Vidéos et Actualités



KOLLERview est publié quatre fois par an.

Prochain numéro :mars 2021.

Cliquer & lire

Dans ce numéro :

• Sous le signe de l'amitié
• l'Obsession du paysage
• Des parapluies sur deux continents
• Variation, Série, Suite
• Engouement pour la peinture chinoise

 



 

L'art du vol

La « Fountain » de Marcel Duchamp telle qu'elle a été illustrée dans la revue Dada The Blind Man en 1917.

« Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal »
(Les jeunes poètes imitent ; les poètes avertis volent) – T.S. Eliot

On dit souvent que l'art de l’appropriation, utilisant des images ou des objets préexistants en les transformant de manière subtile, a commencé avec les « readymade » de Marcel Duchamp au début du 20e siècle. Les ready-mades sont des objets trouvés, comme le fameux urinoir en porcelaine signé « R. Mutt », placé sur un piédestal et intitulé « Fountain », que Duchamp a présenté à l'exposition de la Society of Independent Artists à New York en 1917. « Fountain » a fini par être reconnu comme une œuvre majeure de l'art moderne, et déjà l’année de son exposition, un article du journal Dada, The Blind Man, le déclarait comme tel : « Que M. Mutt ait réalisé la fontaine de ses propres mains ou non n'a aucune importance. C'est lui qui l'a CHOISIE. Il a pris un objet de la vie ordinaire, l'a placé de telle sorte que son sens utilitaire disparaisse sous son nouveau titre et son nouveau point de vue – il a créé une nouvelle pensée sur cet objet ».

Il est évident que les artistes se sont toujours appropriés, ont copiés ou volés les idées et les motifs des autres. Mais le faire dans une société où la simple accusation de plagiat suffit à détruire une carrière – ou une campagne présidentielle, comme la première de Joe Biden en 1987 – et le faire consciemment, dans le but de replacer l’image dans un nouveau contexte ou de la transformer subtilement en quelque chose de nouveau, est un concept relativement moderne.

 

Richard Pettibone
(Los Angeles 1938–vit et travaille à New York)
Andy Warhol 'Campbell's Soup Can: Cream of Mushroom Soup'. 1987. Acrylique et sérigraphie sur toile.
Vente le 5 décembre 2020
Estimation : CHF 18 000/24 000


Avec sa série de boîtes de soupe Campbell, Richard Pettibone porte l'art de l'appropriation à un niveau supérieur : il copie une image qu’Andy Warhol s'était lui-même appropriée d'une autre source. Pettibone rencontre Warhol pour la première fois en 1965 et l'artiste pop est alors amusé par les versions à petite échelle de ses célèbres boîtes de soupe. Comme Pettibone le dira plus tard, « il copiait déjà, alors pourquoi ne pas copier la copie ? » Grâce à de subtiles détails, en particulier en prenant le soin de laisser les traces de la main de l'artiste que Warhol avait cherché à effacer dans ses compositions d'inspiration graphique, Pettibone crée une œuvre nouvelle tout recopiant la série de Warhol, un peu comme s’il tenait un miroir déformant devant un autre miroir.

Dans la vente du 5 décembre, une sérigraphie de Warhol sur le même thème sera également présentée.

 

Sylvie Fleury
(Genève 1961–vit et travaille à Genève)
Concetto spaziale. 1995. Jeans, déchirés.
Vente le 5 décembre 2020
Estimation : CHF 1 000/1 500


Sylvie Fleury utilise de manière récurrente des éléments de la mode et de la haute couture pour intégrer une certaine féminité dans le monde de l'art, trop souvent dominé par les hommes. Dans « Concetto Spaziale », Fleury remplace la célèbre toile tailladée de Lucio Fontana par du denim bleu, en faisant ainsi référence à la mode pour les jeans déchirés tout en reformulant l’œuvre iconique de l’artiste italien à la lumière de la culture de consommation.

 

Banksy
(Bristol 1974 – vit et travaille en Angleterre et ailleurs)
Love Welcomes Mat.
Multiple. Paillasson et restes d'un gilet de sauvetage.
Vente le 5 décembre 2020
Estimation : CHF 4 000/6 000


Banksy est probablement le plus célèbre artiste vivant de l'appropriation. Son « Love Welcomes Mat » perpétue la tradition des ready-mades de Duchamp. Pour cette œuvre, il utilise des restes de gilet de sauvetage combiné à un paillasson cousu main par des femmes dans les camps de réfugiés dans le but d’attirer l'attention sur la situation critique des migrants. Banksy détourne souvent des images et peintures célèbres – comme « La Jeune Fille à la perle » de Vermeer transformée en « Jeune Fille au tympan percé » - afin de transmettre un message de paix ou contestataire. On trouve également Banksy dans cette vente aux enchères avec « Rude Copper », sa première sérigraphie commercialisée.



KOLLERview est publié quatre fois par an, en anglais et en allemand.

Prochain numéro : novembre 2020.


Click & Read

Dans ce numéro :

• The art of transformation
• When art meets politics
• Green retreat
• Great resonance
• Battle-proven arsenal

 



 

La scène est imaginaire, mais les papillons sont réels

Carl Wilhelm de Hamilton (1668–1754)
Pendants : Nature morte de forêt avec écureuil et insectes / Nature morte de forêt avec chouette effraie. Huile sur toile. 72 x 56 cm. chacun.


À première vue, les trois tableaux de Carl Wilhelm de Hamilton (Bruxelles 1668–1754 Augsbourg) dans la vente aux enchères du 25 septembre (lots 3071 et 3074) semblent être de charmantes représentations de la vie trépidante d'un sol forestier : écureuils, serpents, escargots et lézards vont à la recherche de leur nourriture au milieu d'une profusion de plantes feuillues et de champignons. Mais un aspect de ces œuvres les rend étonnamment uniques : les papillons étaient à l'origine de véritables spécimens, collés sur la toile.

Dans ces peintures, de Hamilton a employé un genre connu sous le nom de «nature morte de la forêt», ou sottobosco, inventé au milieu du XVIIe siècle par le peintre néerlandais Otto Marseus van Schrieck (vers 1613–1678). Marseus vivait dans la banlieue d'Amsterdam, dans une zone marécageuse appelée «le pays des serpents». Il passait une grande partie de son temps à observer et à capturer des spécimens de reptiles, d'insectes et d'amphibiens – à tel point que sa femme prétendait que les serpents commençaient à poser pour lui !

Il semble que Marseus s'intéressait autant aux aspects scientifiques et naturels de cette population de base qu'à leur potentiel en tant que sujets artistiques. Il vivait à une époque où les théories scientifiques étaient débattues et discutées dans toute la société instruite, comme la croyance répandue en la génération spontanée, selon laquelle certains animaux et plantes, en particulier les «êtres inférieurs» comme les serpents, les crapauds et les champignons, pouvaient naître de matières non vivantes – comme les asticots générés par la chair en décomposition.

 

Détail de la peinture ci-dessus, avec les couleurs actuelles des papillons ...

Le peintre et scientifique amateur a effectivement franchi la frontière entre la science et l'art lorsqu'il a collé les écailles des ailes de véritables papillons sur sa toile. La technique consistait à faire une réserve en forme d'aile en utilisant comme imprimatura un adhésif blanc, probablement à base de plomb. Les ailes étaient ensuite pressées sur cette réserve, ce qui faisait adhérer les écailles à la toile, le fond blanc rehaussant les couleurs chatoyantes. L'effet devait être enchanteur. Aujourd'hui, en raison de la décoloration des écailles des papillons, les ailes semblent blanches, à moins qu'elles n'aient été surpeintes.

 

... et les couleurs telles qu'elles auraient pu apparaître à l'origine.

Marseus avait de nombreux adeptes, et Carl Wilhelm de Hamilton fut l'un des plus influents dans la diffusion du genre sottobosco, puisqu'il émigra de Belgique en Allemagne, où il travailla comme peintre de cour dans plusieurs villes. L'examen microscopique des œuvres ci-présentes du chercheur V.E. Mandrij a révélé les restes des écailles de papillon originales que Hamilton a appliquées, ainsi que quelques glacis colorés que l'artiste a ajoutés, probablement pour compléter les zones où des écailles manquaient. Hamilton a également imité la technique de Marseus qui consiste à utiliser de véritables lichens et mousses au lieu d'un pinceau pour représenter cette végétation.

 

Carl Wilhelm de Hamilton (1668–1754)
Nature morte de forêt (détail).
Huile sur panneau. 47,2 x 34 cm.


Un aspect intéressant du travail de Marseus et de Hamilton est que, malgré les possibilités symboliques évidentes qu'offrent de telles compositions (le mot grec pour papillon, psyché, signifie également « âme », de sorte qu'un serpent ou un crapaud qui attrape un papillon évoque une myriade de possibilités moralisatrices), les artistes semblaient plus intéressés par la représentation d'animaux et de plantes réels, dépourvus de toute signification cachée, pour le plaisir de recréer – ou plutôt de créer – un moment intime sur le sol de la forêt.

Le travail de Marseus et de ses suiveurs a ensuite été presque complètement oublié, et ce n'est qu'en 1991, avec l'installation "In and Out of Love" de Damien Hirst, que les vrais papillons ont fait leur réapparition dans le monde de l'art.



 

Derrière la toile : Amour et scandale en Grande-Bretagne géorgienne

Seymour Dorothy Fleming (1757–1818), Lady Worsley.
Portrait par Joshua Reynolds, 1776 (détail).
Harewood House Trust, Yorkshire.


Le portrait de John Lewis Fleming (1779–1836) qui sera présenté aux enchères le 25 septembre (lot 3083) est non seulement intéressant pour son attribution à Sir Thomas Lawrence, l'un des plus grands portraitistes britanniques, mais aussi pour l'association de Fleming avec l'une des femmes les plus célèbres de la fin du XVIIIe siècle en Angleterre : son épouse, Seymour Dorothy Fleming (1757–1818).

Seymour Fleming, héritière têtue d'une petite fortune, a épousé Sir Richard Worsley à l'âge de dix-sept ans. Worsley était issu d'une vieille famille aristocratique et avait besoin d'une plus grande fortune pour améliorer sa position dans la société londonienne. Ils eurent un fils ensemble, Robert Edwin, mais Lady Worsley se sentit bientôt négligée et agitée, et se lança dans une série d'affaires, dont une avec un voisin et ami proche de Sir Richard, le capitaine George Maurice Bissett. La relation avec Bissett devint rapidement sérieuse (en août 1781, Lady Worsley donne naissance à une fille qui serait celle de Bissett), et en novembre 1781, Seymour s'enfuit avec son amant. C'était un acte audacieux pour l'époque – la plupart des dames de son rang auraient simplement poursuivi l'affaire pendant que leurs maris fermaient les yeux, comme apparemment Worsley l'avait fait jusqu'alors – mais elle espérait probablement qu'un geste aussi intrépide persuaderait son mari de lui accorder le divorce.

 

Une satire de 1782 se moquant de Lord Worsley et de sa rétribution d'un shilling de dommages et intérêts. Eau-forte publiée par Hannah Humphrey.
© The Trustees of the British Museum.


L'effet fut tout à fait contraire – furieux de la trahison publique d'un ami, Worsley poursuivit Bissett pour ce qu'on appelait la Conversation criminelle, une action civile en dommages et intérêts en compensation de la séduction de sa femme. Il a également refusé d'accorder le divorce à Seymour et a exigé la somme sans précédent de £ 20 000, qui aurait ruiné Bissett. Worsley semblait avoir un dossier solide, avec lettres et témoins à l’appui, mais Seymour n'était pas du genre à concéder la défaite aussi facilement. Elle adopte la défense, quelque peu téméraire, de la révélation de détails intimes de la vie privée du couple pendant le procès, avec des témoins relatant des épisodes du voyeurisme de Sir Richard et l'encouragement des infidélités de sa femme. Elle a réussi : au lieu de £ 20 000, le jury a accordé à Worsley la somme humiliante d'un shilling, et il est devenu la risée de toute l'Angleterre, l'obligeant à fuir les harcèlements de la presse populaire par un voyage prolongé au Moyen-Orient.

Mais Seymour est également devenu un paria social. Personne, dans la société britannique polie de l'époque, ne pouvait s'associer à quelqu'un qui avait si ouvertement rendu publics ses actes scandaleux, et elle se retrouva évincée par bon nombre de ses anciens amis et de sa famille. Une fois de plus, Seymour refusa de s'incliner devant son sort et, avec d'autres femmes dans une situation similaire, elle devint membre du demi-monde qui se réunissait socialement sous le nom de "New Female Coterie". Bissett finit par la quitter, car il n'y avait aucune possibilité de mariage – Worsley ne signa même pas d'accord de séparation avant six ans après le procès, avec la clause que Seymour quitte l'Angleterre pendant quatre ans. Elle s'installe à Paris, où les femmes de sa réputation sont mieux acceptées socialement, mais un an après son arrivée, la Révolution éclate. Emportée par le règne de la terreur, Seymour a probablement passé un certain temps dans une prison française avant de rentrer finalement en Angleterre en 1797, très malade et dans une situation financière précaire.

 

Attribué à Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769–1830).
Portrait de John Lewis Fleming (1779–1836).
Huile sur toile. 76,5 × 63,8 cm.
Vendu pour CHF 25 000


À cette époque, Seymour rencontre et tombe amoureux de John Louis Hummell (né Cuchet), un musicien genevois qui a été une sorte d’enfant prodige, se produisant même pour le roi George III et la reine Charlotte à l'âge de neuf ans. Leur différence d'âge était considérable, mais il semble qu'il y ait eu une réelle affection entre eux. Lorsque Worsley meurt en 1805 et que Seymour entre enfin en possession de ses biens, ils se marient et Hummell change son nom en John Lewis Fleming ; Seymour reprend également son nom de jeune fille. Le présent portrait a très probablement été commandé par Seymour au portraitiste le plus en vogue de l'époque, comme une sorte de publicité pour l'arrivée de son nouveau mari dans la société (le musicien, bien qu'à l'aise dans les milieux sociaux de la classe supérieure, n'était pas né dans une famille noble).

Deux ans après la mort de Seymour en 1818, Fleming – qui avait hérité de la fortune de Seymour – épousa une noble française, Ernestine Jeanne Marie de Houdetot (1796–1836). Leur fille épouse un patricien bernois, Dyonis Bernhard Friedrich von Graffenried (1815–1886), et le tableau arrive donc en Suisse, où il reste depuis dans la même famille. Le dernier souhait de John Lewis Fleming était d'être enterré aux côtés de sa première femme, Seymour Dorothy Fleming, au cimetière du Père Lachaise à Paris.



 

«Le goût Rothschild» dans une capsule temporelle

Vue de l'intérieur de l'Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild. La table d'accouchée est visible au milieu à gauche.


La table d’accouchée qui sera proposée à la vente lors de nos enchères du 24 septembre (lot 1050), appartenait à Adèle de Rothschild (1843–1922), membre d'une des familles les plus riches de l'histoire. La famille Rothschild, dont la richesse provenait de la banque et de la finance, était une famille de collectionneurs passionnés. Leurs préférences en matière de collection et leur style de décoration ont été connus dans la seconde moitié du XIXe siècle sous le nom du «goût Rothschild». Leurs maisons palatiales de style Renaissance, remplies de la plus belle sélection d'antiquités (principalement françaises), de bronzes dorés, de tapisseries lourdes et de boiseries sculptées, ont établi une nouvelle norme et ont été imitées par les générations suivantes de personnes fortunées telles que les Rockefeller, les Vanderbilt, les Dupont et les Getty.

À Paris, en 1862, Adèle de Rothschild épouse son cousin, Salomon de Rothschild (1835–1864), qui meurt d'une crise cardiaque deux ans plus tard. L'impétuosité et l'extravagance financière de Salomon causait souvent des difficultés au reste de sa famille, mais il était aussi un collectionneur dévoué et passionné, accumulant un nombre impressionnant de livres, de photographies, de peintures, de sculptures, d'arts décoratifs et d'art du Moyen-Orient de grande qualité, surtout pendant les deux années suivant son mariage avec Adèle. Après la mort de son mari, Adèle, âgée de vingt-et-un ans, a mené une existence quelque peu solitaire pendant le demi-siècle qui a suivi, bien que certains indices – notamment des dépenses importantes pour du cognac et des cigares – montrent qu'elle a continué à mener une vie sociale active et très sélective, au sein de sa résidence. Elle a soutenu les arts tout au long de sa vie, et a été l'un des premiers mécènes d'Alphonse Mucha, par exemple, en parrainant sa première visite aux États-Unis en 1904.

 

Table d'accouchée Louis XV. Paris, vers 1750/60.

À partir de 1872, Adèle supervise la construction d'un grand hôtel particulier dans le quartier de la Plaine-Monceau à Paris, l'Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, conçu pour abriter et exposer les collections de son défunt mari ainsi que celles de son père, Mayer Carl de Rothschild. La présente table faisait partie du somptueux décor de l'Hôtel Rothschild et est un exemple typique de la qualité des légendaires collections de meubles de la famille. La table d'accouchée est l'une des nombreuses formes de mobilier français inventées au milieu du XVIIIe siècle qui correspondaient à un changement, à l'époque de Louis XV, de la manière très exposée de vivre à Versailles sous le règne précédent vers des appartements plus intimes. La partie supérieure se soulève et est conçue pour être utilisée en position couchée dans le lit, comme lutrin, bureau ou plateau de repas.

Aujourd'hui, selon le souhait d'Adèle de Rothschild, l'Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild abrite une fondation dédiée aux artistes et aux arts, et une pièce a été soigneusement préservée et est ouverte au public, le Cabinet de curiosités. Contenant plus de 400 œuvres d'art, il est un excellent exemple du «goût Rothschild» et une fascinante capsule temporelle, témoin d'une époque où les collectionneurs fortunés pouvaient pleinement satisfaire leur passion pour les œuvres d'art extraordinaires.



    25 ARBRES POUR LA JEUNESSE

L'organisation faîtière des parlements de jeunes suisses FSPJ fête son 25e anniversaire et laisse une trace durable. À l'occasion de cet anniversaire, 25 arbres seront plantés. Ils sont donc symboliques de la promotion de la participation politique et de l'éducation politique des jeunes et des jeunes adultes depuis la fondation de la FSPJ.

Participez à la vente aux enchères des 25 arbres via Koller et soutenez la politique suisse de la jeunesse ! Vous pouvez enchérir sur notre page « ibid online only » à partir du 5 octobre 2020. La vente est prévue pour le 23 octobre 2020.

Lire davantage sur la FSPJ ici.





 

 



 

Un tableau du "Siècle d'or"

La spécialiste de peinture de Maîtres Anciens, Karoline Weser, présente un paysage réalisé par Salomon van Ruysdael, un des artistes les plus importants du Siècle d’or hollandais.


Précision astronomique

Le mouvement méticuleux de cette fascinante pendule astronomique est révélé par Stephan Koller, spécialiste de Mobilier et Arts décoratifs.



 

KOLLERview est publié quatre fois par an, en anglais et en allemand.

Prochain numéro : septembre 2020.


Click & Read

Dans ce numéro :

• Le pouvoir de la série
• De l'abstraction au figuratif
• Regard dans l'infini
• Osmose entre le Surréalisme et la réalité
• Précise toute l'année
• Turquoise – aimée partout dans le monde
• La collection en tant que passion privée
• Éveil spirituel et aide matérielle

 



 

Hundertwasser – artiste, architecte et activiste environnemental

La Cave Quixote, Napa Valley, Californie.
Photo: Treve Johnson


À Napa Valley (Californie), Carl Doumani, propriétaire du domaine viticole Quixote alors en construction, était ravi de montrer l’état de sa dernière acquisition à son architecte, Friedensreich Hundertwasser : une série de colonnes incrustées de carreaux, conçues par Hundertwasser et fabriquées sur mesure en Allemagne, qui étaient toutes arrivées étonnamment intactes, malgré leur fragilité. Hundertwasser observa les colonnes et prit immédiatement un marteau afin d’en briser une en morceaux. "S'ils ne voient pas que nous utilisons des matériaux cassés, ils ne sauront jamais", dira l'artiste.

Cet amour pour l'imperfection, si caractéristique d’Hundertwasser (1928-2000), découle de son rapport profond et intime avec la nature. Bien connu en tant que peintre et architecte iconoclaste, Hundertwasser aurait également été heureux qu’on se souvienne de lui comme un infatigable activiste environnemental. Pionnier dans ce domaine, Hundertwasser n'a jamais abandonné son combat pour intégrer la nature dans notre vie quotidienne, ressource qui selon lui est essentielle à notre bien-être physique et mental.

 

Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928–2000)
Der gelbe Platz - Flugplatz. 1958.
Aquarelle avec vernis sur papier d'emballage, à fond de craie.
Vendu pour CHF 195 000


Son enfance à Vienne a été profondément marquée par la montée du nazisme et la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Sa mère étant juive, il dût se faire passer pour catholique afin d'échapper au sort de ses nombreux parents. Il trouva du réconfort dans la nature, et mènera une guerre, toute sa vie durant, contre la ligne droite "impie, sacrilège et immorale", absente dans la nature et trop présente dans les défilés militaires de sa jeunesse.

La tension entre le monde naturel et les tentatives artificielles de l'homme pour le renverser est omniprésente dans l'art, l'architecture et les écrits de Hundertwasser. Publié pour la première fois en 1958, son "Manifeste de la moisissure contre le rationalisme dans l’architecture" soutient que la moisissure et la rouille ont leur place dans les habitations car "c’est la vie qui entre dans la maison" et grâce à ce processus, "plus conscients que jamais auparavant, nous devenons les témoins de transformations architectoniques dont nous avons beaucoup à apprendre".

Dans l'œuvre présentée ici, "Der gelbe Platz - Flugplatz" (la place jaune - aérodrome) de 1958, cette tension apparait clairement dans la composition, séparée en deux parties par une ligne horizontale. Dans la partie supérieure, la nature reprend ses droits et toute son importance, symbolisée par une spirale complète entourée de végétation. L'harmonie de la partie du haut est cruellement absente dans la moitié inférieure avec une spirale brisée, l'incursion d'éléments industriels - tel que les usines aux cheminées fumantes - et une atmosphère générale d'inachèvement. La spirale est très importante dans la vision du monde de Hundertwasser. "Je suis convaincu que la création s’est faite sous forme de spirale" écrit-il. "Notre vie entière se déroule en spirales".

Die Spirale war massgebend in Hundertwassers Sicht der Welt. "Ich bin überzeugt, dass sich der Schöpfungsakt in Form einer Spirale vollzogen hat", schrieb er. "Unser ganzes Leben verläuft in Spiralen".

Pour Hundertwasser, une maison - et par extension un monde - ne laissant aucune place à la nature est tout simplement inhabitable. Il consacra sa vie entière, à travers son art, son architecture et son activisme, à augmenter la quantité d'espaces où les êtres humains peuvent non seulement vivre mais prospérer, en harmonie avec la nature.



Prochaines ventes:
5 décembre – Estampes & Multiples
5 décembre – PostWar & Contemporary


Catalogues



 

Chamberlain et César

John Chamberlain (1927–2011)
Kiss #14. 1979.
Acier peint. 68,5 x 59,5 x 61 cm.
Vendu pour CHF 526 000.


Les sculptures de l’artiste américain John Chamberlain (1927–2011) et celles de l’artiste français César (1921–1998) sont souvent considérées comme de la même tendance artistique. Si certaines œuvres peuvent sembler similaires, le processus artistique et la philosophie sous-jacente sont très différents.

Les premières influences de Chamberlain se trouvent parmi la première génération d’Expressionnistes Abstraits : les sculptures de David Smith en particulier, les peintures de Franz Kline et le travail de son ami et mentor Willem de Kooning. Il eut l’idée d’utiliser des anciennes pièces de voiture au milieu des années 1950 alors qu’il séjournait chez son ami peintre Larry Rivers, à Long Island, où des pièces d’une Ford 1929 gisaient dans la cour. Chamberlain roula à plusieurs reprises sur les ailes de métal rouillé avec un camion, les transformant finalement en «Shortstop» (1957), sa première sculpture composée de fragments de voiture.

«Shortstop» fit sensation, et au début des années 1960 Chamberlain était déjà une figure reconnue du monde de l’art. En parlant de ces premières sculptures, Chamberlain déclara plus tard : «Je me suis retrouvé à travailler avec une certaine spontanéité. J’essayais d’attacher la partie supérieure (d’une sculpture) à la moitié inférieure, mais quand je l’ai mise au bon endroit, elle s’est assemblée à trois endroits différents et m’a donc dit comment être montée». Cette anecdote décrit avec justesse un aspect important du processus artistique de Chamberlain : ses sculptures sont une forme de collage, dans la tradition surréaliste qui inspira de nombreux Expressionnistes Abstraits. Pour Chamberlain, et d’autres artistes tels que de Kooning et Jackson Pollock, le processus de création est aussi important, sinon plus, que l’œuvre elle-même ou les matériaux qui la composent.

 

César (César Baldaccini) (1921–1998)
Compression Evian. 1990.
Compression avec diverses bouteilles en plastique.
30 x 21 x 21 cm. Pièce unique.
Vendu pour CHF 8 700.


César fait partie des Nouveaux Réalistes, groupe d’artistes davantage proches de Dada, le mouvement précurseur du Surréalisme. Provenant d’un milieu humble, César commença à utiliser des objets trouvés par manque d’accès à des matériaux plus couteux. Les composants de ses sculptures - comme dans beaucoup d’œuvres des Nouveaux Réalistes - ont presque toujours une signification politique et/ou sociologique. Présentée ici, sa «Compression» est une critique ouverte de notre société de consommation, tandis que pour Chamberlain - malgré les associations apparemment évidentes avec les voitures comme symboles de la culture de consommation américaine - a toujours refusé de définir son travail comme militant. Apolitique, l’Expressionnisme Abstrait parait ainsi plus égocentré que d’autres mouvements et c’est précisément cette propre prise au sérieux que les Nouveaux Réalistes ont détourné à chaque occasion : citons les «Tirs» revendicateurs de Niki de Saint-Phall, où les spectateurs étaient invités à tirer à la carabine sur des sacs de peinture attachés à une toile et reproduire ainsi une sorte de «ready-made» de la peinture au goutte-à-goutte comme celle de Jackson Pollock.

 

John Chamberlain (1927–2011)
Grass Skirt Opus. 2002.
Acier peint et chromé. 41 x 33 x 32 cm.


La couleur est une autre caractéristique essentielle de l’œuvre de Chamberlain. Dans les années 1950, alors qu’une grande partie des sculptures contemporaines étaient monochromes, les couleurs vives et brillantes de Chamberlain explosaient sur la scène artistique. Au début, la polychromie dépendait des morceaux de voiture qu’il utilisait, mais plus tard, l’artiste n'hésita pas à ajouter de la couleur, peignant parfois les pièces avant qu’elles ne soient déformées et après les avoir assemblées, ponçant certaines zones pour obtenir l’effet désiré. Si la couleur était importante aussi pour César, il est difficile de l’imaginer complètement modifier les teintes des objets trouvés qui composent ses sculptures.

 

César (César Baldaccini) (1921–1998)
Compression.
Tôle peinte. 31 x 31 x 16 cm.
Vendu pour CHF 24 700


Un point que Chamberlain et César ont toutefois en commun est qu’ils sont, comme beaucoup d’artistes, célèbres pour un seul aspect de leur travail. Les deux artistes, talentueux et polyvalents, travaillaient avec une multitude de médias différents – Chamberlain réalisa même des films underground dans le style de Warhol dans les années 1960 - mais dans l’esprit du public, ils sont associés à une seule chose : les sculptures compressées. Espérons que de futures rétrospectives permettront de mieux comprendre travail de ces deux artistes et la période fascinante durant laquelle ils ont vécu.



Prochanes ventes
:
5 décembre – Estampes & Multiples
5 décembre – PostWar & Contemporary


Catalogues



 

Refuges idylliques : les jardins d'artistes

Fabio Sidler

Max Liebermann dans le jardin de Wannsee vers 1922.
© Max Liebermann Society.


Dès les premiers assouplissements des mesures sanitaires contre le Covid19 en Suisse, les centres de jardinage ont fait l’objet de véritables ruées. Excepté les activités culinaires, l’entretien du jardin a probablement été l’occupation la plus populaire pendant le confinement dans de nombreuses parties du monde. Le jardin a toujours été considéré comme un refuge, un lieu sûr. Et cela fait clairement écho dans l’histoire culturelle européenne : depuis le 15e siècle aux environs de Florence, la culture de la maison de campagne – ou villa – a revu le jour, selon le modèle antique romain. Loin de la ville, les Médicis et autres puissants marchands et dirigeants créent de magnifiques domaines ruraux entourés de jardins soignés, aujourd'hui connus sous le nom de Jardins de la Renaissance. Ces espaces idylliques devinrent des lieux d’échange entre intellectuels à propos de littérature, art et philosophie. Dans le Decameron de Boccaccio, par exemple, dix jeunes nobles se retrouvent dans un somptueux jardin pour s’isoler de la peste environnante et oublier la noirceur du quotidien en se racontant des histoires.

Il est frappant de noter combien d’artistes impressionnistes et modernes avaient eux aussi des maisons de campagne avec de beaux jardins ; l’exemple le plus célèbre étant probablement celui de Claude Monet à Giverny. Dans son livre The Artists' Garden, Jackie Bennett cite plus de 20 jardins d’artistes de renommée mondiale (White Lion Publishing, 2019). Ces espaces verts sont autant une source d’inspiration, un atelier en plein air ou un refuge discret. Beaucoup de ces jardins peuvent encore être visités aujourd’hui.

Dans nos ventes aux enchères du 19 juin et du 3 juillet, vous retrouverez également de magnifiques exemples de vues de jardin :

 

Max Liebermann (1847–1935)
Parterre de fleurs dans le jardin à Wannsee vue du nord. 1918. Huile sur carton. Vendu pour CHF 488 000.


Max Liebermann
En 1909, Max Liebermann acquiert une propriété au Wannsee, comprenant une villa et une maison de jardin, qu’il appellera affectueusement son «château sur le lac». La terrasse fleurie et le potager de sa maison d’été feront l’objet d’une longue série de peintures de jardin qui a considérablement façonné les œuvres tardives de l’Impressionniste allemand. Liebermann agrandissait régulièrement ses jardins – demandant notamment conseil au directeur de la Kunsthalle de Hambourg, Alfred Lichtwark – afin de créer un atelier personnalisé en plein air. A partir de 1914, il en fait un usage intensif et puise son inspiration dans les plantes en constante évolution, les fleurs colorées, les verts luxuriants des prés et des arbres et une variété infinie de motifs végétaux peints sous tous les angles. En tout, il réalise environ 200 peintures et de nombreux dessins, témoins de la splendeur de son jardin. Il n’est donc pas surprenant que Liebermann aimait y passer beaucoup de temps, surtout pendant la Première Guerre mondiale et la Grande Dépression qui la suivit.



 

Henri Martin (1860–1943)
Pergola Nord-Ouest de Marquayrol en fin d'automne.
1910–20. Huile sur toile.


Henri Martin
Après 10 ans de recherche de sa parfaite maison de campagne, Henri Martin acquiert finalement en 1900 une grande villa du 17e siècle, appelée Marquayrol, dans le village de Labastide-du-Vert, dans le Sud-Ouest de la France. La maison et sa région deviennent alors le lieu de vacances de l’artiste, où il fuit chaque année la capitale entre mai et novembre pour profiter de la sérénité de la nature.

 

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1860–1943)
Dans le jardin des Collettes à Cagnes. Vers 1910.
Huile sur toile. Vendu pour CHF 360 000


Pierre-Auguste Renoir
En 1907, Renoir achète le domaine des «Collettes» à Cagnes, au bord de la Méditerranée, près de Nice. Il s’y installe à l’automne 1908. Le domaine, avec sa ferme pittoresque, ses oliveraies et ses orangeraies dans un paysage vallonné, offre à l’artiste de nombreux sujets pour ses œuvres tardives. Renoir réussit à y transcrire une lumière argentée semblable à celle de Camille Corot, qu’il admirait beaucoup, notamment dans ses paysages français vers 1850. Le tableau proposé en vente ici est un exemple particulièrement délicat de Renoir, aux finitions harmonieuses, vraisemblablement apprécié de son auteur car signé à la main.

 

Albert Marquet (1875–1947)
Arbre en fleurs devant Alger. Vers 1943.
Huile sur toile.


Albert Marquet
Pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, Albert Marquet et son épouse Marcelle restent à Alger et achètent, en 1941, un morceau de terre à l’extérieur de la ville appelé Djenan Sidi Saïd, littéralement “le jardin du seigneur heureux”. Ce lieu restera à jamais leur refuge idyllique.



Prochaines ventes, beaux-arts :

4 décembre – Art impressionniste & moderne
4 décembre – Art suisse
5 décembre – PostWar & Contemporary, Estampes & Multiples

Catalogues



 

Pirates, Piété et Pouvoir :
le destin de l’atelier extraordinaire de Roentgen, qui aurait pu ne jamais exister

Un navire des Frères moraves du 18e siècle

En 1737, Abraham Roentgen avait embarqué sur un navire à destination des colonies de Caroline du Nord dans le but de devenir missionnaire au sein des Frères moraves, à laquelle il s’était recémentent converti. Le jeune ébéniste allemand avait tout laissé derrière lui : sa jeune femme, en convalescence à la suite d’un enfant mort-né, et une carrière prometteuse à Londres en tant que fabricant de meubles pour une riche clientèle britannique. Le voyage fut soudainement interrompu lorsque des pirates espagnols attaquèrent le bateau. Après avoir été bloqué sur la côte irlandaise pendant plusieurs semaines, Roentgen retourna auprès de sa femme et décida de reprendre son métier d’ébéniste sur le continent, en Allemagne.

 

Atelier d'Abraham et David Roentgen
Bureau mécanique, finement marqueté.
Neuwied, vers 1765/68. Vendu pour CHF 73 000.


Abraham (1711–1791) et son fils David Roentgen (1743–1807) firent de leur entreprise de meubles la plus prospère du 18e siècle – succès qui n’aurait vraisemblablement pas eu lieu si ces pirates avaient choisi un autre navire à attaquer. Le comte de Neuwied invita les Frères moraves (ou «Herrnhuter» en allemand) à s'installer dans sa ville en 1750 et Abraham Roentgen y installa son entreprise qui y restera durant les cinquante prochaines années.

Parmi les privilèges particuliers accordés par le comte à la confrérie, l’exemption à la limite du nombre de travailleurs dans un atelier, ainsi qu'à la division stricte du travail entre les guildes permirent à Roentgen de développer rapidement son ébénisterie en augmentant le nombre de travailleurs selon les besoins et en employant les meilleurs maîtres artisans pour chacun des éléments de ses meubles. Cette liberté – y compris dans le travail du châssis, de la sculpture, du tournage et des bronzes – lui permit d’avoir un contrôle complet sur la qualité du mobilier issu de son atelier.

 

Détail de la marqueterie du bureau mécanique ci-dessus.

Les meubles de Roentgen séduisirent rapidement la noblesse allemande. L’ébéniste introduit non seulement les formes à la mode et les techniques acquises en Angleterre, mais inclut également des mécanismes ingénieux alliés aux meilleures finitions de marqueterie et d'incrustations, tel que l’exemple présenté ici. David rejoignit l'atelier de son père dès son plus jeune âge et, ensemble, ils bâtirent une solide réputation dans la fabrication de meubles luxueux.

Toutefois, suite à la guerre de Sept Ans (1756–1763), alors que les finances de la société reflètent le désarroi dans lequel se trouve l'Europe, les Roentgens durent élargir leur clientèle. Ils se rendirent alors à Londres pour envisager d'y établir un atelier et, malgré leurs difficultés financières, revinrent avec une importante quantité de bois exotiques et de garnitures.

Ces dépenses additionnelles, ainsi que la pratique des Roentgens visant à produire des pièces coûteuses sur spéculation plutôt que sur commande, finirent par irriter la communauté de Herrnhuter quant aux nombreux prêts accordés à l’atelier. La Confrérie mit non seulement un terme aux financements, mais exclut également David des offices religieux.

 

Le "Cabinet de Neuwied", le meuble le plus cher jamais vendu au 18e siècle.
© Photo : Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Photographe : Stephan Klonk


Face à cette crise, David eut une idée novatrice mais risquée : il organiserait une loterie pour vendre son stock de meubles prestigieux. Confiant quant à la fascination pour les jeux de hasard qui régnait alors parmi l'élite européenne, et malgré le fait qu'une telle pratique était contraire aux préceptes de la confrérie, David entreprit une tournée promotionnelle dans les grandes villes allemandes, présentant les «produits de Neuwied» comme une marque de luxe incontournable. Le premier prix était un magnifique bureau-cabinet aux chinoiseries avec une horloge au carillon.

La loterie, qui eut lieu à Hambourg en 1769, fut un véritable succès : tous les billets se vendirent et la réputation de l’atelier Roentgen se répandit dans toute l'Europe.

Au cours des trente années suivantes, David Roentgen vendit les créations de l'atelier aux personnalités les plus puissantes d'Europe en pensant, à juste titre, que si le régent achetait ses meubles, ses courtisans et d'autres riches sujets le suivraient. Le stratagème fonctionna à merveille et Roentgen approcha des dirigeants tels que Marie-Antoinette, Louis XVI et Catherine la Grande avec une implacable confiance, fabriquant souvent des pièces extrêmement coûteuses sans même savoir s'ils consentiraient ou non à les acheter.

À Frédéric-Guillaume II, roi de Prusse, Roentgen vendit un bureau-cabinet pour la somme impressionnante de 13 000 thaler d'or, ce qui en fait le meuble le plus cher jamais vendu au 18e siècle.

 

Portrait de David Roentgen, vers 1785-90
Roentgen Museum, Neuwied


Les meubles des Roentgens, tel que le bureau mécanique proposé en vente aux enchères ce 18 juin, témoignent de l'ingéniosité et du superbe savoir-faire de cet atelier remarquable, ainsi que du goût prédominant des classes dirigeantes au Siècle des Lumières. À la fin de sa longue carrière, David Roentgen, comme son père avant lui, se retira au sein de la confrérie Herrnhuter avec laquelle il finit par se réconcilier, tandis que ses compétences diplomatiques et ses relations étendues servirent encore la cour prussienne. Son héritage survivra, véritable modèle d’émulation pour les ébénistes du 19e siècle et au-delà.






Prochaines ventes, Mobilier & Arts Décoratifs
:
24 septembre 2020 – Mobilier & Porcelaine


Catalogues



 

Andy Warhol, cinéaste underground

La couverture de la bande originale du film "Blood for Dracula".

Au milieu d’une fête, on demanda un jour à Andy Warhol tenant son appareil photo à la main : "Pourquoi prenez-vous constamment des photos de personnes ?" Warhol fixa un instant l'invité qui tenait une cigarette, puis répondit : "Pourquoi fumez-vous ?".

Fasciné par l'image photographique, Warhol tournera aussi des centaines de films dès son arrivée dans la "Factory" en 1963. Ses premières réalisations sont silencieuses, en noir et blanc, en raison des limites de sa camera Bolex 16 mm. De cette période sont issus les films "Sleep" (représentant un homme dormant pendant presque 6 heures) "Kiss", "Haircut", ainsi que sa première version inachevée de "Dracula" (1964), avec pour acteur principal le cinéaste underground Jack Smith.

 

Une scène de "Chelsea Girls", avec Nico and Ondine. Le film était projeté en écran divisé.

Les films de Warhol eurent un certain succès au sein de la scène underground newyorkaise du milieu des années 1960. Certaines productions de cette période sont aujourd’hui considérées comme de véritables classiques tel que "Chelsea Girls" (1966), une série de douze films de 33 minutes. Les scènes y ont été tournées dans différentes pièces de l'hôtel Chelsea, surnommé "L'Iliade du métro" par le Newsweek. La carrière de Warhol en tant que réalisateur se terminera plus ou moins avec l’épisode - quasi fatal - des coups de feu qui lui sont destinés en 1968 par Valerie Solanas, une habituée de la Factory. Paul Morrissey, son principal assistant à la réalisation depuis 1965, prit alors le relais et diffusa les films produits par Warhol à un public beaucoup plus large.

 

Udo Kier devenant vert dans "Blood for Dracula".

C’est ce même Morrissey qui réalisa "Andy Warhol’s Dracula" (1973-74) pour lequel cette image fut créée. Plus tard intitulé "Blood for Dracula", le film met en vedette l'acteur allemand Udo Kier et Joe Dallesandro, un acteur américain qui apparait dans de nombreuses productions de Warhol / Morrissey, dont "Flesh for Frankenstein". Le tournage de "Dracula" commença quelques jours seulement après la fin de "Frankenstein", le temps aux acteurs de se faire couper les cheveux pour interpréter leurs nouveaux rôles. "Dracula" suscitera en Allemagne et aux États-Unis des critiques plutôt mitigées, mais est devenu depuis un film culte et, malgré une esthétique "trash" à petit budget, contient des scènes magnifiquement tournées.

 

Andy Warhol (1928–1987)
Dracula. 1981.
Sérigraphie en couleurs avec poussière de diamant.
TP 2/30, épreuve d'essai en dehors de l'édition de 200. Pièce unique.
Vendu pour CHF 115 000 (prix record)


Warhol intègre l'image d'Udo Kier en Dracula dans sa série "Mythes" de 1981, dépeignant des icônes de la culture populaire. La sérigraphie présentée ici est une épreuve unique, différant considérablement des autres versions test par ses couleurs vibrantes et l'utilisation de poussière de diamant, alors que dans la version finale, le vampire aux tons gris-noir se fond presque dans le sombre arrière-plan. Le film est peut-être essentiellement l'œuvre de Morrisey, mais l'appropriation et la réutilisation d’un symbole de la culture populaire, comme le montre la sérigraphie en question, est la quintessence même de l’Œuvre de Warhol.



Prochaines ventes :
:
5 décembre – Estampes & Multiples
5 décembre – PostWar & Contemporary


Catalogues



 

Quand un collier de perles valait le prix d'un hôtel particulier

Elizabeth Taylor avec un de ses colliers de perles fines.

Pendant des millénaires, les perles fines ont été parmi les objets les plus précieux que l'on puisse posséder. C’est ainsi que Cléopâtre remporta son célèbre pari contre Marc-Antoine selon lequel elle dépensa 10 millions de sesterces en un seul dîner, en dissolvant une perle fine exceptionnellement grande dans du vinaigre qu’elle aurait bu. En 1917, Pierre Cartier acheta un hôtel particulier sur la 5e avenue de New York (aujourd’hui connu sous le nom de «Cartier Mansion») en échange d’un collier de perles fines à deux rangs d'une valeur de 1 million de dollars de l’époque.

Comme l'atteste la facture originale, le collier de perles et de diamants proposé dans notre vente aux enchères du 2 juillet avait été évalué à 100 000 francs suisses en 1919 par un bijoutier zurichois, soit environ 1 million de francs actuels. Mais quelques années seulement après l’échange de Cartier et l’achat du collier zurichois, les perles valaient une fraction de leur ancienne valeur. Comment s’explique cette chute abrupte ?

 

Chasseurs de perles chinois, de l'encyclopédie Tiangong Kaiwu, 1637.

La valeur des perles fines avant le 20e siècle résidait dans leur rareté extrême. En effet, il faut des années à un mollusque pour créer une perle, et ce processus ne survient que rarement, dans un coquillage sur dix mille environ. Les chasseurs de perles ont dû plonger jusqu'à 40 mètres de profondeur pour récupérer d'éventuels coquillages perliers ; activité aussi dangereuse que chronophage. Par conséquent, les perles étaient réservées aux personnes extrêmement fortunées et apparaissaient, bien en évidence, dans des pendentifs, boucles d'oreilles et colliers richement ornés.

 

Différentes sortes de perles de culture. Photo © GIA.

Dès 1921, les perles de culture sont apparues pour la première fois sur le marché international, développées entre autres au Japon dès la fin du 19e siècle par Kokichi Mikimoto. Une perle fine se forme lorsqu'un mollusque crée une couche de protection nacrée autour d'un minuscule corps étranger ou d’une blessure. Avec les perles de culture, une boule de nacre et un morceau d’épithélium est inséré par l’homme, avec pour résultat une production beaucoup plus efficace, et des prix abordables. Dans les années 1950 et 1960, les perles de culture étaient donc à la portée de la classe moyenne, et le fait qu'elles soient portées par des célébrités telles que Jackie Kennedy et Marilyn Monroe les rendaient d'autant plus attrayantes.

 

Collier perles fines et diamants, vers 1919.
89 perles fines, D ca. 4 – 7,2 mm
Avec facture d'achat originales d'Eugen Keller, décembre 1919.
Vendu pour CHF 16 000


Aujourd'hui, il est possible d'obtenir ce qui était autrefois l'un des plus grands trésors du monde, un collier de perles fines, et de profiter de ce que seuls quelques chanceux pouvaient se permettre.



Prochaines ventes :
:
29 septembre –  Joaillerie (online only)


Catalogues



 

École émilienne, 16e siècle (détail)

Vendu pour CHF 45 000

Voir les résultats

Excellents résultats et enchères dynamiques pour les ventes en ligne de Koller malgré le climat actuel

La crise du coronavirus n’a pas découragé les nombreux enchérisseurs en ligne qui ont participé avec enthousiasme aux ventes "ibid online only" de Koller. Les ventes, clôturées les 31 mars et 1er avril, ont abouti à un prix d’adjudication global dépassant 100% des estimations. Dans l'impossibilité d’ouvrir son exposition, Koller avait reporté ses ventes aux enchères classiques de mars et décidé de maintenir ses ventes en ligne, offrant une présentation uniquement virtuelle des lots. Les résultats atteints pour ces objets de valeur modeste furent excellents, malgré le fait que les lots ne puissent pas être examinés en personne. Même les domaines qui suscitaient moins d’intérêt ces dernières années semblent avoir bénéficié d’un nouveau souffle : les meubles anciens ont dépassé les attentes, ainsi que les livres anciens, la porcelaine et l’argenterie. Les tableaux de maîtres anciens ont particulièrement eu du succès, notamment grâce à deux œuvres : un portrait de famille de l'École émilienne et une tête d'apôtre par un suiveur de Van Dyck, vendus respectivement CHF 45 000 et CHF 34 000.

Mais la crise actuelle a peut-être aussi contribué au succès des ventes : "Je dois encore vous féliciter pour la parfaite organisation de la vente aux enchères", nous a écrit un acheteur après la vente. "Cela nous a permis, à ma femme et à moi, de vivre des heures passionnantes malgré le fait que nous étions en ‘assignation à residence’".

Depuis 2018, Koller organise régulièrement des enchères en ligne "ibid", proposant des œuvres plus accessibles en parallèle de ses ventes aux enchères traditionnelles. Ces événements sur internet connaissent un véritable succès, non seulement parmi les enchérisseurs habituels de Koller mais également parmi une nouvelle génération de collectionneurs familiarisés avec les achats en ligne. Le processus transparent des ventes, l'accès rapide à des images haute résolution, les rapports d'état et les conseils directs de spécialistes en font un moyen populaire d'accéder à toute une gamme d’objets d’art, des beaux-arts au design, du vin à la mode vintage.

 


 

KOLLERview is published four times a year,

the next issue will follow in June 2020

Click & Read

In this issue:

• Treasure from Limoges
• Golden Middle Ages
• White gold from Meissen
• 18th-century “Design”
• Astronomical precision
• From Corot to Lieberman

 


 


KOLLERview is published four times a year,

the next issue will follow in December 2019.

Als PDF lesen

Dear Clients and Friends

In 1990, when I was 23 years old, I started working in the auction house which my father founded and built from the ground up in 1958. The trust that my father placed in me in those early years, and the freedom to put new ideas into practice he gave me from the very beginning, were decisive for our entire future cooperation. The openness of the older generation towards the younger one, and the respect of the young for the experience of their elders – that was the magic formula for the continued success of our auction house in the following decades. I am deeply grateful for all those years.

My father’s life, which ended on 21 June 2019, was closely interwoven with his “Galerie Koller” up to his last day. Until the end, his greatest interest was in our auction house. And so he would certainly have advised me at this point, after due acknowledgements, to announce the highlights of our upcoming auctions!

The two most important works in our Old Masters auction are panels which were created during the same period, but are diametrically opposed in their conception. One was made in Florence, the other in Mechelen. Tuscany and Flanders, two of the leading economic and cultural centres in the 15th and 16th centuries, engaged in constant contact and exchanges. And yet we see two worlds of ideas colliding in the “Portrait of a Jester” by the Master of 1537 and in the “Madonna” by Pier Francesco di Jacopo Foschi. The first is of a naturally realistic genre, deeply rooted in this world and challenging the viewer; the second – with a subtly idealised composition and colouring – serves the divine.

The fascination with mechanical perfection and the display of modern technology in the 18th and 19th centuries is documented on the one hand by a skeleton clock made in Paris around 1780, and on the other by two books woven by machine in silk. The books’ production was automated in 1878, about a hundred years after the creation of the skeleton clock mentioned above, with the help of thousands of punched cards. The programming of Jacquard looms for the production of highly detailed books was ground-breaking, and their complex binary code corresponds to one of the basic principles of the present-day computer.

Several Italian panel paintings from the 14th and 15th centuries and many other objects distributed over all specialist areas come from a wonderful Ticino collection which an Italian connoisseur lovingly and knowledgeably assembled over many years. Finally, in this issue of KOLLERview we also present some objects and works of art that we have successfully auctioned in recent months.

I wish you, dear readers, an informative read.

Yours, Cyril Koller


MASTER OF 1537 / FRANS VERBEECK (?)
Portrait of a jester. Circa 1550.
Oil on panel.
33.9 × 24.6 cm.
Estimate: CHF 500 000 / 700 000

Fools say what the wise man only thinks

Preview of the Old Master Paintings Auction on 27 September 2019

The jester as a symbolic figure crops up again and again throughout history in literature as well as in the performing and visual arts. Sixteenth-century Flemish painters Quentin Massys (1466–1530) and Lucas van Leyden (1494–1533) provided outstanding examples. A coloured woodblock print by Heinrich Vogtherr the Younger, circa 1540 (see illustration below) is closely related to the work offered in the 27 September auction. The jester, wellknown for taking liberties, is probably the most iconic figure of the court; his ambivalent role is most pronounced.



© akg-images

Although the jester had a comparatively good livelihood because of his proximity to power, when he fell out of favour, the good times were over, with even the possibility of execution. Thus the court jester's life was always a risky balancing act, a continuous all-or-nothing game between the lightness of being and downfall.

The portrait of a jester offered here had been on loan to the Musée départemental de Flandre in Cassel since 2010. It is easy to recognise the established attributes of the fool: the yellow and red costume and the fool's cap with donkey-ears and cockscomb. The fool’s staff on the right is reminiscent of dolls on sticks called “Marotte” dolls. This staff depicts the portrait of its bearer, which alludes to the narcissism and possibly also the godlessness of fools. The representation against a black background and the renunciation of a pictorial context concentrates the composition – and thus the viewer’s gaze – on the facial expression and physical attitude of the jester. This portrait form was a distinct rarity in the 16th century. In order to decipher his idiosyncratic gesture, one inevitably arrives at a saying that is still common in Dutch today: “iets door de vingers zien”. “To see something through one’s fingers” stands for the desire to turn a blind eye, to tolerate, to be broadminded. Apparently the artist is suggesting that one should overlook others’ – including the jester’s – mistakes. Eyeglasses are usually considered a sign of erudition. In this case, though, they probably stand for glare and deception, because at that time making eyeglasses, like the wooden temple glasses shown here, was a technical challenge. Since the resulting spectacles were of very uneven quality, their sellers were often regarded as charlatans.

This impressive jester’s portrait has been attributed to the “Master of 1537”. Active in Mechelen between 1520 and 1570, the Master’s sobriquet derives from a dated panel depicting the Holy Family which was attributed to him. Recent art historical research suggests that the Master of 1537 may have been Frans Verbeeck (before 1530–circa 1570). On the basis of a dendrochronological examination of the wooden panel, the present painting can be dated to a period following 1548, Verbeeck’s most intensive creative phase. His works are related to those of Jan Sanders van Hemessen (1500–1566) and Pieter Coeck van Aelst (1502–1550), but Verbeeck developed his own style, characterised by exaggerated facial features, extravagant poses and unique pictorial compositions. His subjects often contain satirical features. Chronologically and stylistically, Verbeeck’s paintings represent a connection between the works of Hieronymus Bosch (circa 1450–1516) and Pieter Bruegel the Elder (circa 1525/30–1569). In this context as well, this portrait is an excellent example of high-quality Flemish portrait painting of the 16th century.



BALTHASAR VAN DER AST
Still life with fruits in a woven basket.
Oil on panel.
29,7 × 52,3 cm.
Estimate: CHF 180 000 / 280 000

JSaint John – favourite disciple, bearer of hope and patron saint

Preview of the Old Master Paintings Auction on 27 September 2019

Intimately close and skilfully bound within the pictorial space by the artist – this is how Mary, the Christ child and the infant John the Baptist appear in a large-format painting which can be described as one of the major works of Pier Francesco di Jacopo Foschi (1502–1567). Foschi, whose father was a pupil of Botticelli, was one of the most sought-after and successful artists during his lifetime, but later faded into obscurity. It was not until 1953 that the renowned Italian art historian Roberto Longhi rediscovered him and his works. Today Foschi is regarded as one of the leading Florentine painters of the 16th century. This high-quality and very well-preserved work can be dated to the creative phase between 1530 and 1540, in which the artist worked primarily under and with Jacopo da Pontormo (1494–1557). While Foschi’s artistic style in his early works was decisively influenced by the painting style of his master Andrea del Sarto (1486–1530), during this period he abandoned descriptive-narrative elements in favour of an emphasis on mystical and religious ones. Stylistically committed to Mannerism, the pictorial space appears densely compressed by the interlocking positions of the figures. The well-arranged composition of gazes, hands and curved bodies lends a lively dynamic. The masterly representation is softened by the colours and the extremely delicate skin tones of the figures. Comparable depictions were already popular devotional motifs among the Florentine bourgeoisie and nobility in the 15th century, especially since John the Baptist was the patron saint of Florence at that time and has remained so to this day.



THEOBALD MICHAU
Lively village scene before a broad landscape.
Oil on panel.
42 × 62 cm.
Estimate: CHF 50 000 / 70 000

Marche School, 15th century
Crucifixion.
Tempera and gold ground on panel.
42 × 30,2 cm.
Estimate: CHF 40 000 / 60 000

The suffering of Christ on the cross is one of the central subjects of Christian art. This panel, which dates from the High Gothic period and has never before been published, depicts the moment when Christ, shortly before his death, commended his favourite disciple John to Mary as her son: “Woman, here is your son” and “Here is your mother”. The artist stages this episode subtly: Mary takes the kneeling John by the hand and wraps her cloak around him protectively. Behind them, as if witnessing this highly emotional event, one sees Saint Francis of Assisi touching the cross. The rich golden ground of the sky with its engraved plant tendrils and the fascinating directed light on the four figures and their clothing, with the rocky landscape kept in shadow, are strikingly decorative and ennobling. This small-format panel from the early 15th century was probably made in the Marche near Fabriano or San Severino. “In these regions in the 15th century a pictorial world was formed, which combined the playful high Gothic style of Northern Italy, Lombardy, Visconti and Veneto with the elegance of Tuscany’s classical, more plastic world of forms.” (Prof. Dr Gaudenz Freuler).

PIER FRANCESCO DI JACOPO FOSCHI
Madonna and Child with the Infant St John the Baptist.
Oil on panel.
109 × 85 cm.
Estimate: CHF 400 000 / 600 000



ALPHONSE DE LAMARTINE
Les Laboureurs, poème tiré de Jocelyn reproduit en caractères tissés avec
license des propriétaires éditeurs, en souvenier de l'exposition de Paris 1878.
Estimate: CHF 80 000 / 120 000

A forerunner of computer technology

Preview of the Books Auction on 24 September 2019

What do the Statue of Liberty, Braille, the telephone and electric light have in common? They were all among the exhibits at the third World’s Fair, or Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1878, which focused on modern technology. In addition to the above-mentioned prominent exhibits, there was a very exotic-looking invention on display, the fruit of an enormous technical effort: an entire book made entirely of silk. The spiritual father and creator of this visionary project was the Lyon silk manufacturer Joseph-Alphonse Henry (1836–1913). It is not known how much time was spent and how many fruitless attempts were made by Henry and his studio before they reached their goal, but one thing is certain: the production costs must have been astronomical, and were probably only justified by the extraordinary publicity promised by the Paris Exposition.



LIVRE DE PRIÈRES
One page from the book.
Tissé sur soie d’après les enluminures
des manuscrits du XIVe au XVIe siècle.
Estimate: CHF 40 000 / 60 000

LIVRE DE PRIÈRES
Tissé sur soie d’après les enluminures
des manuscrits du XIVe au XVIe siècle.
Estimate: CHF 40 000 / 60 000

This very first programmed textile book – a poem by Alphonse de Lamartine: Les Laboureurs – was produced on a Jacquard loom. Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752–1834) developed his idea for a programmable loom as early as 1790. By experimenting with punched cards, he managed to automate the process to a large extent. By 1801, Jacquard had perfected his invention, and was able to produce endless complex patterns with the help of thousands of punched cards. By doing so, Jacquard had created a forerunner of modern computer programs.

The woven copies produced by Henry were not intended for sale. Only three examples from 1878 are known today: one in Paris’s Bibliothèque Nationale, another in the Musée des Tissus in Lyon, and the one offered here, the veritable prototype (“Exemplaire No. I”). The present copy is the only one that is numbered. Another example, more richly decorated, was later ordered by the Comte de Paris, Philippe d’Orléans, on the condition that no more copies would be produced; it is conserved in the Musée Louis Philippe, Château d’Eu. Nevertheless, at least one other copy was made, but with a modified title page sporting more lavish borders, a new address for the J. A. Henry workshop, and a woven date of 1883.

Accurate to one-tenth of a millimetre

In addition to the last copy of the original edition of Les Laboureurs in private hands, the auction on 24 September also features the second, improved woven book: a book of hours entitled Livre de Prières. Tissé d'après les Enluminures des Manuscrits du XIVe au XVIe Siècle (Lyon 1886/87), which was also made by Joseph-Alphonse Henry and is of outstanding quality; the attention to detail in this book is second to none. It took more than fifty attempts over more than two years to achieve success. The pages have elaborate borders. The text, which is very clearly printed, is enhanced with four miniatures, three of which are fullpage. The encoding of the silk pages likely required some 300,000 to 400,000 punched cards. For the precise weaving of 400 weft threads per square inch for typography and illustrations, machine movements of no more than a tenth of a millimetre were permitted. Since the pages could only be woven on one side, the front and back sides were woven separately, and the subsequent gluing process was very error-prone. Livre de Prières was presented at the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris.

No further experiments in this extraordinary technique are known. The fact that these two outstanding technological masterpieces can now be offered at auction is a stroke of luck for collectors, institutions and museums. Alongside this singular pair of books, two hand-written books on silk weaving from 1855 and 1880 will also be auctioned.



HENRI ADOLPHE SCHAEP
Working on the docks at night. 1856.
Oil on canvas.
47,7 × 69 cm.
Estimate: CHF 15 000 / 20 000

Immersed in light

Preview of the 19th Century Paintings Auction on 27 September 2019

Following the success of the first part of the renowned collection of Jef Rademakers auctioned at Koller in March, on 27 September 2019 the second part will be offered, with Dutch and Belgian works from the Romantic movement of the 19th century, including “Village by a river in moonlight” by Theodorus Jacobus Abels (1803–1866). With such nocturnal river landscapes, which became a characteristic feature of his late works, Abels emulated the great painters of the 17th century, such as his compatriot Aert van der Neer (1603–1677). Abels’s moonlight images can be found in the royal collections of the Netherlands and Belgium.



JEAN-BAPTISTE-CAMILLE COROT
Naples – le Mont Saint-Elme et partie de la ville. 1828.
Oil on paper laid on panel.
20,6 × 40,4 cm.
Estimate: CHF 70 000 / 90 000

THEODORUS JACOBUS ABELS
Village by a river in the moonlight.
Oil on panel.
74,3 × 95,7 cm.
Estimate: CHF 12 000 / 18 000

Abels’s contemporary Henri Adolphe Schaep (1826–1870) attained great fame as a marine painter, but he also created dramatic landscapes bathed in moonlight, like the present painting “Night work at the docks”. One of his most important sources of inspiration was the Scheldt River, plied by large schooners between Antwerp and its mouth at the North Sea.

Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot’s (1796–1875) light-flooded view of Naples and Mount Sant’Elmo in pastel tones will also be offered in the 27 September auction. The artist collected his first impressions of Italy from 1825 until 1828, during his travels to Naples as well as to Rome and the Campagna. This painting from 1828 is an early open-air work by the Parisian artist, who was one of the pioneers of Impressionism. With particular attention to the rendering of light and atmosphere, in his early work Corot laid the foundation of a new understanding of landscape painting. His early, en plein air oil sketches and paintings come alive through luminous colours and flowing brushstrokes, and they had an enormous effect on the following generation of artists. The often-exhibited landscape offered here once belonged to the influential Parisian art dealer and gallery owner Paul Durand-Ruel.

A glimpse into the private life of monks is offered by Eduard Grützner in his “Secret Study”, 1892, which depicts three clergymen studying in a monastery library. With an outstanding variety of details, this characteristic work is part of a group published under the title “Monks or priests reading and engaged in other leisure activities”. The artist – appointed in 1886 as Professor of the Munich Academy and raised to the nobility in 1916 – counts alongside Carl Spitzweg (1808–1885) and Franz von Defregger (1835–1921) as one of the most important Munich genre painters of the late nineteenth century.

PEDUARD GRÜTZNER
Heimliche Studie (Secret study). 1892.
Oil on canvas.
79,5 × 60,5 cm.
Estimate: CHF 40 000 / 60 000



RARE PRECISION SKELETON PENDULUM CLOCK
WITH DATE, DAY, SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC AND SECOND
Louis XVI/Directoire, Paris, end of the 18th century
42 x 20 x 62 cm.
Estimate: CHF 30 000 / 50 000

TTechnical elegance

Preview of the Furniture, Sculpture, Silver and Porcelain Auction on 26 September 2019

Skeleton clocks combine two very different professions: the art of watchmaking, and product design. At the end of the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution was still in its infancy, but fascination with technology grew rapidly. Clocks such as the French skeleton clock offered at auction on 26 September were painstakingly produced by hand at that time, and had evolved from decorative accessories in elaborately designed cases, to technical masterpieces exhibited with pride. The makers took care to show the sophisticated mechanical interplay of the highly refined and precisely crafted movements. The dial was reduced from a large white enamel disc to a ring, thus allowing an unimpeded view of the interior movement. Most valuable skeleton clocks of this period, including the one offered here, are characterised by very precise movements. A special feature of these clocks made in Paris is a compensation pendulum, which can make up for differences in movement caused by variations in temperature.



FOUR GROUPS OF LARGE FIGURES, ALLEGORIES OF THE FOUR PARTS OF THE EARTH
Meissen, models by J. F. Eberlein.
Circa 1746 / 1763.
H 25 / 30 cm.
Estimate: CHF 40 000 / 60 000

PAIR OF IMPORTANT ROCOCO SCONCES
Germany, Franconia ca. 1765.
Carved and polychrome painted wood.
H 58,5 cm.
Estimate: CHF 20 000 / 30 000

A pair of magnificent Rococo wall appliques from circa 1765 boasts an exciting provenance: the renowned Munich art dealer Karl Fischer-Böhler arranged the sale of six of these Franconian appliques to Lesley and Emma Shaefer, an American collecting couple, who in turn donated them to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where they are exhibited today. Another pair from this same series, which Fischer-Böhler kept for himself, will now be offered at auction in Zurich. In the finesse of their polychrome carvings, but also in the uniqueness of their design, the two naturalistic appliques are reminiscent of the important seating and ornamental furniture from Schloss Seehof, formerly owned by the Prince-Bishop of Würzburg, Adam Friedrich von Seinsheim (1708–1779). Presumably, these wall appliques were also part of the interior, which today – also donated by the Shaefer Collection – belongs to the Met.

Early examples of porcelain wares with the crossed swords mark from the famous Meissen manufactory are among the most sought-after pieces on the historical porcelain market. The large allegories of the four continents of Europe, America, Asia and Africa from 1745 to 1763 offered here are based on models commissioned by the Russian Empress Elizabeth Petrovna in 1745. The designs were provided by the experienced porcelain modeller Johann Friedrich Eberlein (1695–1749). In 1741, Elizabeth I received extensive deliveries of Meissen porcelain from the Saxon Elector Frederick Augustus II, and in the following years she ordered further “white gold” from the “Electoral Saxon Porcelain Manufactory” – pieces which are today in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. Elizabeth’s father, Czar Peter the Great, and Frederick Augustus’s father, Augustus the Strong, were both devoted collectors of porcelain, and had already cultivated friendly relations between the two countries, including the exchange of diplomatic gifts such as porcelain figures.

LARGE COMMODE "À LA GRECQUE"
Transition, Paris ca. 1765/70.
Signed S. OEBEN.
Purpleheart, satinwood and amaranth, inlaid as geometric reserves and fillets and marquetry.
Estimate: CHF 80 000 / 120 000



01 PAIR OF BOTTLE HOLDERSR
Milan, 20th century. Maker's mark Buccellati.
Designed as swans. With removable inserts, for bottles.
H 28,5 and 34 cm. Total weight 2960 g.
Estimate: CHF 4 000 / 8 000

PreView

01 The tradition-rich Bucellatti firm in Milan is celebrating its centenary in 2019. One of its prominent customers was the poet Gabriele D'Annunzio.



02 PETER BINOIT
Glass vase with bouquet of flowers, may beetle, snail and other small insects.
Oil on panel.
33,8 × 24 cm.
Estimate: CHF 80 000 / 120 000

03 ALBRECHT DÜRER
Christ on the cross, circa 1497/98.
Woodcut.
39 x 27,5 cm. Framed.
Estimate: CHF 15 000 / 20 000

04 ORIENT -
David Roberts. Egypt & Nubia.
From Drawings made on the spot by David Roberts, R.A. Two parts in three volumes.
London, F. G. Moon, 1846–1849.
Estimate: CHF 25 000 / 40 000

02 This bouquet of flowers by the German artist Binoit is typical of the early 17th century, with a dark background and rendered in an almost photorealist manner.

03 Dürer’s “Apocalypse”, comprising 16 motifs, is one of the highlights of printmaking and his depiction of the apocalyptic riders is one of the best-known woodcuts ever made.

04 David Roberts produced this encyclopaedic work depicting buildings and monuments during his journey along the Nile in 1838 and his stays in Cairo and Alexandria in 1839.

05 The IJ was Amsterdam’s direct link to the sea. In addition to winter scenes, Leickert’s trademark was a dramatic sky bathed in evening light.

06 De Noter's painting not only gives a glimpse of everyday life in the mid-19th century, it also enhances the genre scene with details that are themselves small still lifes.

05 CHARLES HENRI JOSEPH LEICKERT
The IJ with Amsterdam in the distance.
Oil on panel.
30 × 40,8 cm.
Estimate: CHF 25 000 / 35 000

06 DAVID EMIL JOSEPH DE NOTER
Kitchen interior. 1845.
Oil on panel.
76,5 × 58 cm.
Estimate: CHF 20 000 / 30 000


07 JOHANN RUDOLF BYS
Pair of works: Large exotic sea snail, with flowers and finch /
Large scallop with flowers and goldfinch. 1694.
Oil on canvas. Each 44,5 × 35 cm.
Estimate: CHF 60 000 / 100 000

07 The Swiss painter Bys was commissioned by Emperor Leopold I to paint for the House of Habsburg and Elector Lothar Franz von Schönborn. The inclusion of pendant works was popular in many private collections, as witnessed by this pair of still lifes.



08 CIRCLE OF NICCOLÒ DA VOLTRI
Madonna and Child with Saints Peter, Paul, John the Baptist and Antonius Abbas.
Tempera and gold ground on panel.
46,4 × 33,4 cm.
Estimate: CHF 30 000 / 50 000

09 RARE TAPESTRY "TOBIAS MIT DEM FISCH"
Brussels, ca. 1530/40.
Based on the models of a successor of Bernard van Orley.
350 × 430 cm.
Estimate: CHF 10 000 / 15 000

08 This small-format Marian painting from circa 1400 was probably made in Liguria or Tuscany and was originally used for private devotions.

09 This tapestry shows a scene from the Old Testament book of Tobit. Tobit’s son Tobias is accompanied on a journey by the archangel Raphael, who helps him to allow his blind father to see again by using fish gall.

10 This master, whose identity is unknown but whose works are documented in northern Italy, was influenced by the style of the important Florentine painter Domenico Ghirlandaio. This representation of the Madonna stands out through its strict composition as well as its sublime execution.

11 Huysum was praised in his time as the “phoenix of flower and fruit painters” because the delicacy and precision of his paintings was unequalled.

12 The Roman aristocracy valued Piancastelli, who came from a humble background, both as a portrait painter and as an artistic advisor.

10 MASTER OF MARRADI
Madonna and Child surrounded by archangels. Circa 1500.
Tempera on panel.
67 × 44,5 cm.
Estimate: CHF 40 000 / 60 000

11 JAN VAN HUYSUM
Vase of flowers in a niche. Circa 1725-28.
Brown pen, black chalk, grey and brown wash on slightly brown paper.
24,2 x 18,5 cm. Framed.
Estimate: CHF 15 000 / 20 000

12 GIOVANNI PIANCASTELLI
Pair of works: Emigrazione dell' Agro Romano - Partendo und Tornando.
Oil on panel.
59,7 × 99,8 cm / 59,1 × 99,9 cm.
Estimate: CHF 180 000 / 250 000

AN IMPORTANT IMPERIAL "PHOENIX AND PEONY"-BRONZE CENSER (2019)
China, 17th/18th century
Height 24 cm, widht 59 cm, weight 22,3 kg.
Parcel-gilt bronze.
Sold for CHF 4,8 Mio

4.8 million for an incense burner

Top results for Asian art

Koller’s Asian Art specialists made an important discovery when they visited a client’s home last autumn: they were offered a large bowl which had been owned by the family for generations, and was now being used as a container for tennis balls and other items. The owners obviously didn’t realize that the misappropriated vessel was an important Chinese imperial censer, made around 1700 in parcel-gilt bronze. This rare find was auctioned at Koller’s Asian Art sale in June, where it fetched the record price of 4.8 million Swiss francs.



A BRONZE FIGURE OF BUDDHA SHAKYAMUNI ON A LION THRONE (2017)
Northeastern India, Pala, 8th/9th century.
Height 16,5 cm.
Silver and copper inlays.
Sold for CHF 1,17 Mio.

A TURQUOISE GROUND CLOISONNÉ ENAMEL DISH (2017)
China, Ming dynasty, first half of 15th century.
Diameter 26 cm.
Golden double vajra on the back. Slightly damaged.
Sold for CHF 144 000

In May, the richly decorated incense burner was the star of the International Antiques Fair in Hong Kong, where Koller exhibited it along with other highlights in advance of the auction. Many of Asia’s most important collectors participated in the auction room in Zurich, or via telephone, creating an intense bidding competition; more than thirty interested parties submitted bids for this unique work. The lot was finally won by a collector from China who is setting up a private museum in Beijing. Interestingly, the censer could have ended up in an important museum of East Asian art as early as the 1960s, when the owners offered it for sale, but the museum politely refused to make an offer. Another attempt at sale in the 1970s did not come to fruition because a London auction house thought the object was likely a 19th-century copy and told the owners that the costs of shipping “would hardly be worth it”.

Phoenix and peonies

China is regarded as the ancient capital of bronze casting. The technique was developed early on there, and perfected over thousands of years. The price of CHF 4.8 million achieved for the incense burner is a record for such an object, for which there are no comparable pieces known in terms of size and quality. Its design is unique: the heads of two phoenixes, whose wings blend into peonies and embrace the vessel, serve as handles. The phoenix is considered the king of birds in China; the peony the queen of flowers. Its symbolic power permeates all branches of Chinese culture. One of the most famous opera pieces of the Ming period, written by Tang Xianzu, a contemporary of Shakespeare, bears the title “Peony Pavilion”. The phoenix is also a symbol of the Chinese empress, which is why it can be assumed that the basin – almost 60 centimetres in diameter and weighing 22 kilograms – was created for an imperial palace or temple. There is a Xuande six-character stamp at the base of the vessel. According to their original purpose, such vessels were filled with rice ashes, into which glowing incense sticks were placed. China has had an important tradition of ancestor veneration for thousands of years, which has always been accompanied by the burning of incense. At such ceremonies, ancestors and gods were honoured by burning incense sticks in temples or before household altars.

The record price for this censer is the culmination of a series of excellent results for important Asian works of art achieved at Koller in recent years. For example, a Tibetan bronze of the deity Panca Raksha was sold for CHF 3.24 million. An imperial room partition made of carved wood fetched CHF 940,000 in 2017. In the same year, Koller sold a bronze sculpture of Buddha Shakyamuni on a lion throne for CHF 1.17 million and an imperial Chinese bronze bell changed hands for CHF 1.2 million.

A DARK COPPER GLAZED MEIPING VASE (2018)
China, Qianlong mark and of the period.
Height 30 cm.
Sold for CHF 102 000


01 RENÉ MAGRITTE
Les voies et moyens. 1948.
Gouache and gold on paper.
40,5 × 32,8 cm.
Sold for CHF 439 000

ReView

01 Magritte deliberately provoked le tout Paris in 1947/48 with a series of caricature-like portraits pervaded by biting criticism.



02 PIERO DORAZIO
Mimet. 1962.
Oil on canvas.
46 × 33 cm.
Estimate: CHF 88 000

03 FERDINAND HODLER
Schreitende. (figure stepping) Circa 1910.
Oil on canvas.
46,5 × 40 cm.
Sold for CHF 340 000

04 MAGNUM PHOTOS
“Sélection Esther Woerdehoff ”, 1947–2007.
Portfolio with 15 original photographs.
Sheet dimension 28 x 35.5 cm to 40 x 50 cm (various portrait and landscape formats)
Sold for CHF 45 000

02 Dorazio translated phenomena of light and colour into energetic, shimmering compositions.

03 Hodler enjoyed great success throughout Europe in the years around 1900 with variations on symbolically charged full-length fi gures such as this woman (his model, Giulia Leonardi), moving as if in a dance. These female fi gures not only became the artist's trademark, but also icons of Swiss modern art.

04 For the agency’s 60th birthday, gallery owner Woerdehoff published a selection of world-famous Magnum photographs.

05 In Dietrich’s intense landscape paintings, expressiveness and colour combine to create drama, and sometimes also “operatic exaltation”.

06 Sisley does not describe the drama of nature, but reveals the unique amongst the seemingly ordinary.

05 ADOLF DIETRICH
Evening at the lake with red clouds. 1915.
Oil on board.
28 × 38,5 cm.
Sold for CHF 183 000

06 ALFRED SISLEY
Autour de la forêt, juin. Circa 1885.
Oil on canvas.
54 x 72,7 cm.
Sold for CHF 800 000


07 ROBERT MANGOLD
Red with Green Ellipse / Black frame. 1988/89.
Acrylic and pencil on canvas (diptych).
140 x 210 cm.
Sold for CHF 315 000

07 In Mangold’s voluminous double pictures, colour and material move into space, and this expansion of the picture into the three-dimensional creates a relationship of its own with the viewer. In his works, the artist addresses the dialogue between uncertainty and conviction, between intuition and analysis.



08 JEAN FAUTRIER
La passoire. 1947.
Oil on wove paper on canvas.
46 x 55 cm.
Sold for CHF 207 000

09 OSKAR KOKOSCHKA
Ann Windfohr. 1960.
Oil on canvas.
91 x 70 cm.
Sold for CHF 146 000

08 Fautrier’s art informel paintings are characterised by the pasty application of paint and concentration on an isolated, non-objective motif.

09 Kokoschka’s skill as a portraitist was in demand; here he painted the American art collector Ann Windfohr.

10 This portrait of a skier in the mountains above Maloja was one of the last paintings Giacometti made for his client Anna von Planta.

11 Countless artists, including Moret, were fascinated by the unique landscape of the Breton cliffs. In his paintings he combines the Synthetism of the Pont-Aven school with Impressionism.

12 Bugatti’s bronzes – predominantly depictions of animals and figures such as this nude – mark the transition from Art Nouveau to Art Deco.

10 GIOVANNI GIACOMETTI
Skier. 1899.
Oil on canvas.
65,5 × 102 cm.
Sold for CHF 488 000

11 HENRY MORET
Falaises, côte de Bretagne. 1910.
Oil on canvas.
64 x 79 cm.
Sold for CHF 110 000

12 REMBRANDT BUGATTI
"Le Réveil", circa 1907.
Bronze with brown patina.
H: 34.5 cm.
Sold for CHF 195 000

13 KEITH HARING
Pop Shop I-IV. 1988.
Lot of 4 colour screenprints.. 183/200.
Varying image sizes on wove paper 30.5 x 38 cm.
Sold for CHF 56 000

13 This series of four colour silkscreen prints was created during the years when Haring ran his Pop Shop in New York, selling originals and prints of his own works. The style of his figure paintings, which he also often painted on the walls of buildings and on billboards, is unmistakable.



14 CUNO AMIET
The fruit harvest. 1912.
Oil on canvas.
103 × 115 cm.
Sold for CHF 775 000

15 LOUISE NEVELSON
Cloud II. 1984.
Painted wood.
84 x 115 x 6,5 cm.
Sold for CHF 73 000

14 Amiet’s apple paintings were a recurring theme throughout his artistic career. Many studies and variations of this subject coalesced over the course of a few years, until about 1915, into a veritable group of works including this large-format painting. In this version of the fruit harvest the artist is at the cusp of the main artistic currents of that period: the Expressionism of the Fauves, die Brücke and Cubism. This work comes from the collection of Eugen Loeb, with whom Amiet was friends until his death.

15 With their genuine pictorial inventions, the generation of artists that included Louise Nevelson contributed to the emancipation of contemporary American art from European influences.

FRANZ GERTSCH (2018)
Dominique. 1988.
Woodcut in colour. 7/18.
103 x 115 cm.
Sold for CHF 168 000

Swiss Printmakers

Results for Swiss prints

The protagonists of Swiss printmaking have left their mark on art history in many fascinating ways, especially within the last 150 years. The tradition ranges from woodcuts and etchings by Félix Vallotton to lithographs by Alberto Giacometti, linocuts by Lill Tschudi and woodcuts by Franz Gertsch. Their works reveal an endless variety of expressive possibilities in printmaking. Particularly fascinating are the different results that can be achieved while using the same techniques: although Vallotton and Gertsch both made woodcuts, their pictorial worlds could not differ more.



LILL TSCHUDI (2018)
Guards. 1936.
Linocut in red.
Image 16 x 20.2 cm on thin Japan laid paper 22.5 x 28 cm.
Sold for CHF 2 500

Félix Vallotton (1865–1925) used powerful, flat black-andwhite contrasts in his individual prints and series to create his signet-like motifs. With only a few perfectly placed cuts in the wooden block he succeeded in creating timeless images. It is also interesting to note the stark contrast between the artist’s woodcuts and his drawings and paintings. This is not the case with Alberto Giacometti (1901–1966), whose lithographs and etchings are closely related to his drawings and paintings. Giacometti's drawings on litho stone did not differ in motif or style from his unique works on paper and canvas. His characteristic oeuvre is dominated by portraits, landscapes and interior views of his studio. In the book Paris sans fin, published in 1969, the 150 illustrations by Giacometti demonstrate his consummate skill as a lithographer. Published in a small edition, it was a milestone in 20th-century printmaking art.

Lill Tschudi (1911–2004), who studied at the innovative and influential Grosvenor School of Modern Art in London in the late 1920s, caused a sensation with her striking linocuts. Pablo Picasso was one of the principal artists to establish this technique in modern art. Claude Flight introduced the Glarus-born Tschudi to the linocut technique, while companions such as André Lhote, Gino Severini, and Fernand Léger broadened her artistic horizons. In contrast to most of her contemporaries, Tschudi worked exclusively in linocut. Her subjects of the interwar years in particular reflect the Zeitgeist impressively: her motifs are characterized by technical progress, intensity and speed, but also by anonymity and the looming crisis of the late “Roaring Twenties”.

Among contemporary Swiss artists, Franz Gertsch (*1930) is closely associated with the Swiss printmaking tradition. Monumental woodcuts play a central role in his work. From 1986 to 1994, Gertsch devoted himself exclusively to working in woodcut and in doing so advanced to completely independent forms of expression. With his own Japan paper, Gertsch attained the limits of what is possible in woodblock printing and opened up a new dimension for this classical medium. His prints are dominated by monochrome, format-filling portraits of women from his circle and fascinating details from landscapes, to which the artist has a special connection. Gertsch imbues his works with incomparable plasticity and dynamism with the simplest of means but with masterly execution.unprecedented precision, not least in the production of

FÉLIX VALLOTTON (2017)
Les Trois Baigneuses. 1894.
Woodcut. 85/100.
30.5 × 20 cm.
Sold for CHF 9 500

ALBERTO GIACOMETTI (2019)
Self-portrait. 1963.
Lithograph. 64/75.
65.4 × 50.5 cm
Sold for CHF 10 000








Founder and grand seigneur

Pierre Koller dies at the age of 94

Anyone who entered the Galerie Koller on Zurich’s Rämistrasse next to the legendary “Kronenhalle” restaurant in the 1960s–80s was received by the owner as if he or she were a regular customer. Those who were, always felt welcome there – and those who weren’t did too. For Pierre Koller barely differentiated between new customers and long-time art collectors when, stretching out his arms, he rushed towards them with a “Bonjour, Monsieur”, or a “Guten Tag, Madame”. His charm was as legendary as his wit, which he employed to keep saleroom bidders in the best of spirits during long auction sessions.

Pierre Koller was a grand seigneur in the old style, an art lover with a French penchant for the grandiose, and above all an excellent salesman. A lawyer by training, he opened a picture gallery on Zurich’s Dufourstrasse in 1958, specialising in equestrian prints – the 34-year-old was fascinated by horse-related art, and he decided to turn his hobby into his profession. The following year he was joined by his sister Antoinette, who had an eye for ceramics, silver and Asian art, and it didn’t take long before the Kollers expanded the range of the gallery.

nternationally, Pierre Koller became known for his expertise in quality antique furniture and objets d’art, especially of French origin. He held his first auction in 1960 at the Kongresshaus in Zurich, when several important collections were consigned to him, including a group of clocks from a private Augsburg collector. In 1961, the company moved to the Rämistrasse where it established an impressive five-story auction house. Soon Koller was holding regular auctions of valuable art objects and entire collections from all categories at the Rämistrasse. In 1991, Galerie Koller moved its headquarters from the Rämistrasse to the Hardturmstrasse in Zurich West, at a time when nobody had any idea that the neighbourhood would become a mecca for art galleries.

A highlight in Pierre Koller’s life as an auctioneer was the 1995 auction of an epochal private collection of Napoleonica, in which Koller specialised. In 1973, a portrait of Dora Maar by Pablo Picasso realised the first hammer price of over one million Swiss francs at Koller Auctions. One of the last of Pierre Koller’s countless successes on the rostrum was a bureau plat by the famous cabinetmaker André-Charles Boulle, which he sold to a private London collector for 3 million Swiss francs in September 2014, a few days after his 90th birthday.

Pierre Koller’s art gallery and auction house quickly grew into a small empire. In 1975, a branch was opened in Lucens Castle in French-speaking Switzerland, which was moved in 1980 to the Rue de l’Athénée, Geneva. “Koller Tiefenbrunnen” was introduced in 1977 as an outlet for medium- and low-priced works of art, a market segment later served by “Koller West” on the Hardturmstrasse. In 2004, Pierre Koller handed over the management of the family business to his eldest son Cyril.

Pierre Koller was a pacesetter for the Swiss art trade. He taught the ropes of the art business to a great many people who later became some of the most famous gallery owners and auctioneers in Zurich. The founder of today’s largest Swiss auction house died on 23 June at the age of 94.

This obituary by Philipp Meier appeared in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung on 26 June 2019.








KOLLERview is published four times a year,

the next issue will follow in June 2019.

Read as PDF

Ladies and gentlemen, Dear clients and friends,

Ferdinand Hodler’s elegiac female figures are one of the artist’s hallmarks, and have become icons of Swiss modern art. Through Hodler’s constant re-examination of the motif, they eventually became representations of fate. With these works, the artist suggests emotions and at the same time pays homage to infinity and beauty. Illustrated on the cover of this issue, “Die Schreitende” (“The pacing woman”, which shows Hodler’s model Giulia Leonardi) was painted around 1912, at the zenith of his artistic career. It will be offered in our 28 June auction of Swiss Art, which features a comprehensive overview of 19th- and early 20th-century Swiss painting, including practically all of the great names from this period.

Also of special note is Giovanni Giacometti’s four-part panorama of the Swiss Engadine from Muottas Muragl over the snow-capped peaks and green mountain valleys of the Engadine – as far as the eye can see.

Like Hodler and Giacometti, their contemporary Cuno Amiet was popular with private art collectors. The Swiss department store entrepreneur and friend of Amiet, Eugen Loeb, acquired numerous examples of his work, including the expressive “Apple Harvest in Blue and Red”, another highlight of the Swiss Art auction on 28 June.

Also on 28 June, we will offer an auction of works by Impressionist and Modern artists, featuring a wonderful landscape by the great Impressionist Alfred Sisley. Swiss and international art from the last 70 years will be auctioned on 29 June in our Postwar & Contemporary sale. Featured works demonstrate how American avant-garde artists developed styles independent of European roots and influences during the post-war decades. Works by Hans Hofmann, Alfred Julio Jensen and Theodoros Stamos, as well as Robert Mangold and Andy Warhol, represent various lines of development, from Abstract Expressionism through Minimalism to Pop Art.

All of the works in our main June auctions will be on view in our exhibition rooms in Zurich from 20 to 25 June. In addition to international and Swiss art from the last 200 years, jewellery and wristwatches, modern design, vintage fashion and photography will all be on display.

As you may know, since 2018 we have been offering low to mid-price decorative artworks and objects online in our Koller ibid online only sales. The items currently in our online auctions will also be on display during the June previews.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue, and look forward to greeting you at our previews in Zurich. Our specialists are always available to advise you on the purchase and sale of works of art.

With warm regards

Cyril Koller


ADOLF DIETRICH
Evening at the lake with red clouds. 1915.
Oil on board.
28 x 38,5 cm.
Estimate: CHF 150 000 / 200 000

Dietrich was one of the most important Swiss artists of the early 20th century in terms of formal balance and fascinating colouring. This is the first of a long series of sunset paintings by Dietrich which began in 1915. Pastel studies from nature served as a basis for studio-painted oils on canvas. Here the artist shows himself to be completely independent and unaffected by external influences.




01 ALFRED JULIO JENSEN
Temple of Numbers at Paestum. 1961.
Oil on canvas.
186,5 x 136,5 cm.
Estimate: CHF 250 000 / 350 000

American Avant-garde after 1945

Preview of the PostWar & Contemporary Auction on 29 June 2019

Following his emigration, the German-American Hans Hofmann (1880–1966), ostracized by the National Socialists as “degenerate”, was an influential teacher of the New York School and a driving force for the first generation of Abstract Expressionists. His gouache “The tree” (08) is invigorated by the intense colour tones that characterise his late work. The US art critic Clement Greenberg noted: “Hofmann treats the picture surface not as a passive object, but as an object that reacts receptively”.



02 ROBERT MANGOLD
Red with Green Ellipse / Black frame. 1988/89.
Acrylic and pencil on canvas (diptych).
140 x 210 cm.
Estimate: CHF 180 000 / 240 000

03 THEODOROS STAMOS
Hovering Yellow Sun Box. 1967.
Acrylic on canvas.
143 x 132 cm.
Estimate: CHF 40 000 / 60 000

Emancipation from Europe

Hofmann influenced an entire generation of artists who, increasingly detached from European trends and with new references to indigenous and so-called “primitive” art, went their own way. Among them were Theodoros Stamos (1922–1997), one of the leading first-generation Abstract Expressionists, and Hofmann pupils such as Alfred Jensen (1859–1953) and Louise Nevelson (1899–1988), who created genuine forms of expression that contributed to the emancipation of new contemporary art in the USA. They were followed by artists such as Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, who became the links to Pop Art. Geometric forms on a monochrome ground compose Stamos’s “Hovering Yellow Sun-Box” (03), one of a series of Sun-Box paintings he began in the early 1960s. Alfred Jensen created his monumental “Temple of Numbers at Paestum” (01) in 1961, when the Guggenheim Museum in New York dedicat­ed an important solo exhibition to him. The artist, of German-Danish descent, became well known for his geometric-abstract paintings in thick impasto, which, starting in the late 1950s, were based mainly on colour spectra and mathematical number systems.

Eine ebenfalls höchst individuelle Spur legt der Minimalist Robert Mangold (geb. 1937). Sein Diptychon «Red with Green Ellipse/Black Frame» von 1988/89 (02) hat tektonischen Charakter. In ihm rücken Farbe und Material in den Raum und es entsteht über diese Ausdehnung des Bildes ins Dreidimensionale eine eigene Beziehung zum Betrachter. Die markante Diptychon-Kombination von Ellipse und schwarzem Rahmen taucht um 1990 in einer Werkgruppe auf, zu der Mangold konstatierte: «Ich wollte, dass diese fast gegensätzlichen Strukturen, die an einer Kante oder sogar nur an einem Punkt verbunden sind, ein einziges Werk ergeben. Es war dieser Kampf zwischen Trennung und Einheit, der mich interessierte.» Obwohl Mangolds abstraktes Werk Vielen als Inbegriff des Reduktionismus und Minimalismus gilt, erweist es sich in seinen Quellen und Ambitionen als komplexer. Der Künstler stützt sich vor allem auf den Dialog zwischen Unsicherheit und Überzeugung, zwischen Intuition und Analyse.


04 Polke, trained as a glassmaker (he created the new glass and agate windows in the Zurich Grossmünster church, 2006–2009), founded the “Capitalist Realism” movement with Gerhard Richter and Konrad Lueg in 1963. Many of his works are ironic reactions to the established art scene.

05 Gertsch’s monumental woodcuts are not only outstanding in their craftsmanship, but also as astonishing testimonies to his intensive, even meditative preoccupation with nature and its secrets.

04 SIGMAR POLKE
Untitlet. 1999.
Watercolour and gouache on wove paper.
70,2 x 99,7 cm.
Estimate: CHF 60 000 / 80 000

05 FRANZ GERTSCH
Gräser I. 2000.
Woodcut in colours.
Estimate: CHF 40 000 / 50 000


06 JEAN FAUTRIER
La passoire. 1947.
Oil on wove paper on canvas
46 x 55 cm.
Estimate: CHF 100 000 / 200 000

06 Fautrier’s paintings draw their vitality from the impasto application of paint and the concentration on an isolated motif. The Frenchman is regarded as the most important representative of his country in the non-geometric art informal.

07 The work of the Canadian action painter Riopelle is closely related to the works of the Parisian automatistes and tachistes.

08 The German-American Hans Hofmann, in his role as teacher of the New York school, provided the American Abstract Expressionists with a driving force. Colourintensive gouaches like this one characterise his late work.



07 JEAN-PAUL RIOPELLE
Untitled. 1958.
Oil on wove paper on canvas.
79,5 x 59 cm.
Estimate: CHF 50 000 / 70 000

08 HANS HOFMANN
The Tree. 1944.
Oil and gouache on wove paper (double sided).
73,5 x 58,5 cm.
Estimate: CHF 35 000 / 45 000

09 Produced in a small edition, this plate shows Picasso’s ability to create works of art with the simplest of means.

10 The first “Balloon Dogs” were issued by Koons as part of his “Celebration” series in 1993. These playful sculptures – here in a limited edition of porcelain – are now among the most well-known works of contemporary art.

11 Dorazio, trained as an architect, brought abstraction to Italy with his non-objective pictorial language and chromatic structures.

09 PABLO PICASSO
Tête au masque. 1956.
Plate. Ceramic with relief.
Estimate: CHF 5 000 / 7 000

10 JEFF KOONS
Animals II. 2019.
3 Multiples. Porcelain.
Estimate: CHF 25 000 / 30 000

11 PIERO DORAZIO
Mimet. 1962.
Oil on canvas.
46 x 33 cm.
Estimate: CHF 30 000 / 40 000

12 JOHANNES ITTEN
Quadrate in Bewegung. 1958.
Oil on masonite.
70 x 100 cm.
Estimate: CHF 60 000 / 80 000

12 During his time as a Bauhaus teacher, Itten set up a whole theory of colour types, centred on the relationship between colour and form and between colours themselves. Abstractions such as these squares shaped his work through the post-war period.



13 SIGMAR POLKE
Untitled. 1999.
Ink, watercolour and goauche on wove paper.
70,2 x 100 cm.
Estimate: CHF 80 000 / 140 000

14 ANDY WARHOL
Apple. 1985.
Colour screenprint. 165/190.
Sheet size 96,5 x 96,5 cm
Estimate: CHF 50 000 / 70 000

13 For decades, Polke was engaged in watercolour and gouache painting, alternating between abstraction and figuration in a multifaceted and metaphorically charged manner.

14 In 1985, Warhol created a series of ten “advertising” motifs in which famous brand logos – such as Apple’s here – were employed as symbols of mass consumption.



LE CORBUSIER (CHARLES-ÉDOUARD JEANNERET)
Femme endormie. 1945.
Oil on panel.
24 x 33 cm.
Estimate: CHF 80 000 / 120 000

Magritte’s Parisian Provocation

Preview of the Impressionist and Modern Art Auction on 28 June 2019

René Magritte was very angry. The Belgian, who for years had attempted to curry the favour of his fellow artists and the art-going public in Paris, was repeatedly given the cold shoulder. In 1931, he turned his back on the city, the veritable capital of Surrealism. Then, in 1948, he had a unique opportunity to take his revenge. During just five weeks around the turn of the year 1947/48, Magritte created seventeen oil paintings and twenty gouaches for an exhibition at the Galerie du Faubourg in Paris. These works were painted in a fast and somewhat aggressive style that was new to Magritte, inspired by popular sources such as caricatures and comics, along with stylistic borrowings from artists such as James Ensor and Edouard Manet, Henri Matisse and Joan Miró. The shrill, expressive, rebelliously grotesque images added a new facet to Magritte’s oeuvre.



MAX ERNST
Paysage de Corbières. Circa 1949.
Oil on panel.
33 x 23,8 cm.
Estimate: CHF 100 000 / 150 000

OSKAR KOKOSCHKA
Ann Windfohr. 1960.
Oil on canvas.
91 x 70 cm.
Estimate: CHF 60 000 / 80 000

Biting mockery

The paintings from this brief “Période vache” – to which “Les voies et moyens” (ill. 4) offered in our 28 June auction belongs – contain a visual vocabulary unusual for Magritte, who adopted the Fauvists’ exaggerated colouring to create pictures infused with biting mockery. With this unexpectedly crude style, he ran counter to his own work, and also to modernist painting. The term “Période vache”, which Magritte himself gave to this short but intense creative phase, was ironically intended to allude to the art of the Fauvists, who were pejoratively labelled as “wild animals” because of their intense palette and expressive manner of painting. In French, the word “vache” not only means “cow”, but also “mean” or “unpleasant”, and “vacherie” signifies a nasty trick.

Magritte clearly intended the exhibition as a provocation to the Parisian public. Through more or less subtle allusions, he poked fun at them for their “narrow-minded self-image as a bastion of high culture” and at the same time mocked his French artist colleagues. “They are works of sparkling freedom, in which the most foolhardy thoughts, the individual style, and the illumination make a frightened noise, where flagrancy mixes with esprit, outrage with amazement, violence with tenderness, wisdom with whimsy” (Louis Scutenaire).

Not surprisingly, the gallery did not sell a single work from the show. Nonetheless, Magritte achieved his goal: the Parisians were horrified by the nearly forty works, and the press lambasted the exhibition. All the pictures from the “Période vache” then disappeared from the public eye for decades, before they were re-evaluated as a modern art-critical manifesto and were again shown in solo exhibitions beginning in the 1980s, most recently in 2009 at the Kunsthalle Schirn in Frankfurt.

RENÉ MAGRITTE
Les voies et moyens. 1948.
Gouache and gold on paper.
40,5 x 32,8 cm.
Estimate: CHF 250 000 / 400 000


ALFRED SISLEY
Autour de la forêt, juin. Circa 1885.
Oil on canvas.
54 x 72,7 cm.
Estimate: CHF 700 000 / 1 000 000

En plein air with Alfred Sisley

Preview of the Impressionist & Modern Art Auction on 28 June 2019

Many of Alfred Sisley’s landscape paintings, such as “Autour de la Forêt, Juin” (ill. 1) offered on 28 June, are deeply calm. Instead of describing the drama of nature and the elements, the artist gently takes viewers by the hand, in order to show us something special in the seemingly ordinary.



