear on the market and consequently achieve high prices.

ICONIC POP ART
Works by Pop Art artists such as Warhol, Lichtenstein and Haring are very popular today and clearly a large audience is able to relate to their pictorial worlds of everyday objects, contemporary iconic figures and consumer brands from the post-war decades. The motifs themselves are easily recognisable, transforming key works of Pop Art into icons within ust a few decades. With his “Readymades”, Marcel Duchamp is seen as one of the early precursors of this movement. Towards the end of the 1950s, and especially in the subsequent decade, Pop Art engaged in the theme of the trivial as a reaction to and a conscious shift away from the tendencies of intellectual Abstract Art. In the early 1980s, Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987) began his “Toy Series” at the suggestion of the Swiss gallery owner Bruno Bischofberger. Warhol, who had also made his mark as a successful commercial artist, collected children’s toys in their original packaging. They served as models for many motifs in this group of works, such as the small-format Clockwork Panda Drummer from 1983 (ill. 6). Keith Haring (1958 – 1990) began his career as a street artist, became politically active, and infused his work with humour more than any other Pop artist. Alongside his early tags on the sides of buildings and his Subway Drawings, Haring’s “Pop Shop” became famous in New York’s trendy SoHo district. In this forerunner to today’s pop-up shops, the artist sold his original works and multiples on the street from 1985 onwards. Typical of Haring, who was a close friend of Warhol, were drawings with continuous lines, as can be seen in the figures in his colour screenprints (ill. 4). Kiss #14, 1979, a prototypical work by American artist John Chamberlain (1927 – 2011), points to the Abstract Expressionist’s interest in the transformation of everyday objects – in this case, two oil drums which he remodelled and painted, thereby creating a unique piece (ill. 5). British sculptor Tony Cragg’s (b. 1949) brick-red metal sculpture Red Square, 2007, is from his Early Forms series (ill. 2). The recently revived interest in the work of Hungarian-French Op Artist Victor Vasarely (1906 – 1997) was apparent in a hammer price which far exceeded the estimate for his 1968 / 75 work Kezdi-Domb, sold by a Swiss private collection.

Wilhelm Lehmbruck. Büste des Emporsteigenden Jünglings (Bust of the Rising Youth).
1913. Caststone, lifetime cast. H 53,3 cm.
Sold for: CHF 320 000

Andy Warhol
Clockwork Panda Drummer. 1983.
Synthetic polymer and screenprint on canvas.
Sold for: CHF 192 000






MARTIN SCHONGAUER
La Tentation de Saint Antoine (détail). Vers 1469-73.
Gravure sur cuivre. 31,4 x 23,8 cm.
Estimation : CHF 25 000 / 35 000
En vente le 28 septembre 2018

DÉMONS ET ANGES

La tentation dans l'art

Les êtres humains sont-ils fondamentalement mauvais et ne font le bien que sous la pression de la société, ou sommes-nous de bonnes personnes à l’origine, commettant occasionnellement de mauvaises actions par faiblesse et tentation? Ce débat dure depuis des milliers d’années et n’est pas prêt de se terminer. Cependant il existe un point sur lequel la plupart des gens s’accorde: même si nous essayons d’être bons, la tentation prend parfois le dessus, et même les figures saintes ont de la difficulté à résister.

Les artistes ont traité cette thématique séduisante au fil des siècles et la Tentation de Saint Antoine reste probablement leur sujet favori. Ascète du III et IVe siècle, Antoine s’est retiré en tant qu’ermite dans le désert égyptien pendant de nombreuses années. La légende raconte que durant cette période, toutes sortes de démons lui ont rendu visite et l'ont tenté assidument par le biais de l’oisiveté, la paresse et les visions de femmes, le battant même parfois cruellement et sans raison.

Dans la gravure de Martin Schongauer datant du milieu du XVe siècle, Saint Antoine est entouré de créatures terrifiantes issues des pires cauchemars de l’artiste. L’imagerie puissante et la composition harmonieuse de cette estampe en ont fait l’une des œuvres les plus célèbres de Schongauer.

SUIVEUR DE HIERONYMOUS BOSCH, vers 1550
Paysage nocturne avec la Tentation de Saint Antoine (détail).
Huile sur panneau. 45 x 57 cm.
Estimation : CHF 180 000 / 250 000
En vente le 28 septembre 2018


Près d’un siècle plus tard, un artiste flamand a illustré le même thème, inspiré par le légendaire Hieronymous Bosch et ses scènes de l’Enfer. Dans une atmosphère obscure, éclairée uniquement par des flammes déchaînées, Saint Antoine tente de repousser par la prière les innombrables démons qui semblent immuablement installés autour de lui. L'artiste a laissé libre cours à ses fantasmes les plus sombres et les plus effrayants, dans un processus cathartique similaire à celui que les ascètes s'efforçaient d’établir eux-mêmes par leur isolement et leur jeûne prolongés.

PAIRE DE GIRANDOLES "À L'AMOUR ET LE BOUQUETIN".
Louis XVI, par François Rémond.
Paris vers 1765/70. H 61,5 cm.
Estimation : CHF 38 000 / 58 000
En vente le 27 septembre 2018

François Rémond, maître-artisan d'une paire de chandeliers Louis XVI en bronze doré, présentés dans la vente aux enchères de mobilier de prestige, a choisi une manière plus légère pour illustrer ce thème de la Tentation. Deux chérubins, représentant l’Amour, sont assis sur le dos de deux bouquetins. Ces animaux sont traditionnellement le symbole des impulsions sexuelles débridées et apparaissent souvent dans les Bacchanales. La position docile des bouquetins semble suggérer que même le Casanova le plus rétif peut être apprivoisé et soumis au pouvoir de l'amour.




 


COLLECTION DE CLAIRONS ET CORS DE CHASSE

L'ORDRE DE SAINT HUBERT DU COMTE DE L'EMPIRE VON SPORCK
Vers 1700. Or 750 (médaille) et or 999 ainsi que pierres précieuses.
Suspendus de deux chaînes sont un cor de chasse et un médaillon oval, entouré d'une rangée de petites pierres couleur émeraude et deux diamants.
L 8,5; H 9,5 cm.

Estimation : CHF 15 000 / 25 000.
Vente à Zurich le 27 septembre 2018

Depuis la nuit des temps, nos ancêtres utilisaient des cornes d'appels pour communiquer pendant la chasse. Ces simples outils de communication sonore se développèrent progressivement en instruments de musique complexes. Cette mutation instrumentale permit de passer d’une simple musique d’écurie à une musique de salon et d’orchestre. Werner Flachs, chimiste et chasseur passionné, né en 1930, s'est consacré sa vie durant à décrire et documenter ce développement dans l’histoire. Des années de recherches, de voyages et de visites muséales ont non seulement abouti à la publication du livre "Das Jagdhorn, Seine Geschichte von der Steinzeit bis zur Gegenwart" (le cor de chasse, son histoire de l'Âge de pierre jusqu'à nos jours), qui a reçu le prix littéraire du Conseil International de la Chasse en 1995, mais a également abouti à réunir une merveilleuse collection d'instruments historiques. Cette collection offre un regard exclusif sur ces témoins de l’histoire comme l’étaient les anciennes flûtes osseuses préhistoriques et les olifants médiévaux d’ivoire et de corne, en passant par des pièces témoignant du développement du cor comme instrument de chasse et comme instrument d’orchestre, avec pour finir des cors baroques et modernes de laiton et de cuivre. Pour les modèles importants qui ne pouvaient être historiquement localisés, le collectionneur avait fait faire des répliques par des luthiers qualifiés, qui sont des pièces uniques à part entière.

La collection a été exposée au Jagdmuseum Schloss Landshut à Utzensdorf de 1994 à 2017.

Nous aimerions remercier M. Flachs et sa femme pour la confiance qu’ils nous témoignent et sommes heureux de pouvoir vous présenter, dans notre prochain catalogue de ventes, ce passionnant « morceau d’histoire ». Nous souhaitons d'ores et déjà à tous les chasseurs, collectionneurs et joueurs de cor une chasse couronnée de succès lors de la vente aux enchères!



 


COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE D’APRÈS-VENTES
L’ART DES XXème / XXIème SIÈCLES CHEZ KOLLER,

VENTES AUX ENCHÈRES DES 29-30 JUIN 2018

– VIF INTÉRÊT POUR LES OEUVRES D’ART MODERNE ET D’ART CONTEMPORAIN PAR VAN DONGEN, KIRCHNER & CRAGG

– SUCCÈS AVÉRÉ POUR LE POP ART DE CHAMBERLAIN, HARING & WARHOL

– « L’ÉGYPTIENNE » DE KEES VAN DONGEN, PROVENANT D’UNE COLLECTION PRIVÉE SUISSE, ADJUGÉ À CHF 1,7 MIOLLION

Les ventes aux enchères de la maison Koller des 29 et 30 juin dernier ont été marquées par une grande effervescence lors de la mise en vente des oeuvres d’art moderne et d’art contemporain – qui se sont souvent vendues à des prix dépassant de loin leurs estimations. Les deux jours d’enchères se sont clos sur un total de vente qui laisse loin derrière lui les estimations de prévente.

Kees Van Dongen
L’Egyptienne. 1910-11.
Huile sur toile.
100 x 73 cm.
Vendu pour CHF 1.7 Mio.

Une activité inusitée régnait dans la salle des ventes durant les enchères d’art moderne et d’art contemporain qui ont eu lieu les 29 et 30 juin dernier chez Koller, due aux opérateurs téléphoniques et aux offres d’Internet qui crépitaient de manière ininterrompue. Le tableau fauve de Kees van Dongen, “Rouge et Jaune (l’Égyptienne)” datant de 1910-11, a été adjugé pour CHF 1,7 million à un collectionneur privé européen. Un autre tableau de Kees van Dongen, provenant de la même collection privée suisse, « Portrait de femme », datant de 1913, a changé de mains pour CHF 240 500 ; il faisait partie d’une compilation d’oeuvres des années 1920 qui incluait d’autres oeuvres importantes de cette époque, telles celles de Vlaminck (lot 3231, vendu pour CHF 204 500) et de Gen Paul.

Les oeuvres sculptées ont été particulièrement recherchées lors des ventes aux enchères du mois de juin : le « Bust of a Rising Youth » de l’artiste allemand Wilhelm Lehmbruck s’est envolé pour la somme de CHF 324 500, à savoir plus du double de son estimation. Un rare bol en bois gravé par l’artiste Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, « Obstschale II » (Coupe à fruits II) a atteint la somme de CHF 186 500 et une étonnante sculpture en métal peint de Tony Cragg faisant partie de la série «Early Forms » (Formes premières), intitulée « Red Square » (Carré Rouge) et datant de 2007, s’est vendue pour la somme de CHF 144 500.

Les enchères émanant de collectionneurs résidant aux Etats-Unis, en Allemagne et en Asie pour « Kiss #14 » (Baiser #14) – une composition de métal compressé de John Chamberlain – ont donné lieu à une joute d’enchères particulièrement féroce et la sculpture a fini par être vendue pour plus du double de son estimation, soit à CHF 526 500. D’autres oeuvres de Pop Art se sont également bien comportées lors de la vente aux enchères d’art d’après-guerre et d’art contemporain, telles que le « Clockwork Panda Drummer » de Andy Warhol, un polymère synthétique et sérigraphie sur toile de petit format estimé à CHF 80 000 / 140 000, qui a réalisé la somme impressionnante de CHF 192 500. Parmi les huit sérigraphies en couleur de Keith Haring mises en vente lors de ces enchères, pas moins de cinq d’entre elles ont doublé leur estimation et les autres ne furent pas loin de réaliser le même exploit. « Growing », datant de 1988, par exemple, s’est vendu pour CHF 58 100 contre une estimation préalable de CHF 25 000 / 35 000.

Une gravure sur bois de grande dimension de l’artiste Suisse Franz Gertsch, « Dominique », datant de 1988, a atteint la somme de CHF 168 500. « Lord of the Rings I », un paysage fantastique d’un autre artiste suisse, H. R. Giger – le créateur de la créature du film « Alien » – a plus que doublé son estimation pour atteindre la somme de CHF 144 500. Quant aux oeuvres de Victor Vasarely, elles continuent de connaître un regain de faveur, comme c’est le cas de « Kezdi-Domb », une oeuvre de 1968/75 provenant d’une collection privée suisse, qui a changé de mains pour une somme bien supérieure à son estimation la plus haute, à savoir pour CHF 198 500.

Les artistes allemands contemporains ont fait une apparition très remarquée lors des enchères d’art d’après-guerre, telle que Karin Kneffel qui vit à Dusseldorf et dont une oeuvre sans titre datant de 2005 fut adjugée pour plus du double de son estimation, soit à CHF 106 100, ce qui fait de cette enchère l’une des sommes les plus élevées jamais réalisées pour une oeuvre de cette série ; mentionnons également une composition de l’artiste berlinoise Katharina Grosse « 1020S » datant de 2006, qui s’est vendue à CHF 58 100 contre une estimation préalable de CHF 15 000 / 25 000, ce qui représente un résultat remarquable pour une oeuvre de cette dimension par cette artiste.

 



D’AUTRES LOTS PHARE DES VENTES DE JUIN

KEES VAN DONGEN

Portrait de femme. Vers 1913.

Huile sur toile. 65 x 55 cm.

Vendu pour CHF 240 500

 


WILHELM LEHMBRUCK

Buste de jeune homme ascendant. 1913.

Pierre moulée, réalisée du vivant de l'artiste.

Vendu pour CHF 324 500

 


ERNST LUDWIG KIRCHNER

Obstschale II. Vers 1910.

Bois peint en rouge.

Vendu pour CHF 186 500

 

 

VICTOR VASARELY

Kezdi-Domb. 1968/75.

Acrylique sur toile. 160 x 160 cm.

Vendu pour CHF 198 500

 

TONY CRAGG

Red Square. 2007.

Bronze coloré.. 70 x 80 x 66cm.

Vendu pour CHF 144 500

 

MAURICE DE VLAMINCK

LL’Allée. Vers 1912-14.

Huile sur toile. 66 x 81 cm.

Vendu pour CHF 204 500

 



FRANZ GERTSCH

Dominique. 1988. FGravure sur bois en couleurs. 7/18.

Représentation 234 x 181 cm Sur japon de Heizoburo 275 x 219 cm.

Vendu pour CHF 168 500

 

H. R. GIGER

Lord of the rings I. 1975.

Acrylique sur papier sur bois. 100 x 70 cm.

Vondu pour CHF 144 500

 

ANDY WARHOL

Clockwork Panda Drummer. 1983.

Polymère synthétique et sérigraphie sur toile. 35.5 x 27.7

Vendu pour CHF 192 500

 



KEITH HARING

Growing. 1988.

Sérigraphies en couleur. AP 2/15.

Vendu pour CHF 58 100

 

KATHARINA GROSSE

1020S. 2006.

Acrylique sur toile. 142 x 82 cm.

Vendu pour CHF 58 100

 

JOHN CHAMBERLAIN

Kiss #18. 1979.

Métal peint. 68.5 x 59.5 x 61 cm.

Vendu pour CHF 526 500

 


Catalogues avec résultats, vente de juin 2018

 

Calendrier des ventes, 2018

 

Vendre chez Koller

 



 



VELÁZQUEZ REVISITÉ
Un hommage de Richard Hamilton à Picasso ... et à Velázquez

Pour la voir en grand, veuillez cliquer sur l'image.

Dans cette œuvre, Richard Hamilton prend comme point de départ le célèbre tableau « Las Meninas » de Diego Velázquez et substitue certains éléments par des compositions graphiques issues du travail de Pablo Picasso. Chaque image représente une période stylistique dans l’œuvre du maître catalan. Cette estampe fut créée en 1973 pour un portfolio illustré par divers artistes intitulé « Hommage à Picasso ». Toutefois, comme Hamilton avouait en souriant lors d'un interview au Prado en 2010, « L'hommage, je crois, penche légèrement en faveur de Velázquez. »

Dans l'image à gauche, le style graphique de certaines figures est décrit, ainsi que leur relation au tableau d'origine de Velázquez (cliquez sur l'image pour la voir en grand).

 

Diego Velázquez, Las Meninas. 1656. Museo del Prado, Madrid.
Pour la voir en grand, veuillez cliquer sur l'image.

« J'ai vu Las Meninas au Prado pour la première fois en 1972 – sa réputation en tant qu'un des meilleurs tableaux qui existent est bien fondée, » dit Hamilton. « La tentation de reformuler Velázquez à travers les styles de Picasso m'a été irrésistible ... Las Meninas a fourni une opportunité de montrer la totalité des 'périodes' de Picasso en une planche – de la période ‘rose’ au ‘cubisme analytique’, du ‘primitif’ au  ‘néoclassique’, etc. La scène des Meninas peut supporter une grande quantité d'actions et ses ambiguïtés mystérieuses (il semble y avoir une infinité de reflets transversaux dans l'espace du tableau), ont permis une interaction narrative comprenant des substitutions aussi bien de personnalités que de styles. »

 

RICHARD HAMILTON
(1922 Londres 2011)
Picasso's Meninas. 1973.
Aquatinte. EA 4/5, en dehors de l'édition de 90. Image 57 x 49 cm sur vélin de Rives 75,5 x 57 cm.

En vente à Zurich le 30 juin 2018
Estimation CHF 14 000 / 18 000



 

EXPOSITION À PARIS
Koller Ventes aux Enchères vous invite à découvrir l'exposition des highlights de ses prochaines ventes d'art moderne et contemporain

Kees van Dongen • Serge Poliakoff • Georges Braque • Pierre Bonnard • Mark Tobey • Maurice Utrillo • Niki de Saint Phalle • Maurice de Vlaminck • Richard Hamilton • Victor Vasarély • Keith Haring • Wilhelm Lehmbruck

17/18 mai   9:30 – 18:00
19 mai        11:00 – 18:00
21 mai        11:00 – 18:00


Hôtel Dassault, Artcurial
7 Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées
75008 Paris

Les œuvres seront vendues aux enchères à Zurich les 29 et 30 juin 2018



 

 

 

 




VENTES AUX ENCHÈRES DU 19 AU 23 MARS 2018


Enchères débridées pour des Maîtres anciens chez Koller

CARSTIAN LUYCKX
(1623 Anvers 1677)
Memento Mori nature morte. Huile sur toile. 73,5 x 92,5 cm.
Vendu pour CHF 538 000

Les enchères semblaient parfois ne pas connaître de limite lors de la vente aux enchères de Maîtres anciens chez Koller Zurich le 23 mars dernier. De nombreuses oeuvres ont vu leurs estimations tripler, voire décupler, démontrant une fois de plus que la demande pour des oeuvres anciennes de qualité est actuellement très soutenue. Le lot phare était un memento mori du XVIIème siècle de l’artiste flamand Carstian Luyckx, plein d’imagerie symbolique servant de commentaire sur la politique de guerre de son temps. Partant d’une estimation de CHF 30’000 – 40’000, les enchères se sont envolées à CHF 538’000, le deuxième prix le plus haut pour une oeuvre de Luyckx en vente publique. Le tableau, récemment redécouvert dans une collection privée, était une très importante addition à l’oeuvre de l’artiste.

 

ANTOINE VAN DYCK
(Anvers 1599-1641 Londres)
Portrait d'une noble dame italienne.
Huile sur toile. 48 x 37,7 cm.
Vendu pour CHF 264 500

Un autre tableau qui a dépassé les attentes était le portrait d’une noble dame italienne d’Antoine van Dyck. Son état de conservation moins que parfait a découragé les acheteurs lors de sa dernière présentation en vente à New York en 1999, où il a à peine réalisé $50’000. Cette fois-ci les enchérisseurs étaient plus enthousiastes, et deux d’entre eux ont poussé les enchères jusqu’à CHF 264’500. D’autres oeuvres du XVIIème siècle d’artistes tels que Bernardo Strozzi, Meindert Hobbema et Clara Peeters ont également réalisé des prix de vente dans les six chiffres.

