An evening of Masterpieces at Christie’s
The annual Christie’s event – part of our long-standing partnership with the iconic auction house - is always a highlight of the London summer calendar. This year was no exception, as guests perused works of art by Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, Monet, Chagall, Modigliani, Le Corbusier, Max Beckmann and Egon Schiele in the heart of London’s St James.
The spirit of this event, presenting works of art that, at their time, shattered conventional ideas, challenged the political and philosophical status quo, and showed the world new forms of visual experience, is in perfect harmony with our own ‘rethink everything’ spirit.
This year, the event was hosted by Henry Fischel-Bock, head of our European Private Banking business, Duncan MacIntyre, UK Private Banking CEO, as well as Christie’s chief executive Guillaume Cerutti and Christie’s president of Europe, Middle East, Russia and India Dirk Boll.
Among the sales’ highlights were Van Gogh’s 1889 work ‘Le moissoneur (d’après Millet)’, painted from a set of prints he had of works by Jean-Francois Millet, as he recovered in an asylum in Saint-Rémy, and Max Beckmann’s political masterpiece ‘Hölle der Vögel’, described by the auction house as a “searing indictment of the Nazi party and a personal outpouring of anguish akin to Picasso’s Guernica.” Finally, Monet’s ‘Saule Pleurer’ is one of a series of ten works by the artist depicting the weeping willows surrounding his famous lily pond at Giverny, five of which reside in museum collections. Many of the artworks are expected to raise between GBP10-30 million.
The market for such artworks looks to be in recovery from a downturn seen in 2016. Impressionist, modern and contemporary art sales in New York in May (which precede the London sales) raised around USD 1.6 billion, USD 500 million more than the previous May, but still some way short of the record USD 2.7 billion set in May 2015.
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