A stunning painting of Notre Dame de Paris by Pablo Picasso sold for £864,450. Here Picasso has taken a subject he knows well, via his walks to, and the view from, his studio, but he chooses to challenge the truth in order to explore artistic aims other than realism.
Dated 1954, it is one of his later landscapes, but it shows the influence of his earlier experiments with Cubism. By October 1954, when it was completed, the artist was falling in love with a woman who would later become his wife - Jacqueline Roque. At the time of painting Notre Dame de Paris, they were in the springtime of their passion, and Picasso's happiness at the time of working on this painting is evident.
Another highlight of the sale was Jeune fille aux cheveux noirs by the Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) which made £825,250. Modigliani is renowned for his enigmatic portraits of women with their elongated features and deep gazes. They have been described as "the works by which the artist has earned his place in the history of art" and this fine example is no exception. It came to the market from the Laurance S. Rockefeller Fund.
Further highlights of the auction were Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841-1919), Femme en rouge lisant, painted in 1895, which made £97,250; and La musique au village by Marc Chagall (1887-1995) which sold for £73,250.
Deborah Allan, of Bonhams Impressionist and Modern Art Department comments, "We were thrilled with the 81% sold by value, result of this sale in which we offered an excellent selection of works by some of the most pre-eminent artists of the 20th Century. The sale drew interest from clients across the world. Building on the success of this sale we look forward to our next sale on 19th of June 2012."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com