HENRY MORET
Les Brisants. 1898.
Oil on canvas.
51 x 65 cm.
Estimate: CHF 50 000 / 70 000

HENRY MORET
Falaises, côte de Bretagne. 1910.
Oil on canvas.
64 x 79 cm.
Estimate: CHF 60 000 / 80 000

Like most of Sisley’s paintings from this period circa 1885, “Autour de la Forêt” was certainly created in the open air. With the availability of oil paints in portable tubes, artists were liberated from their Paris studios to paint the picturesque landscapes of nearby Île-de-France outdoors. For Sisley, this meant above all, the representation of the sky: “I always start a picture with the sky”, he wrote. In addition to the light palette, the different treatment of the various parts of the picture is typical of Sisley’s style of those years. While he delicately glazes the summer cloud formations, he renders the plants, paths and meadows with skilfully placed impasto brushstrokes. Thus trees, fields and the tall haystack in the foreground appear more intense and lively. Sisley captures the ephemeral, the atmospheric, and the insubstantial as an “Impressionist” who never denied his enthusiasm for Turner and Constable.

Far away from the Zeitgeist

From the early 1870s, Sisley established himself among the painters Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas and Berthe Morisot, who were later disparagingly referred to as “Impressionists” or “Intransigeants”. Born in Paris in 1839 to English parents, Sisley was one of the founding members of the Société anonyme des artistes, peintres, sculpteurs, graveurs, whose works had previously been rejected by the conservative Paris Salon. He showed two landscapes in the first Impressionist exhibition, held in the studio of the photographer Nadar in the spring of 1874. In the 1882 catalogue of the group show there were no fewer than twenty-seven of his paintings. In the following years, Sisley withdrew more and more from society. The fact that his close friends Renoir and Monet remained at his side until his early death in 1899 must have been a comfort to him, but relatively few of his other contemporaries, with the exception of his fellow artist Camille Pissarro and the energetic art dealer/gallery owner Paul Durand-Ruel, recognized Sisley’s rank among the painters of light. He did not receive the level of attention accorded the other Impressionists until recently, with exhibitions at the Von der Heydt Museum in Wuppertal, Germany, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT and the Hôtel de Caumont in Aix-en-Provence.

EDWARD CUCUEL
Nach dem Bade (After the bath). Before 1912.
Oil on canvas.
80 x 90 cm.
Estimate: CHF 30 000 / 50 000


GIOVANNI GIACOMETTI
Panorama von Muottas Muragl. 1898.
Oil on canvas.
Total: 67 x 510 cm
Estimate: CHF 2 800 000 / 4 000 000

As far as the eye can see: Giovanni Giacometti’s Engadine

Preview of the Swiss Art Auction on 28 June 2019

Early one October morning in 1897, the painters Giovanni Segantini and Giovanni Giacometti, accompanied by a photographer, set off on foot for Muottas Muragl, a 2453-metre high mountain southeast of Samedan in the Swiss Engadine. The ridge, which ten years later could easily be reached by funicular – the first of its kind in the Engadine – offers a breathtaking view over the Upper Engadine and the Engadine Lake District. The reason for their excursion was to make preparatory sketches for a gigantic circular painting to be presented at the Paris Exposition of 1900. Segantini had conceived a Gesamtkunstwerk in a circular building that would not only evoke the beauty of the Engadine through painting, but also with physical objects such as trees and alpine roses, waterfalls and bridges. The experience would be further enhanced with wind machines, as well as light and sound effects. Giovanni Giacometti, for whom Segantini (his elder by ten years) was a mentor, had enthusiastically promised his cooperation, and Cuno Amiet and Ferdinand Hodler were also invited to participate. However the project, sponsored by local tourism organisations, was abandoned for financial reasons. Segantini eventually showed the triptych “La Vita – La Natura – La Morte” (Life – Nature – Death) as a smaller project in Paris, with “La Natura” reproducing the view from Segantini’s cabin, slightly above Muottas Muragl.



GIOVANNI GIACOMETTI
Skier. 1899.
Oil on canvas.
65,5 x 102 cm.
Estimate: CHF 50 000 / 70 000

GIOVANNI GIACOMETTI
Eagle with the landscape of Engadine. 1898.
Oil on canvas laid on panel
44,5 x 82 cm (semicircle).
Estimate: CHF 60 000 / 80 000

Four motifs for the centrepiece

Giovanni Giacometti was able to use his studies made on Muottas Muragl for another commission: in October 1897, Anna von Planta commissioned paintings from him for her chalet in St Moritz-Bad. Of the ten paintings Giacometti subsequently completed, the four-part panorama of Muottas Muragl (ill. 1), to be offered on 28 June, was the centrepiece of the dining room. The first panel shows the view of the Roseg valley to the south of Muottas Muragl. Between Piz Chalchan on the left and Piz Surlej on the right, the snow-capped Sella group rises with the (then still striking) glacier tongues of the Sella and Roseg glaciers. Giacometti painted the view using the Divisionist technique he had learned from his teacher, Segantini. This is particularly evident in the forest areas, whose rich green is interspersed with complementary red. The rock formations, which are not composed of dull grey but of a rich palette of yellow, green, blue and pink, show the artist to be a master of colour.

In the second panel, a shepherd with a herd looks down on Lake St Moritz with St Moritz and St Moritz-Bad. The 3380-metre high Julier massif rises above it, and to the right the Piz Bever, somewhat bulkier than in reality. In other respects as well, the painter took a number of artistic liberties with the topography in this panel. For example, Lake St Moritz is perceived from Muottas Muragl diagonally rather than horizontally. The deviations from reality may be partly explained by the fact that Giovanni Giacometti executed the paintings in the winter of 1897/98 in Oschwand with his friend Cuno Amiet, and not on-site. Although he asked Giovanni Segantini for the photographs taken on Muottas Muragl at the end of 1897, he was apparently not interested in the slavish reproduction of reality, for he wrote in a letter: “I chose the view of Muottas Muragl as the motif for the composition, at least as far as the mountain range and the woods are concerned”. Commenting on a study, Anna von Planta even suspected that Giacometti placed the foreground approximately at the Hahnensee (Lej dals Chöds) below the Piz Surlej, so that the two villages would be Silvaplana and Champfèr.

The foreground of the third panel is dominated by a shepherd surrounded by his sheep. The view now turns to the west, where Piz Saluver appears at the left edge and Piz Ot to its right, marking the highest point of this area at 3246 metres.

The last panel completes the panorama with the view into the Val Bever. Here the horizon is marked on the left by Piz Üertsch, in the centre by Crasta Mora, and on the right by Piz Blaisun and the towering massif of Piz Kesch. What is striking is the absence of a distant view of Silvaplanersee, Silsersee and the Bergeller mountains – a segment that would actually be expected between the first and second panels. The reasons for this are unknown. In the correspondence with Anna von Planta there is explicit mention of four panels. However, a privately-owned study suggests that Giacometti had initially planned to show the lakes. The break in the continuum of space, however, is hardly noticed by the viewer and in no way diminishes the overall pictorial impression. Giacometti succeeds in this by a creating a unified panorama of the terrain in the foreground, through the horizontal strips of the lakes, as well as by the symmetrical positioning of the sheep in relation to the shepherd in the centre of the composition.

In dialogue with the client

The letters Anna von Planta wrote to Giacometti reflect her great interest in the progress of the works. It seems that the painter took his client’s criticism of the sketches partly into account in the execution of the pictures. Von Planta wrote: “The background of high mountain peaks is very pretty, but the mountain peaks might have calmer forms & less jagged & craggy, more in keeping with the character of our Engadine mountains. With regard to the detail of the foreground, I wouldn’t like to see too many alpine roses. One or two strong, flowering plants in the lower corner of the fourth field would probably suffice”. Anna von Planta also requested goats instead of sheep, but on this point Giacometti did not comply.

A few years after the panorama of Muottas Muragl, Giacometti created another monument to the beauty of the Grisons mountains with the panorama of Flims. The three-part composition was auctioned at Koller in 2016 and can now be admired at the Saner Foundation in Studen.

By Paul Müller, co-author of the catalogue raisonné of Giovanni Giacometti

GIOVANNI GIACOMETTI
Ruscello alpestre. Circa 1917.
Oil on canvas.
61,5 x 51 cm.
Estimate: CHF 150 000 / 250 000


CUNO AMIET
The fruit harvest (produced in preparation for the Wassmer version). 1912.
Oil on canvas.
103 x 115 cm.
Estimate: CHF 600 000 / 800 000

Cuno Amiet from the Loeb Collection

Preview of the Swiss Art Auction on 28 June 2019

The artist Cuno Amiet (1868–1961) and the Swiss department store entrepreneur and art collector Eugen Loeb (1877–1959) formed a close friendship beginning in the 1930s. Loeb – who like his brother (and Loeb department store co-owner) Arthur, had assembled an important art collection including works by Vallotton, Barraud, Varlin and Gubler, as well as Monet, Pissarro and Renoir – bought dozens of paintings and drawings from the artist. Amiet appreciated Loeb’s expertise and his sure hand in selecting the works. “I never want to you to see anything by me that I didn’t think was quite good”, the artist wrote to the collector in October 1936.



CUNO AMIET
Blue landscape. Circa 1910.
Watercolour on paper.
23,5 x 29,7 cm.
Estimate: CHF 10 000 / 15 000

The Loebs’ enthusiasm extended to important works from Amiet's very early years, acquired partly from the artist himself but probably also through the art trade, such as “The fruit harvest” and “Houses in the sun”.

“Liberation from Nature Painting”

Paintings of apples were a recurring theme throughout Amiet’s career. The motif of the apple or fruit harvest entered his pictorial world in 1907, and studies and numerous variations on the theme developed over the course of a few years – until about 1915 – into a distinctive group of works including the large-format oil on canvas entitled “The fruit harvest (Apple harvest in blue and red)” (ill. 1) to be offered on 28 June. The figure in the landscape exemplifies the artist’s iconographic references to paintings by Cézanne, Gauguin and Matisse. His choice of intense red – “the brightest and at the same time deepest colour that can express the idea of opulence”, as Amiet stated – is inspired by works by Emile Bernard.

Amiet’s palette alternates in his various creative phases: “Thus, as far as the colouring alone was concerned, one would have to speak of a remarkable ability to change”, the Basler Nachrichten stated in its obituary of the artist in 1961. “It could also be seen in earlier periods, for example in those monochrome representations of the apple harvest that, mostly tuned to red, rank among the boldest and most idiosyncratic creations of Amiet”. Already in 1912 Eberhard Grisebach saw in the monochrome motifs a great “progress, a liberation from nature painting” and a “transition to the creative decorative style.” Viola Radlach also noted that the simplified, contoured silhouettes recall the Cloisonnism or Synthetism of the school of Pont-Aven around Paul Gauguin.

The paintings from the Loeb Collection offered here display the intense creative process involved in Amiet’s “Fruit Harvest” works, culminating in three monumental versions. This motif, together with the few monochrome ones, stands out as an indepen­dent work from this series, because Amiet’s spontaneous expressive style in contrasting red/blue is most convincing here. He is at the height of the main artistic currents of the time: the expressionism of the Fauves, die Brücke and Cubism.

A further sixteen works by Amiet from the Loeb Collection will be offered on 28 June, including the small-format watercolour “Blue landscape” (ill. 2), painted in 1910, and two later landscapes, “Spring landscape with yellow flowering trees” (1938), and “Garden gate” (1931, ill. 3).

CUNO AMIET
Gartent(h)or. 1931.
Oil on canvas.
85,5 x 65,5 cm.
Estimate: CHF 70 000 / 100 000

 



Wrist- & Pocket Watches | Jewellery & Jewels




Patek Philippe Chronograph with Perpetual Calendar, 1998.
Platinum 950. Ref. 3970 E.
Estimate: CHF 95 000 / 140 000




Patek Philippe, Jumbo Nautilus, ca. 1979.
Stainless steel. Ref. 3700/1.
Estimate: CHF 40 000 / 60 000




Rolex Daytona Oyster Perpetual, 2012.
Stainless Steel. Ref. 116520.
Estimate: CHF 12 000 / 18 000

 


AQUAMARINE AND DIAMOND NECKLACE, attributed to RAYMOND C. YARD, ca. 1935.
Platinum and white gold.
Estimate: CHF 20 000 / 30 000




DIAMOND BANGLE, ca. 1880.
Pink gold and silver.
Estimate: CHF 180 000 / 280 00




KASHMIR SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND EARRINGS.
White gold 750.
Estimate: CHF 150 000 / 200 000



 


FRANÇOIS FERRIÈRE
Trompe-l'oeil: putti dancing.
Oil on board laid on panel.
26 x 33,5 cm.
Sold for CHF 44 000

Deceptively real / Really deceptive

Review of the Old Masters Auction on 29 March 2019

To deceive the eye is the explicit intention of trompe l’oeil painting. Such illusions were already well-developed in antiquity, as evidenced by wall paintings in Pompeii. Pliny the Elder recounted a famous competition between the painters Parrhasius and Zeuxis: although Zeuxis attracted birds with his false grapes, he was deceived by a curtain painted by Parrhasius, and he attempted to raise it.

The practise of trompe l’oeil painting was revived during the Renaissance. In addition to illusionist wall and ceiling paintings, it was considered good form in the painter’s guild to master hyper-realistic depictions, for example through so-called “quodlibet” paintings, which featured realistically rendered domestic items. One of the highlights of this fashion is Cornelius Gijsbrecht’s “Back of a Painting” from 1670.

François Ferrière’s “Dancing Putti” (ill. 1) represents a highly original variant of the illusionist painting popular in 17th-century Flanders and 18th-century France. The artist tries to deceive the observer with every means at his disposal. Not only is an illusionistic cast shadow intended to mislead the viewer into perceiving a three-dimensional object, but also its edges are irregularly chipped. At first glance, or perhaps even at second glance, the two-dimensional painting seems to be a fragment of a stone sculpture or a bas-relief plaster cast. The heads and bodies of the putti, which seem to protrude from the pictorial ground, appear amazingly three-dimensional. Ferrière succeeds in manipulating his audience in a masterly manner.




ABRAHAM VAN DIEPENBEECK
The rescue of Saint Paul after the shipwreck.
Oil on panel.
34,5 x 27,5 cm.
Sold for 72 500

From canvas to stained glass

Review of the Old Masters Auction on 29 March 2019

“The rescue of Saint Paul after the shipwreck” (ill. 2) is one of several detailed preliminary studies by Abraham van Diepenbeeck (1596–1675) for the ten stained-glass windows of the Dominican Church of St. Paul in Antwerp. The windows, which were executed circa 1638 and have since been lost, depicted scenes from the life of Saint Paul of Tarsus. Stained-glass windows by van Diepenbeeck, whose father was also a glass painter, have been preserved in the Loretto Chapel of the Carmelite Monastery and the City Hall in Antwerp. During his years in Antwerp from 1620 onwards, van Diepenbeeck worked closely with his Flemish colleague Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), whose stylistic influence can be seen in the preserved oil studies and drawings.

The painting depicts the story of Paul’s journey as a prisoner to Rome, recorded in the Acts of the Apostles by the Evangelist Luke. Paul, who was to be brought before the Roman imperial court in the year 59 or 60, sensed an imminent storm and predicted a shipwreck: “Men, I can see that our voyage will be filled with disaster and great loss, not only to ship and cargo, but to our own lives as well”. The storm did come and the ship ran aground on a sandbank, but Paul, along with the other “two hundred and seventy-six souls”, was rescued on the nearby north coast of the island of Malta, presumably in Salina Bay near the village of Burmarrad. Van Diepenbeeck’s painting captures the scene in which the powerless “apostle of nations” is rescued from the waves and carried to safe ground. In the collection of the Städel Museum in Frankfurt am Main there is a chalk drawing with wash and gouache by van Diepenbeeck showing the same motif in landscape format.




HANS WEIDITZ the YOUNGER, also known as THE PETRARCH MASTER
Vagabonds playing dice and a peasant couple, circa 1525-30.
Pen and black ink, partially with wash, on laid paper. Old backing on laid paper.
18,1 x 22 cm. Gerahmt.
Sold for CHF 120 500

With virtuoso pen work

Review of the Old Master Drawings Auction on 29 March 2019

An important Swiss art museum acquired this accomplished 16th-century German ink drawing of vagabonds playing dice at the 29 March auction (ill. 3). Such rural scenes were very much in vogue at the time of its execution: “Depictions of this theme enjoyed great popularity from about 1520 until after the middle of the century. Copper engravings and woodcuts contributed to its widespread use. Pictures of peasant drolleries and bustling church fairs were popular with Dürer’s successors among the Nuremberg minor masters, but were also in demand in the Swabian region” (Fritz Koreny).

The vagabonds’ roadside gambling quite obviously arouses displeasure in the farmers, as suggested by the man pointing at the dice and the couple’s grim facial expressions. The maypole in the background and the peasant’s decorated hat may refer to the couple’s destination.

This drawing was made during a period in which artists such as Martin Schongauer, Albrecht Dürer, Albrecht Altdorfer and others revolutionised the world of motifs and graphic techniques. Executed in pen and ink with wash, on a medium-sized sheet of laid paper, it captivates by the virtuoso pen work of its creator

The attribution to Hans Weiditz the Younger is based on comparisons with woodcuts by Weiditz, such as illustrations to Francesco Petrarch’s On the remedies of good and bad fortune (Augsburg, 1532), in which numerous similarities of motif and style can be identified. Particularly striking are the expressive faces which have been worked through to the last detail, and the garments rendered with the utmost care.

Little is known about the German draughtsman Hans Weiditz the Younger, born around 1500 in Strasbourg or Freiburg, who is sometimes called the Master of Petrarch. Too few of his works have been attribu­ted with certainty. He may have worked in Augsburg, Strasbourg, and finally Freiburg im Breisgau, where documents show his death in 1536. Among the works attributed to Weiditz is a series of botanical watercolours, created in 1529 and subsequently converted into woodcuts illustrating the three-volume edition of Herbarum vivae eicones (Strasbourg, 1530–1536) by Otto Brunfels. The watercolours were rediscovered in 1930 in the collection of the Botanical Institute in Bern.




1 DIAMOND RING, circa 1960.
Platinum 950.
Sold for CHF 137 300

ReView

1 The faceted diamond in this classic solitaire ring is distinguished by its extremely fine quality.

2 Adam Willaerts, who was born in London to a family originally from Antwerp, is considered one of the most important marine painters of the Golden Age. From the late 16th century on, he devoted himself to genre and marine painting in the north of the Netherlands.



2 ADAM WILLAERTS
River mouth with galley ships. 1620.
Oil on panel.
41,5 x 69,7 cm.
Sold for CHF 84 500

3 ENAMEL, DIAMOND AND SAPPHIRE BRACELET, BY DAVID WEBB, ca. 1960.
Yellow gold 750 and Platinum 900, 114g.
Sold for 28 100

3 The original and amusing frogs in this green-enamelled, highly decorative bracelet were a very successful crea­tion for New York jeweller David Webb (1925–1975).

4 This painting, probably executed for a private Florentine palazzo, was made by a pupil of Lorenzo di Credi, one of the most influential artists of the High Renaissance, who was trained by Leonardo da Vinci.

5 This ointment jar with a portrait of a woman comes from a famous group of maiolica apothecary jars. Some of these so-called albarelli bear the coats of arms of Orsini and Colonna, two of the most influential Roman families of the 15th and 16th centuries.

6 The motif employed by Arnold Böcklin in this 1889 painting refers to Peter Paul Rubens’s “Battle of the Amazons” (circa 1680). This dynamic, powerful composition can be interpreted as a rebellion of Christian morality against the alienated, oppressed masses of the Roman Empire – a clash of different cultures and thus a timeless phenomenon.

