, Indias leading auction house announces its entry into Western art with its Inaugural Auction of Impressionist and Modern Art. As part of its long-term commitment to provide art connoisseurs in India and across the globe with access to the finest art works, Saffronart now introduces this landmark auction of Western art, a first for India. The auction offers a unique opportunity for collectors to acquire significant works by the legends of the art world including Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Fernand Léger, and others.
With a total of 73 lots, the sale includes a wide variety of paintings, works on paper and sculptures of exceptional provenance and quality by leading Western artists. The auction will take place online at www.saffronart.com on February 15-16, 2012. A selection of lots from this auction will be previewed at Saffronarts galleries in New Delhi and Mumbai.
On the cover of the catalogue is an exceptional early landscape by Vincent Van Gogh. Lallée aux deux promeneurs (Lane with Two Figures) was painted in the Dutch village of Neunen in 1885, where the 32 year old artist had returned to live after studying in The Hague. This was a pivotal year for the artist as he obsessively recorded his surroundings and the local farming community, culminating in the masterpiece of Van Gogh's 'peasant period', The Potato Eaters in April of the same year.
An important work by one of the grand masters of Impressionism will also be included in the auction. The luxuriant Lisière du bois (Edge of the Wood) by Camille Pissarro shows the artistic debt to his great friend Paul Cézanne and is a wonderful example of early Impressionism put into practice. Painted in sweeping strokes with the aid of a palette knife, this painting was most likely completed while Pissarro was sitting in the field en plein air recording the fleeting effects of light and wind on the landscape in front of him.
The Modern section includes several works by Pablo Picasso, including a vibrant oil painting titled Le Transformateur of 1953 (estimated at US$ 400,000-450,000). By the late 1940s, Picassos fame was widespread and he was the confirmed master of Western art. He moved to the small town of Vallauris in the South of France and a time of success, contentment and stability in his family life set in. He continued to paint and draw obsessively, depicting his wife and children but also adding to his repertoire the lush surroundings and houses near his villa, as shown in the present work.
Also in the sale is a large selection of ceramics by Picasso. Pottery became a significant new medium with which to express himself at around the same time in Vallauris and continued to preoccupy him for the rest of his life. He turned these everyday objects into charming and often amusing figures and animals, confirming again that Picassos artistic imagination was boundless.
Marc Chagall features in the auction with a very large and impressive watercolour called L'Echelle au ciel (Ladder to the Sky), estimated at US$ 280,000-350,000. It features some of Chagalls most iconic symbols, including the artist lying before his easel while figures float above him, as if for artistic inspiration. A ladder bridges the earthly and heavenly worlds that are equally important to the artist and above him a bride and groom hover, perhaps signifying that marriage and love are the most significant inspiration of all.
The sale will also have on offer works by two of the most recognized sculptors, Henry Moore, and Lynn Chadwick.
The auction includes an attractive selection of prints by several of the twentieth centurys most respected Western artists including Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein.