Bronfman Collection: In Depth

Christie’s sale of Property from the Estate of Edgar M. Bronfman Sr, the Seagrams heir, philanthropist, and diplomat, will highlight the spring auction season.

Art collectors of ArtKabinett social media network are impressed with the depth and quality of Bronfman's collection.

The extensive collection comprises five categories: Impressionist & Modern Art, American Art, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Prints & Multiples, and Decorative Arts.

Artworks will be sold in New York, London, and Hong Kong, as well as in an online-only event, and will fetch over $34 million.

Impressionism Trove

Highlighting the Evening Sale is an important Impressionism work by Pablo Picasso, pictured here, 'Mangeuse de pastèque et homme écrivant',1965 (estimate: $7,000,000–10,000,000).

The young man in the painting, clothed and attending to his writing, is a surrogate for Picasso. The young woman seated nearby with a slice of watermelon – a symbolic offering for all the fruits of this earth and her lovely body – is Picasso’s muse and wife, Jacqueline Roque.

Edgar Degas' Le Tub, circa 1889, is widely regarded as one of the most innovative and important sculptures of the modern era (estimate: $4,000,000-6,000,000).

The complexity of Le Tub is heightened further by the unusual vantage point that Degas seems to encourage the spectator to adopt. Since the bather is partially submerged in the shallow basin, a full view of the figure can be obtained only by looking down at her.

Henri Matisse’s (1869-1954) Femme auprès de la fenêtre, painted in Nice in 1920, suggests the advent of modernism (estimate: $3,000,000-5,000,000).

Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele’s (1890-1918) Akt mit roten Strumpfbänder (recto); Liegender Akt (verso), executed in 1911 shows the changes in Scheiele’s aesthetic style and in his relationships with women that characterized his brief career (estimate: $3,000,000-5,000,000).

Akt mit roten Strumpfbander demonstrates the increasing skills that Schiele had developed in the use of watercolor and gouache, as well as his highly idiosyncratic sense of line.

The reds and pinks in the subject's upper body and face have a billowing quality that reveals the artist taking advantage of the liquidity of his medium in order to add a feeling of flushed and stippled flesh. The rose tints of her body dominate the composition, as does her face, which grounds the viewer in a penetrating gaze.

Post-war Masterpieces

Post-War and Contemporary Art Post-war and contemporary art works from the Bronfman collection include European and American abstraction from the 1950s and 60s.

The main highlight from the grouping is Hans Hofmann’s (1880-1966) Le bouquet du vine from 1964 where active gesture by the painter results in an explosion of bright color (estimate: $800,000-1,200,000).

Other highlights will be works by Sam Francis and Richard Pousette-Dart.

A definitive work from the most-celebrated period in the artist’s oeuvre, Milton Avery’s (1885-1965) The Mandolin Player has a lyrical sense of music and motion (estimate: $800,000-1,200,000).

The highly saturated palette of greens, blues, oranges and pinks is representative of Avery’s works from the mid-1940s, as is his rendering of expressive figures through a contained, plastic two-dimensional design.

Picasso Ceramics

Picasso Ceramics Christie’s will offer a stellar modern ceramics collection in Impressions in Clay: Pablo Picasso Ceramics featuring the Estate of Edgar M. Bronfman.

Following the overwhelming success of previous dedicated Picasso ceramics sales at Christie’s, this sale will be offered exclusively as an online-only auction and runs from May 2 through May 16.

The entirety of the collection will be on view during Prints & Multiples view (April 18-22), and highlights will be presented during the Impressionist & Modern view (May 2-6).

The sale includes works at prices beginning at $1,500. Top lots include Picasso’s Tripod (A.R. 125) ($50,000-70,000) and a complete 8-piece Corrida service set (A.R. 416-423) ($70,000-90,000).