4 TOMMASO DI CREDI
Madonna and Child with John the Baptist.
Oil on panel.
57,3 x 53,2 cm.
Sold for CHF 65 300

5 A MAIOLICA ALBARELLO OF THE "ORSINI-COLONNA" TYPE
Castelli d'Abruzzo, workshop of Orazio Pompei (1507-1589).
Circa 1545-1555.
Sold for CHF 13 700

6 ARNOLD BÖCKLIN
The battle on the bridge. 1889.
Oil on panel.
96 x 149,5 cm.
Sold for CHF 240 500

7 ZOOLOGIE
Merian Maria Sibylla.
Dissertatio de generatione et
metamorphosibus insectorum Surinamensium.
Sold for CHF 132 500

7 Maria Sibylla Merian, daughter of the topographical engraver Matthäus Merian the Elder, was enthusiastic about zoology from a young age. From 1699 to 1701 she trav­elled throughout the Dutch colony of Surinam and cap­tured its flora and fauna in a series of unique watercolours.

8 This painting by the Antwerp mannerist de Cock was recently rediscovered in a private collection. It shows Saint Anthony resisting the temptation of wine offered to him by a noble lady.


8 JAN WELLENS DE COCK
The Temptation of Saint Anthony.
Oil on panel.
27,7 x 37,2 cm.
Sold for CHF 168 500

9 Horae B.M.V.
Book of hours.
Latin manuscript on vellum.
Sold for CHF 78 500

9 Seven large miniatures in polychrome and gold with richly executed borders, seventeen splendid five-line initials as well as numerous two-line initials in polychrome and gold adorn this illuminated book of hours, which was probably made around 1480 for a Franciscan commission.

10 In the 18th century, hyper-realistic tableware such as this tureen adorned the tables of noble families. Strasbourg was one of the centres of faience production.

11 This atmospheric depiction of a nocturnal winter landscape with a “snack bar” comes from the collection of TV producer Jef Rademakers, comprised of masterpieces of Dutch and Belgian Romanticism.

12 Meissonier’s sculptural work – about 20 bronzes – was only discovered after his death. The wax original of this bronze statue of Napoleon is in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay.

10 A TROMPE L'OEIL FAIENCE TUREEN IN FORM OF A SNIPE
Strasbourg, Paul Hannong period.
Circa 1745-1754.
Sold for CHF 32 300

11 ANDREAS SCHELFHOUT
Winter landscape by night with skaters and a "koek-en-zopie" 1849.
Oil on panel.
31 x 42,5 cm.
Sold for CHF 90 500

12 JEAN LOUIS ERNEST MEISSONNIER (1815-1891)
Bronze figure, "Napoléon à cheval" or "Le voyageur", circa 1900.
Bronze with dark patina.
L 59, H 48 cm.
Sold for CHF 180 500





LOUISE NEVELSON
Cloud II. 1984.
Painted wood.
84 x 115 x 6,5 cm.
Estimate: CHF 50 000 / 70 000

The Centre for Artistic Estates

In Zurich, a newly founded institution is dedicated to estates in the fields of art, music and literature

Collectors, artists, musicians and writers: they will all pass on their material and immaterial works and they will all have to deal with similar questions: Who should make the artistic and commercial decisions about the inherited works? What sort of strategy will keep the artistic estate relevant and interesting for future generations? How can the financial value of an artistic estate be estimated and how can the copyright peculiarities relating to immaterial works in an estate situation be dealt with? To ensure that these and other issues surrounding estates in the fields of art, music and literature receive more attention, the attorney Dr Florian Schmidt-Gabain and the literary scholar Prof. Dr Thomas Strässle founded the Zentrum für künstlerische Nachlässe (ZKN), or Centre for Artistic Estates.



Florian Schmidt-Gabain (l.) and Thomas Strässle (r.)
founded the Centre for Artistic Estates and manage
it as President and Vice President.

“The ZKN is a scientific centre that will organise conferences, seminars and lectures”, says Florian Schmidt-Gabain, a specialist in art and inheritance law, describing the activities of the newly founded institution based in Zurich. Thomas Strässle, who is also President of the Max Frisch Foundation, adds: “By focusing on the (visual) arts as well as on music and literature, the ZKN intends to enable a multidisciplinary perspective”. Both founders of the ZKN emphasise that, through their professional activities, they’ve observed a strong need for information and knowledge in the field of artistic estates. “To meet this need, we founded the ZKN”. In addition to future testators and heirs, the ZKN also addresses other persons and institutions associated with artistic estates, such as publishers, museums, galleries, restorers, archivists and lawyers.

The official opening of the ZKN will take place on 21 November 2019 with a conference in Zurich. In the Grand Lecture Hall of the Zurich Kunsthaus, topics will include the estate of the recently rediscovered Swedish pioneer of abstract painting, Hilma af Klint (1862–1944), as well as the estate of one of the best-known Swiss collectors, Emil G. Bührle. Attendees can register for the conference at www.zkn.ch.

Koller Auctions have extensive experience in the valuation and sale of collectors’ and other art estates. We therefore warmly welcome the creation of the ZKN and are pleased to support it as a sponsor.




KOLLERview is published four times a year,

the next issue will follow in June 2019.

Read as PDF

Dear Clients and Friends

We are delighted to look back on a successful auction year, in which we not only achieved excellent prices in many of the specialty areas we offered, but also a particularly impressive percentag e of works sold.

Kees van Dongen’s "Égyptienne" entered a German private collection in June for 1.75 million Swiss francs, after we presented this expressive portrait to a large audience at special previews in Geneva, Düsseldorf, Zurich and Paris. Emil Nolde’s "Doppelbild (Sie seltsames Licht)", painted in 1918, found a new home in an important Swiss collection after a bidding war that finally ended at CHF 1 million (see p. 11).

In March 2018, the bidding reached 538,000 Swiss francs for a 17th century Vanitas still life, the second highest price ever recorded at auction for a painting by Carstian Luyckx. In June, "Kiss", 1979, by John Chamberlain, realised an outstanding 530,000 Swiss francs. These results illustrate the wide range of fine items offered in our auctions, spanning many centuries. Among the thousands of works of art that passed through our hands in the last twelve months were exceptional works by Lehmbruck, Boudin, Spitzweg, Dufy, Kirchner, Dix, Marquet, Renoir, Vlaminck, Chagall, Miró, Klee, Vasarely, Tobey, Warhol, Cragg, Soulages, Gertsch, Picasso, Poliakoff, Lichtenstein and Haring, as well as a veritable “Who’s Who” of Swiss painting ranging from Anker and Zünd to Hodler, Vallotton, Dietrich, Amiet, Giacometti, Segantini and Itten, Lohse and Bill. These were joined by successful auctions of rare works of art from China, exquisite furniture by French ébénistes, collector’s silver, jewellery and rare wristwatches, Romanesque and Gothic sculptures, as well as old master prints and medieval book illumination. From 26 to 29 March 2019, to mark the start of the new auction year, we will present our next series of auctions, dedicated to works from the medieval period to the 19th century.

Auctions of Modern and Contemporary Art, Design, Art Deco and Art Nouveau, Fashion, Photography, Collector’s Watches, Jewellery and Swiss Art will follow in June. Mid-April is the deadline for consignments to these sales. Our specialists in Zurich or in one of our branch offices in Geneva, Milan, Düsseldorf or Munich are at your service should you like to inquire about consigning. Our estimates and offers with regard to our auctions are without obligation and free of charge. We will organise all shipping and customs formalities for you, as well as international marketing for the works of art entrusted to us.

We look forward to working for you and with your artworks!

Yours, Cyril Koller



1 Jan van Noordt.
The encounter of Pretiose and Don Juan
an amorous scene.
Oil on canvas. 131,5 x 172,5 cm.
Estimate: CHF 100 000 / 140 000

Artistic Elector, sensitive Don Juan

Preview of the Old Master Paintings auction on 29 March 2019

Lucas Cranach the Elder and the assistants in his well-organized workshop created six different portraits of his patron Duke Frederick the Wise (1463–1525), Elector of Saxony, friend of the arts and sciences. Cranach also served the Duke by cataloguing his important collection of 19,000 relics and recording them in woodcuts. The present portrait on beech wood (ill. 2) was probably painted in 1525, the year of Duke Frederick’s death. The last time it was shown publicly was in 1974, in the Basel Kunstmuseum.



2 Lucas Cranach the Elder.
Portrait of the Saxon Elector Frederick the Great.
1525. Oil on panel. 38,7 x 25,3 cm.
Estimate: CHF 90 000 / 120 000



3 Peter Binoit.
Bouquet of flowers in a brown engobe vase.
Öl on copper. 20,5 x 15,8 cm.
Estimate: CHF 80 000 / 120 000

The still-life painter Peter Binoit (1590/91–1632), who was active in Frankfurt-on-Main and in Hanau, reminds us of the transience of our existence with small, almost-hidden signs: in his opulent bouquet (ill. 3) there are not only fresh flowers but also wilting blooms. Benoit’s masterful composition and brushstrokes, as well as the superb colours, breathe life into the bouquet painted on copper.

Jan van Noordt (1623–1681), in his large-format "Encounter of Pretiose and Don Juan" (ill. 1), does not refer to historical models, but creates a completely new motif. Contrary to the cliché of the womanizer from literary models, Don Juan has soft and vulnerable features in this often-published painting.

Cover: Attributed to Hans Weiditz the Younger.
Diceplaying vagabonds and peasant couple, circa 1525–30.
Pen and ink in black, partially with wash, on laid paper,
mounted on old laid paper. 18.1 x 22 cm.
Estimate: CHF 35 000 / 55 000




4 Arnold Böcklin.
The battle on the bridge. 1889.
Oil on panel. 96 x 149,5 cm.
Estimate: CHF 250 000 / 350 000

Böcklin’s power and Rademakers’ eye

Preview of the 19th Century Paintings auction on 29 March 2019

The Swiss painter Arnold Böcklin (1827–1901) was inspired by Peter Paul Rubens for his monumental oil painting "Der Kampf auf der Brücke" (“The Battle on the Bridge”) (ill. 4). As in Rubens’s "Battle of the Amazons" (circa 1618), Böcklin situated the wild battle scene on a bridge, which allowed him to divide the picture into different zones. The struggle between a probably Germanic tribe and a supposedly Roman army fills almost the entire composition. He thus brings the viewer close to the brutal and raw events; the springing horses practically jump out of the frame. Böcklin’s portrayal can be interpreted as a rebellion of Christian morality against the alienated, oppressed masses of the Roman Empire.



5 Oswald Achenbach.
Merry company in the campagna of Naples with a view of Vesuvius
Oil on canvas. 66,5 x 95 cm.
Estimate: CHF 30 000 / 40 000

6 Carl Morgenstern.
Venice with a view of the Doge’s palace. 1863.
Oil on canvas. 54 x 89 cm.
Estimate: CHF 60 000 / 80 000

Carl Morgenstern (1811–1893), one of Carl Rottmann’s pupils and also one of the formative German “Italianists” is represented in the auction by a view of Venice with the Doge’s Palace and Santa Maria della Salute (ill. 6). On numerous journeys, Morgenstern collected impressions which he transformed into atmospherically charged representations of Italian coastal landscapes and cityscapes. The painting offered here, created in 1863, is proof of Morgenstern’s outstanding ability to transfer Mediterranean light to canvas.

Rademakers Collection

Some cornerstones of 19th century Dutch Romanticism offered in this auction come from the collection of former TV producer Jef Rademakers, which comprises more than a hundred paintings of the High Romantic period, mostly by Dutch and Belgian masters. Among the many highlights to be sold in Zurich are "Winter Landscape with koek en zopie ('cookie and hootch') by night" (ill. 7) by Andreas Schelfhout (1787–1870), and a Pronkstilleven still life painted by David Emil Joseph de Noter in 1847 (ill. 8) in Kunstkammerformat. The interest of both artists in the art of the 17th century is evident in these works.

7 Andreas Schelfhout.
Winter landscape with ‘koek en zopie’ by night. 1849.
Oil on panel. 31 x 42,5 cm.
Estimate: CHF 30 000 / 40 000

8 David Emil Joseph de Noter.
Still life. 1847.
Oil on panel. 28,5 x 38,2 cm.
Estimate: CHF 20 000 / 30 000



9 strongbox cabinet with Imperial arms.
stamped Haffner Frères, 8 passage Jouffroy Paris,
probably by C.G. Diehl or G. Grohe. Paris, circa 1860. 100 × 52 × 150 cm.
Estimate: CHF 50 000 / 70 000

Virtuoso craftsmanship, opulent decor

Preview of the Furniture, Porcelain and Silver auction on 28 March 2019

The art of lacca povera or lacquer povera (i.e. “poor person’s lacquer”), perfected in the 18th century in northern Italy and southern France, was inspired by Asian models.



10A Strasbourg trompe l’oeil snipe-form faience terrine.
Circa 1745–1754.
L 28 cm. H 22 cm.
Estimate: CHF 10 000 / 15 000

11 A rare German crucifix-form pendant clock with rock crystal
Probably by Conrad Kreizer, late 16th century.
4.5 × 3.3 × 1.7 cm.
Estimate: CHF 60 000 / 80 000

Chinese and Japanese lacquer works reached Europe in great numbers at this time, and first influenced craftsmen and clients in Venice and Genoa. Through imitation, the craftsmen soon developed their own technique: cut-out coloured engravings were glued to doors and drawers and served as decoration; only the elaborate lacquer finish in Sandarak natural resin was reminiscent of the Asian originals. The figurative and floral decor of a bureau bookcase (ill. 13) in the 28 March auction is exemplary: the people depicted within idealised landscapes have visibly given themselves over to the sweet side of life. A splendidly decorated strongbox cabinet of museum quality and in perfect condition can be attributed to the Parisian ébéniste Charles-Guillaume Diehl (1811–1885) (ill. 9). The mastery of craftsmanship manifested by Diehl and his large workshop caused a sensation at the Paris World’s Fairs of 1867 and 1878. Marquetry furniture created at that time can now be found in the world’s most important furniture collections. The magnificent cabinet that is now being offered is said to have been a gift in 1862 from the city of Paris to Emperor Napoleon III.

12 A Swiss tortoiseshell jewellery box.
Basel, 1714–1744. Maker’s mark of Hans Jakob D’Annone.
12,4x9,2x8 cm.
Estimate: CHF 6 000 / 10 000

13 A rare Italian Baroque “lacca povera” bureau bookcase.
Venice, 18th century. 139 × 58 (92) × 238 cm.
Estimate: CHF 100 000 / 150 000



14 M. S. Merian.
Dissertatio de generatione et metamorphosibus insectorum Surinamensium.
Den Haag 1726. / Histoire des Insectes de l'Europe, Amsterdam, 1730.
Estimate: CHF 60 000 / 90 000



Exotic fauna

Preview of the Books, Manuscripts & Autographs auction on 26 March 2019

and of the Drawings & Watercolours auction on 29 March 2019

The end of the 17th century was marked by an increased interest in nature. Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717) grew up in an artistic family; her father, Matthäus Merian the Elder (1593–1650), was one of the most important pictorial chroniclers of his time.



15 Rudolf von Alt.
View of a bedchamber, 1859.
Watercolour over gray ink and pencil, heightened with white.
33 x 40 cm.
Estimate: CHF 7 000 / 9 000

16 Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis.
Book of hours in Latin on vellum.
probably Flanders, circa 1460.
Estimate: CHF 70 000 / 90 000

Maria Sibylla became interested in zoology at an early age. The years she devoted to the study of the flora and fauna of the Dutch colony of Surinam arose from a recommendation: the governor there encouraged Merian to take a research trip through the coastal state. The drawings and objects collected on site by Merian between 1699 and 1701 formed the basis for a series of 60 copper engravings. Published in 1726 in her magnum opus, "Dissertatio de generatione et metamorphosibus insectorum Surinamensium" (ill. 14 and p. 9), they brought the artist posthumous fame in her home country. Two unusual features of the present edition are worth mentioning: first, the volume includes Merian’s two major works, for in addition to the Surinam insects, the famous treatise "Histoire des Insectes de l’Europe" from 1730 is included. Secondly, the ex-libris has been preserved – a copperplate engraving also made by Merian, which suggests that the work was originally owned by someone from her circle.

Magnificent book of hours

A livre d’heures from Flanders, circa 1460, stands out among the selection of rare books and manuscripts in the 26 March auction (ill. 16). The book of prayers and devotions is decorated with 17 magnificent miniatures in polychrome and gold, eight smaller miniatures and 32 border illuminations. Its architectural depictions are knowledgeably executed in a virtuoso manner. This painstakingly illuminated, wide-margined work has not been on the market for almost five decades and is in remarkably good condition.

14 M. S. Merian
Dissertatio de generatione et metamorphosibus insectorum Surinamensium.
Den Haag 1726. / Histoire des Insectes de l'Europe,
Estimate: CHF 60 000 / 90 000



17 Sylvie Fleury.
Be Amazing. 2003.
Multiple. 62/100. 20 × 30 cm.
Sold for CHF 2 200

ReView

17 The Swiss artist Fleury has presented her unmistakable yet ironic invitation "Be Amazing" in various forms – here as an elegant brass plaque.

18 Giovanni Giacometti brought the colours for his view of the over 3000-metre-high Sciora Bondasca group onto the canvas in an expressive, almost three-dimensional manner, thus showing himself to be a master of colour at the height of his creativity. The virtuoso handling of light and shadow in mountain landscapes of the region between the Maloja Pass and Chiavenna shaped his life’s work. This painting comes from a Swiss private collection, acquired directly from the artist.



18 Giovanni Giacometti.
Val Bregaglia with a view of the Sciora group. 1931.
Oil on canvas. 75,5 x 80 cm.
Sold for 310 000

19 Pierre Soulages.
Untitled. 1973.
Gouache on paper on canvas. 75 x 54,5 cm.
Sold for 324 000

19 This gouache comes to life via the subtle contrast between the deep black bars and the strong blue that shines in between. Soulages used rubber squeegees to structure his picture’s surface and expose the coloured areas under the opaque black. This technique, which penetrates into the depths of the layers of paint, dynamises the composition of the picture and brings to light striking colour tones. The works created in this way are called outrenoir pictures, i.e. works beyond black.

20 Roth’s bar trolley combines Bauhaus-style forms with the preferred materials of modern industrial design of the early 1930s. The sober chrome steel construction refers directly to the furniture of Mart Stam, Marcel Breuer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

21 Lichtenstein’s striking motifs of the sixties, inspired by contemporary comics, have become icons of post-war art.

22 Two hundred and sixty works by Otto Dix were designated by the Nazis as "degenerate art" in 1937. From then on, the artist devoted himself predominantly to landscape painting. "Winter Day in Randegg" exemplifies this period, during which Dix drew upon historical sources for his painting technique. A German museum acquired this significant painting for its collections.

20 Alfred Roth.
Bar trolley, "1952" model, design 1932 for Embru.
99 × 33 × 73 cm.
Sold for CHF 60 000

21 Roy Lichtenstein.
Crying Girl. 1963.
Colour offset print. 43,2 × 58,4 cm.
Sold for CHF 31 000

22 Otto Dix.
Wintertag in Randegg. 1933.
Mixed media on panel.
Sold for CHF 170 000

23 Emil Nolde.
Doppelbild (Sie seltsames Licht). 1918.
Oil on canvas. 60,6 × 56,2 cm.
Sold for CHF 1 Mio

23 Emil Nolde’s portraits reflect the artist’s particular interest in the human soul, and his intense research into the psychological images of those around him.

24 This Norman landscape was created at the height of Dufy’s career. Typical of this creative phase are both the loose, light-handed execution and the calm, natural motif from a rural area in the north of France.