 

LEO VON KLENZE
(Schladen 1784-1864 Munich)
Intérieur d'un monastère italien avec vue sur Capri. 1855.
Huile sur toile. 87,2 x 107,7 cm.
Vendu pour CHF 78 500

Plusieurs tableaux du XIXème siècle ont été également très convoités, comme la peinture charmante de l’artiste allemand Eduard Grützner représentant trois moines examinant avec ravissement une gravure de femme nue. Se vendant à CHF 102’500, il a doublé son estimation. Une scène architecturale située sur l’Isle de Capri par Leo von Klenze a réalisé CHF 78’500 contre une estimation de CHF 25 000 – 35 000.


Les prochaines ventes de Maîtres anciens et du XIXème siècle en septembre 2018 marqueront le 60ème anniversaire de Koller Ventes aux Enchères. Les célébrations de cet anniversaire débuteront avec les ventes de tableaux Modernes et Contemporains en juin.

 



Autres objets phare des ventes de mars

MEINDERT HOBBEMA

Paysage fluvial. Vers 1663.

Huile sur panneau. 62,5 x 86,5 cm.

Vendu pour CHF 162 500

 


CARL MORGENSTERN

Couvent capucine près d'Amalfi. 1843.

Huile sur toile. 31,8 x 48 cm.

Vendu pour CHF 36 500

 


CLARA PEETERS

Nature morte avec chat, poissons, huîtres et écrevisses.

Huile sur toile. 38 x 48 cm.

Vendu pour CHF 132 500

 

 

EDUARD GRÜTZNER

Étude secrète. 1892.

Huile sur toile. 38 x 48 cm.

Vendu pour CHF 156 500

 

BERNARDO STROZZI dit IL CAPPUCCINO

Portait de Paolo Gregorio Raggi, Gouverneur de la Corse.

Huile sur toile. 135 x 111 cm.

Vendu pour CHF 216 500

 

IMPORTANT BOUGEOIR

Le modèle de Johann Gottlieb Kirchner, le décor peint probablement de Johann Gregorius Höroldt.

Meissen, vers 1727. H 22 cm.

Vendu pour CHF 78 500

 



L'AMEUBLEMENT DE MARÉCHAL SOULT

Empire, est. JACOB D.R. MESLEE, Paris vers 1810.

Réalsié pour le Maréchal de l'Empire et Duc d'Amaldie, Jean-de-Dieu Soult.

Vendu pour CHF 36 500

 

WILLIAM HAMILTON

Campi Phlegraei. Observations on the Volcanos of the Two Siciles.

Naples, 1776-79.

Vendu pour CHF 78 500

 

PAIRE DE CHEVAUX EN BRONZE

d'après les chevaux de Saint-Marc à Venise.

Venise, 17ème siècle.

Vendue pour CHF 55 700

 


Catalogues avec résultats, ventes de mars 2018

 

Calendrier des ventes, 2018

 

Vendre chez Koller

 





LA MORT ET L'ARTISTE
ou La Protestation d'un peintre

Pour la voir en grand, veuillez cliquer sur l'image.

Ce tableau fascinant, redécouvert récemment dans une collection privée suisse, est un memento mori, peint dans l’intention d’inciter le spectateur à méditer sur la nature éphémère de la vie et sur la vanité des biens et des plaisirs de ce monde. Le memento mori était un thème très courant dans l’art du XVIIème siècle et les symboles représentant la brièveté de la vie étaient immédiatement reconnus par les spectateurs de l’époque et clairement identifiés. Mais derrière ce thème se cache une autre intention, plus subtile et plus singulière en ces temps-là, celle de l’horreur de la guerre et de la condamnation du tout-puissant roi de France, Louis XIV.

Ce symbolisme sous-jacent se réfère manifestement à l’invasion des Pays-Bas espagnols par les forces françaises du roi Louis XIV en 1667/68. Le jeune roi de France, tirant profit de la mort du monarque espagnol Philippe IV, prit possession de ces terres qu’il clamait lui revenir de droit par son mariage à Maria Theresa, fille de Philippe IV. Grâce à des alliances, habilement nouées avant son invasion, avec l’Angleterre, les Provinces Unies des Pays-Bas et le Saint-Empire romain germanique ainsi qu’à une armée espagnole, exsangue, épuisée par la longue guerre qu’elle venait de mener contre le Portugal, ce que l’on nomma plus tard la guerre de dévolution se transforma pour Louis XIV en une succession de victoires remportées presque sans effort.

 

Adam Frans van der Meulen. Louis XIV à la tête de son armée devant Courtrai, 1667.

Bien que la ville d’Anvers, dans laquelle Carstian Luyckx vivait et peignait, n’ait été le théâtre d’aucune grande bataille (alors que le combat faisait rage à quarante kilomètres de là !), la guerre semble l’avoir profondément affecté, conférant à ce tableau, qu’il peignit peu de temps après la fin des hostilités, une intensité peu commune.

Dans cette oeuvre, le symbolisme du memento mori se manifeste avec éclat dans le squelette – personnification de la mort – qui domine la composition par sa taille et sa position au premier plan. De la main gauche, il éteint une chandelle (celle de la vie) et de la droite, il tient un parchemin sur lequel est inscrite une citation tirée de la lettre de Saint-Paul aux Hébreux : Statutum est omnibus hominibus semel mori (« Le destin des hommes est de mourir une seule fois »). Aux pieds du squelette gît un livre ouvert laissant apparaître des scènes de damnés, voués au châtiment éternel. L’artiste oppose une série de symboles figurant les plaisirs de la vie à d’autres objets évoquant la mort : trois crânes et une suite de garde-temps (illustrant la brièveté de la vie) sont épars parmi des instruments de musique, des jeux de cartes, des dés et des roses – tous les agréments de la vie soudainement brisés net par la présence toute proche de la trompette de la mort qui sonne le glas des distractions humaines.

 

CARSTIAN LUYCKX
(1623 Anvers vers 1677)
Memento mori - nature morte aux instruments de musique, aux livres, aux partitions, au squelette, aux crânes et à l'armure (détail).
Huile sur toile. 73,5 x 92,5 cm.

Vendu le 23 mars 2018 pour CHF 538 000

Mais ce qui fait la particularité du symbolisme qui s’offre à nous dans ce tableau, c’est qu’il condamne, de façon frappante et ostensible, non seulement la guerre en général, mais plus précisément le rôle d’un homme dans cette guerre : Louis XIV, roi de France. Les attributs de la royauté française, à savoir le sceptre et la couronne, emblèmes de la puissance de Louis XIV, sont étalés parmi les crânes et autres figurations de la mort. Le squelette se tient debout près d’un drapeau de soie portant les armes de France ainsi que les ordres de Saint-Michel et du Saint-Esprit, mais au lieu d’une devise triomphante à la gloire de la France, l’on peut y lire un rappel à l’ordre sévère, extrait du livre de Job, disant ceci : Homo natus de muliere brevis vivens (« L'homme, né de la femme, vit peu de temps »). Il était courant dans les tableaux de memento mori de rappeler au spectateur que la mort ne fait pas de différence entre le riche et le pauvre, mais le traitement que fait ici l’artiste des armes de France et des attributs de la guerre – telles que la trompette susmentionnée et l’armure d’un officier français. en bas et à droite du tableau – ainsi que leur étroite juxtaposition avec de simples outils de paysans tels que le bol en bois et le fléau, semble sans aucun doute vouloir porter une condamnation directe contre l’auteur des récentes violences perpétrées à l’encontre du pays de l’artiste.

Luyckx, qui était surtout connu jusqu’ici pour ses séries de natures mortes, plutôt simples, se révèle ici comme un maître dans l’art du symbolisme, qu’il travaille avec finesse et subtilité. Ce tableau nous montre aussi que l’artiste était loin d’ignorer les effets dévastateurs que les affrontements des puissances internationales avaient sur les populations humbles et démunies. Tout compte fait, il semblerait que sa seule consolation se trouvât dans les vers d’Horace, inscrits sur le socle de pierre : Pallida mors aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas regumque turres (« La pâle mort frappe d'un pied indifférent les masures des pauvres et les palais des rois »)





D’UN EXTRÊME RAFFINEMENT
l'Ameublement de Maréchal Soult

texte de Jean-Dominique Augarde

Jean-de-Dieu Soult, Maréchal d'Empire et duc de Dalmatie, vers 1825

Ce « meuble de salon », selon la terminologie de l’époque, présente un caractère presque unique tant les ensembles de sièges, livrés depuis plus de deux siècles pour une pièce précise dans une demeure précise, et restés en mains privées, deviennent de nos jours de plus en plus rares. Il a dans ce sens un caractère presque muséal. Sa composition elle aussi est d’une grande rareté.

L’ameublement fut commandé par Jean-de-Dieu Soult (1769 – 1851), un des plus brillants officiers des guerres de la Révolution et de l’Empire, considéré par Napoléon comme « le premier manœuvrier de l'Europe ». Maréchal d’Empire en 1804, duc de Dalmatie en 1808, il fut nommé, en 1847, par Louis-Philippe maréchal général de France, charge qui ne compta épisodiquement que sept titulaires en trois siècles.

José Cabanis à propos de la guerre d’Espagne écrit « jamais on ne vit autant de militaires amateurs d’art, et parmi eux le maréchal Soult fut le plus heureux.». Soult y amassa une exceptionnelle collection de tableaux qui fut avec celles de Louis-Philippe et de Wellington une des trois plus importantes de l’école espagnole en dehors de la péninsule ibérique. Sa dispersion fut événement considérable. Le marquis d’Hertford (qui est à l’origine de la fabuleuse collection Wallace à Londres) constata « As for M. Soult’s pictures I am told they are to be put at such prices that it will be impossible to make a bid & I rather think I shall do nothing in that quarter » : la seule Immaculée Conception de Murillo fut adjugée au gouvernement français à l’enchère inouïe pour l’époque de 586 000 francs.

 

L'AMEUBLEMENT DE MARÉCHAL SOULT
Empire, estampillé JACOB D.R. MESLEE
Paris vers 1810.
Comprenant six fauteuils "en gondole", deux chaises "en gondole", un grand divan et une paire de petits canapés, dits "tête-à-tête".
Vente le 22 mars 2018
Estimation : CHF 30 000 – 60 000

Cette collection fut accrochée aux cimaises de l'hôtel de Chalais, rue de l'Université, (aujourd’hui disparu), que Soult avait acquis en 1803. Construit par Le Boursier en 1786 pour le prince de Chalais, il fut réaménagé et redécoré pour le maréchal par François-Nicolas Henry dit Trou. Les travaux d’aménagement ou d’embellissement se poursuivirent pendant tout le règne de Napoléon sous la direction effective de la maréchale. On y trouvait notamment un grand salon Doré, un salon de Flore, un salon d’Été formant chambre d’apparat, un salon Militaire, un salon de l’Empereur, un salon des Aides de Camp et une galerie. Jacob-Desmalter et Cercous pour les meubles, Delafontaine Père & Fils pour les pendules, bronzes d’ornement et les cheminées, Ravrio et Feuchère pour des lustres, et Sallandrouze pour les tapis en furent les principaux fournisseurs.

D’un extrême raffinement, ce meuble complet est un témoignage rare de la somptuosité et de l’imagination qui ont présidé à l’ameublement des résidences des grands dignitaires de l’Empire sous Napoléon Ier.



A PROPOS DE KOLLER VENTES AUX ENCHERES

Koller est la plus importante maison de vente aux enchères en Suisse, représentée à Londres, Munich, Hambourg, Düsseldorf, Milan, Pékin, Moscou et New York. Chaque année, Koller organise une trentaine de ventes d’œuvres d’art, d’objets précieux et de décoration, de joaillerie, d’art asiatique et de vins. La maison Koller obtient régulièrement des records de prix et jouit d’un large réseau d’enchérisseurs internationaux. Avec une équipe de spécialistes expérimentés ainsi que son partenariat avec le groupe “International Auctioneers,” cette entreprise familiale bénéficie de l’attrait d’une maison de vente aux enchères active à l’international tout en assurant un savoir-faire, une efficacité et une fiabilité suisses.