24 Raoul Dufy.
Paysage en Normandie ou Le Poirier. 1930.
Oil on canvas. 60 x 73cm.
Sold for 115 000

25 Adolf Dietrich.
Abendstimmung am Untersee. 1926.
Oil on board. 32,7 x 42,9 cm.
Sold for 480 000

25 Dietrich employed an exaggeration of colour and motif in this landscape. Evening moods, with their intense colouring, are particularly suited to this approach and are among the artist’s most impressive works.

26 Picasso took great pleasure in painting traditionally shaped ceramics, as in this example from the Madoura pottery in Vallauris in the region of Cannes, where the artist lived in the 1950s.

27 This plate, produced in a small edition, also reveals Picasso’s talent for creating great things with minimal means.

28 Sunsets were among Vallotton’s favourite motifs. This early painting, created near Honfleur, captivates with its exquisite colours. Its reduced forms direct the observer’s gaze to the boldly set, seemingly unreal colour fields.

26 Pablo Picasso.
Hibou. 1968.
Ceramic. 59/500. H: 30 cm.
Sold for CHF 20 000

27 Pablo Picasso.
Tête en forme d'horloge. 1956.
Silver plate. Cast and edited by Pierre and François Hugo. 19/20. D 42.5 cm.
Sold for CHF 36 000

28 Félix Vallotton.
Coucher de soleil jaune et vert. 1911.
Oil on canvas. 54 × 81 cm.
Sold for CHF 880 000


29 Pierre Soulages.
Eau-forte XX. 1972.
Coloured aquatint. 43/100. 50 × 66 cm.
Sold for CHF 23 000

29 Soulages' reduced form is one of several motifs from an aquatint series created in the first half of the 1970s. Here the influence of calligraphic characters from the Far East becomes particularly clear, but unlike in his outrenoir pictures, the contrast to black plays only a minor role.

30 With this small-format colour offset print, Richter quotes his own oil painting "Turned Sheet" from 1965. At the same time, he refers to the enchanting play between illusion and reality in the painting of earlier periods, by presenting the viewer with a depiction of something that does not actually exist.


30 Gerhard Richter.
Blattecke. 1967.
Colour offset print. 593/739. 24 × 18 cm.
Sold for 5 000

31 Edouard Marcel Sandoz.
Groupe de chèvres. 1937.
Bronze. H: 42 cm.
Sold for 54 000

34 Tiffany Studios New York.
Twelve-light “Lily” standing lamp. Circa 1910.
Bronze and Favrile-Glas. H: 141 cm.
Sold for CHF 36 000

31 Born in Basel and active in Paris from 1910 onward, Sandoz is remembered particularly as an animal sculptor; his oeuvre comprised more than 1,800 sculptures and 200 porcelain models. These two bronze-cast goats are exemplary of the artist's realistic depictions, with borrowings from Art Nouveau and Art Deco.

32 This exclusive timepiece was made by Patek Philippe in an edition of only 400, on the occasion of its 175th anniversary. This men’s watch is equipped with an ultra-fine automatic flyback chronograph movement; its new caliber CH 28-520 is an example of the combination of tradition and innovation.

33 The American Marcia Hafif calls her unmistakable style with abstract geometric compositions and monochrome colour surfaces "Pop Minimal". This work was created during her years in Italy, and was acquired by a Swiss museum for its permanent collection.

34 The Twelve-light “Lily” is an example of the decorative floral Art Nouveau style of New York’s celebrated Tiffany Studios.

32 Patek Philippe.
Anniversary chronograph. 2015.
2015. 18K yellow gold. Ref. 5975 J
Sold for CHF 60 000

33 Marcia Hafif.
Brown-yellow. 1963.
Acrylic on canvas. 140 x 140 cm.
Sold for CHF 19 000


35 Pablo Picasso.
Tête de Marie-Thérèse. Nineteenth state. 1933/1961.
Drypoint etching. 18/50. 31,8 × 23 cm.
Sold for CHF 26 000

35 Picasso’s mastery of the drypoint etching technique is demonstrated by many individual sheets and series of etchings. The genesis of the artist’s motifs can only be understood when one observes his prints in their various states. Through the continuous reworking of the copper plates, motifs are created step by step.

36 Theodore Lux Feininger, the youngest son of painter Lyonel Feininger, documented here one of the famous theatrical performances at the Bauhaus in Dessau. The costumes and stage design depicted come from the sketch "Olga-Olga", performed in 1928.


36 Theodore Lux Feininger.
Bauhaus performance at Dessau. 1928.
SVintage gelatin silver print. 29,8 × 23,7 cm
Sold for 13 000

37 Hermann Scherer.
Mendrisiotto. Circa 1925/1926.
Oil on canvas. 112 x 120 cm.
Sold for 200 000

38 Hermès Paris made in France.
Taurillon Clemence leather, from the hides of young bulls, makes this bag robust. Its strong orange colour is particularly striking.
2013. 35 cm.
Sold for CHF 16 000

37 The influence of German expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner on Basel artist Hermann Scherer can easily be seen in this picture. Both worked together in Frauenkirch near Davos and remained friends until Scherer’s early death. This painting was made in the Mendrisiotto region of Ticino.

38 Palladium metal applications. With key, lock, dust bag and rain cover. In original box.

39 These two ear clips, set with fine white natural pearls, are designed in the style of Art Nouveau jewellery from the period around 1910. Each of the pendants is set with four small old mine-cut diamonds and ten octagonal diamonds, the total weight of which is 2.20 ct.

40 Gottardo Segantini’s colour palette and brushstrokes are closely based on the works of his father Giovanni. Both devoted themselves to the colour experiments of Divisionism. In addition, both artists were united by their deeply felt attachment to their homeland, the Engadine, represented in this picture by two of the local Upper Engadine mountains.

39 Natural pearl and diamond ear pendants.
White gold 750 and platinum 950, 25 g.
Sold for CHF 180 000

40 Gottardo Segantini.
Sera d’Inverno.
Oil on canvas. 105 x 152 cm.
Sold for CHF 140 000



Félix Vallotton
La Symphonie. 1897.
Woodcut print. Artist's proof. 32 × 43 cm.
Sold for CHF 8 500



A World in Black and White

Felix Vallotton as Printmaker

“The briefest expression of the greatest content,” is how the esteemed German art critic Julius Meier-Graefe characterized Felix Vallotton’s hand as a graphic artist. Born in Lausanne in 1865, and relocating to Paris when he was seventeen, Vallotton created a sensation with his woodcuts at an early age. It is not a coincidence that his graphic oeuvre was the subject of the first monograph about the artist. His intensive period of print work was relatively brief: between 1891 and 1898 he produced around 200 woodcuts as well as a relatively small number of etchings, lithographs and zincographs, with portraits, landscapes, street scenes and interiors serving as his main focus. Vallotton also created a large number of book and magazine illustrations and caricatures. His later, sporadic graphic works did not achieve the level of this early and enormously intense creative phase.



Félix Vallotton.
Les Petites Baigneuses. 1893. Portfolio mit 10 Holzschnitten.
Vollständig. Je 12,5 × 16,5 cm.
Sold for CHF 168 000

Félix Vallotton.
Les Petites Baigneuses. 1893. Portfolio with 10 woodcut prints.
Complete. 12,5 × 16,5 cm.
Sold for CHF 168 000

Vallotton’s artistic mastery is evident in radically selected image details, virtuoso silhouettes and the overall ornamental effect of his works. He transformed his subjects into flat surfaces, developing his own world of images that were not intended to be representational. Accordingly, the ten-part series on paper "Intimités" was created in the years 1897/98 and is regarded as the "crowning achievement of his woodcut works" (Rudolf Koella). Similarly masterful are his earlier woodcut series of "Musical Instruments" (1896/97), and also "Les Petites Baigneuses" (1893), recently sold at Koller. During this early period, his unique Vallotton-esque manner culminated in a virtuoso approach to the play of black and white. The bathers exude an air of lightness and ease – completely in contrast to the interiors of the “Intimités”, in which the ten scenes are animated by couples who appear tense, as if they were in a spotlight. Vallotton used backgrounds and surfaces in an almost casual manner for his play of ornaments. "These woodcuts are basically nothing more than a satirical moral mirror of the time, maliciously showing what could happen in the intimacy of bourgeois salons" (Rudolf Koella). Vallotton attained international success with these works, receiving invitations to multiple exhibitions.

Vallotton graduated from the private Académie Julian in Paris, where he met Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard and others, and with whom he united to form the group Les Nabis in 1889. Vallotton recognized the importance his woodcuts would hold in his oeuvre, as he wrote to his brother in 1892: "Mes bois font paraît-il leur petit chemin dans le monde, et me font beaucoup connaître”. The prints created in Paris were indeed widely disseminated and made a lasting impression on his colleagues, including the Die Brücke artists Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, as well as Wassily Kandinsky, who initiated an exhibition of works by Vallotton in Munich’s Phalanx in 1904. The significance of the woodcuts lies not only in their influence on other artists, but also in how effectively the Vallotton-esque pictorial formulas mirror the period: "When a style is as immensely strong as the style of these woodcut vignettes, it comprises more than book illustration. It comprises the entire taste of a time – of a future" (Wilhelm Hausenstein).

Incidentally, the artist did not limit himself as Meier-Graefe had advised: "Vallotton has made so much of the woodcut that he that he could safely dispense with the ambition to also count as a painter". On the contrary, Vallotton’s ambition did not slow, and he succeeded as a painter until his death in 1925.

"Les Petites Baigneuses” sold for CHF 168 000 on 8 December 2018, a world record at auction for a graphic series by Vallotton.

Félix Vallotton.
Les Petites Baigneuses. 1893. Portfolio with 10 woodcut prints.
Complete. Je 12,5 × 16,5 cm.
Sold for CHF 168 000



Andy Warhol.
Mickey Mouse. 1981.
Colour screen print with diamond dust. 63/200. 96,5 x 96,5 cm.
Sold for CHF 168 000



The Triumph of Mickey Mouse

Andy Warhol’s “Myths”: Modern American Icons

With the ten-part screen print series “Myths”, 1981, Andy Warhol demonstrated a profound understanding of the society in which he grew up. The 20th century “deities” that he chose had all become icons, representing a consumer society whose sources of inspiration were the media and the Hollywood dream factory, running at full speed.



Robert J. Levin.
Andy Warhol with Myths, New York, 1981.
© Robert J. Levin.

From early on, Warhol detected the most powerful motifs of his time – images that capture the modern imagination, as did the gods and goddesses of ancient times. His selection for “Myths” comprises not only ideal characters, but a representative sample of the shady, the bold, the sly, the humorous and the good, as seen through the lens of cinema and television: Mata Hari, Dracula, Superman and Santa Claus, as well as prototypically American icons such as Howdy Doody, Mammy, Uncle Sam, the Wicked Witch of the West – and of course Mickey Mouse. Most of the examples date from the 1940s and 50s, the years of Warhol’s youth. His insertion of a self-portrait (“The Shadow”) in this prominent series speaks volumes about his self-awareness at this high point of his career.

Mickey Mouse, created by Walt Disney and his early collaborator, Ub Iwerks, is by far the most recognizable cartoon character in the world. Mickey made his debut in the silent short “Plane Crazy”, on 15 May 1928, and in November of the same year the cartoon mouse, this time with sound, was featured in “Steamboat Willie”. Two years later, the first comic book featuring Mickey Mouse was published, beginning an unparalleled triumphal march to fame. Even today, after 90 years, the Mickey Mouse brand is still going strong. No wonder, then, that in 1980 it aroused Andy Warhol’s interest.

Cinematic effect

Warhol had a sure instinct for the objects of everyday culture. Like a sensitive seismograph, he also incorporated contemporary events, stars and starlets in his art. He subjected this “raw material” of an entire era to an artistic metamorphosis and in this way created new icons – now they were his icons. The screen print process proved to be the best technical means for him to produce many repetitive images quickly and effectively. When one thinks of Marilyn Monroe today, Warhol’s portrait series of 1967 inevitably comes to mind. The brand names “Campbell’s” and “Brillo” evoke soup cans and stacks of boxes in the Warhol manner.

The artist eliminated the technical uniformity of the compositions by overlapping and blurring the original models, creating a cinematic effect on the static images. “But on closer inspection, this‘ sensation of time’ is just as illusory as in his early films”, wrote Ernst Beyeler. “It’s always the same shot, and the same silkscreen.” As an adult, Warhol said that he wanted to be a cultural icon like Mickey Mouse. Surprisingly then, this is the first time that Mickey Mouse appears in Warhol’s work. Perhaps this is why he decided to give the print a glamorous diamond-dust finish.

Worl auction record

Today the “Myths” portfolio is one of the most sought-after series of works by Andy Warhol. The ten prints were first exhibited in 1981 at the Ronald Feldman Gallery in Manhattan, where the renowned American photographer Robert Levin documented the opening for the German magazine Stern.

The Mickey Mouse illustrated here achieved a new auction record when it sold in our 8 December 2018 auction for CHF 168 500.



Lina Augustin.
No key, no pressure. 2017/2018.
Acrylic and oil on paper
83 × 62 cm.



KOLLERNOW 2019

Exhibition of young German art from the Munich Academy of Fine Arts

This spring Koller Auctions will introduce "KOLLERNOW", a new exhibition series at our Munich branch that will promote young artists with a link to the Bavarian capital.



Marc Avrel. Blinky da Vinci.
Die Waffe meines Ernstes nach K. Klapheck. 2018.
Mixed media.
80 × 50 × 52 cm.

Ralf Dereich.
Sculp019. 2014.
Gesso, pigment and acrylic.
37 × 36 × 36 cm.

In an art market dominated by global players, young galleries and organisations dedicated to arts development often have a difficult time. For young practising artists, taking those first steps towards recognition and a foothold in the art market has become increasingly complex. New York gallery owner David Zwirner has also recognised how crucial it is for artists to have the opportunity to exhibit at the beginning of their careers: he suggested removing the financial burden for young galleries at art fairs, in order to enable them to experiment artistically.

With "KOLLERNOW" Koller Auctions will offer graduates and current students of the Munich Academy of Fine Arts the opportunity to show new works. For each exhibition, the curator Dina Renninger will invite three to five artists from the classes of Professors Markus Oehlen, Karin Kneffel and Nicole Wermers to participate.

The first exhibition, on view from 14 March to 12 April, includes works by Marc Avrel, Ralf Dereich, Daniel Man and Lina Augustin – graduates and students of Professor Markus Oehlen. With a height­ened encounter between the most diverse concepts of paint­ing, sculpture and drawing, these four young artists will engage in a temporary dialogue.

Marc Avrel’s (*1981) understanding of crossover decisively influences his life and his artworks. Highly rad­ical and passionate, he challenges, comments and reflects on current political, social, digital and artistic developments, blurring the boundaries of artistic disciplines.

Ralf Dereich’s (*1976) works are the product of a spontaneous and subtle process. Intrinsically artistic, and restricting himself to painting and sculpture, the artist has developed a pictorial language that is both universal and unique. His works open up new pictorial spaces and, through their complexity and impulsivity, keep the viewer in a constant state of flux.

Daniel Man (*1969) comes from the graffiti scene, and his works still bear the hallmark of street art. Man’s intensely coloured and pulsating works are now favourably received not only in urban settings, but also in the museum world.

Lina Augustin’s (*1986) works persuasively combine intense images with a simple and thereby vivid language. Poetic visual worlds, working in harmony with Augustin’s texts, invite viewers to construct a story of their own imagining.

Daniel Man.
Total mission. 2017.
Mixed media on canvas.
130 × 190 cm.




LUCAS CRANACH L’ANCIEN ET SON ATELIER
Portrait de l’électeur de Saxe.
Frédérick le Sage. 1525.
Huile sur panneau de hêtre. 38,7 x 25,3 cm.
Vendue pour CHF 264 000

COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE APRES-VENTE

Tableaux, Dessins et Gravures de Maîtres anciens et du XIXe siècle
Mobilier et Arts décoratifs – Joaillerie – Livres, Manuscrits & Autographes

Ventes aux enchères à Zurich du 26 au 29 mars 2019

UN TAUX DE VENTE SUPÉRIEUR À 100% EN VALEUR ET DES PRIX FORTS CARACTÉRISENT
LES ENCHÈRES DE TABLEAUX DE MAÎTRES ANCIENS & DU 19E SIÈCLE CHEZ KOLLER

Chez Koller à Zürich, les enchères de tableaux de Maîtres Anciens & du 19e siècle tenues le 29 mars ont rencontré un véritable succès, avec un taux de vente supérieur à 100% en valeur. Un portrait peint par Lucas Cranach et son atelier de Frederick le Sage, Electeur de Saxe et mécène de Cranach, a vu son estimation presque tripler en atteignant CHF 264’000. La « Bataille sur le Pont » d’Arnold Böcklin, puissante et dynamique, a changé de mains pour CHF 240’000.



JAN WELLENS DE COCK
La Tentation de Saint Antoine.
Huile sur panneau. 27,7 x 37,2 cm.
Vendue pour CHF 168 000



CARL MORGENSTERN
Venise avec vue sur le Palais des Doges
et Santa Maria della Salute. 1863.
Huile sur toile. 54 x 89 cm.
Vendue pour CHF 72 000

Les tableaux de Maîtres Anciens comptaient également un tableau redécouvert de Jan Wellens de Cock, qui a atteint CHF 168’000, et une oeuvre de Gerrit Dou, qui a atteint CHF 156’000. Parmi les tableaux du 19e siècle, un paysage vénitien chatoyant de Carl Morgenstern a été vendu pour CHF 72’000, et la représentation humoristique d’un botaniste chassant des papillons par Carl Spitzweg a atteint CHF 114’000.

La collection du réalisateur hollandais Jef Rademakers a également connu d’excellents résultats : une scène de patinage nocturne peinte par Andreas Schelfhout a notamment atteint CHF 90’000.

Pendant cette semaine d’enchères, toutes les catégories de vente ont réalisé d’excellents taux et des prix forts. Les enchères de Livres & Manuscrits du 26 mars comprenaient un ouvrage sur la flore et la faune du Surinam, magnifiquement illustré par Maria Sybilla Merian, dont le prix d’estimation a doublé. L’ouvrage a ainsi été vendu pour CHF 132’000. Pendant ces mêmes enchères, un traité de botanique de Johann Simon Kerner, somptueusement illustré, a été vendu pour CHF 72’000, soit le sextuple de son estimation.

ANDREAS SCHELFHOUT
Patineurs avec “Koek-en-zopie” la nuit. 1849.
Huile sur panneau. 31 x 42,5 cm.
Vendue pour CHF 90 000



 



SÉLECTION DE LOTS PHARE

ARNOLD BÖCKLIN
La lutte sur le pont. 1889.
Huile sur panneau.
96 x 149,5 cm.
Vendue pour CHF 240 000



GERRIT DOU
Une vendeuse de hareng avec une servante dans une niche.
Huile sur panneau.
46 x 36,2 cm.
Vendue pour CHF 156 000

MARIA SYBILLA MERIAN
Dissertatio de generatione et metamorphosibus
insectorum Surinamensium.
La Haye, 1726.
Vendue pour CHF 132 000



 

CARL SPITZWEG
Der Le chasseur de papillons (botaniste). Vers 1836/37.
Huile sur toile.
29,8 x 24,5 cm.
Vendue pour CHF 114 000



HANS WEIDITZ THE YOUNGER
Joueurs de dés et un couple de paysans.
Vers 1525-30. Encre noire, partiellement avec lavis.
Vendue pour CHF 120 000



JEAN LOUIS ERNEST MEISSONNIER
Sculpture en bronze : “Napoléon à cheval”
ou “Le voyageur”, vers 1900.
L 59 cm, H 48 cm.
Vendue pour CHF 180 000



 


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 Munich, Düsseldorf, Milan, Pékin et Moscou. Chaque année, Koller organise une soixantaine 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 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.