HONG KONG.- Sothebys
announced that its newly-constructed 15,000-square-foot gallery space in Hong Kong was opened last Saturday, 19 May, 2012. Celebrating the opening of the gallery, the second edition of the Modern Masters series, Corot to Monet French Landscape Painting in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, is hosted after its successful launch in 2010, offering once again a great opportunity to acquire museumquality works by modern masters. The exhibition will run until 31 May in Hong Kong and also be on view in Beijing Park Hyatt from 22 to 25 June.
The exhibition of masterpieces from the late 19th to the early 20th century focuses on the importance of landscape painting for the pioneers of modernism. Works by masters such as Gustave Courbet, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Camille Pissarro and Claude Monet highlight the progression from the Barbizon school to Impressionism through their definitive subject landscape. Twenty works are included in this exhibition, all of which are available for private sale with asking prices ranging from US$300,000 to in excess of US$8 million / HK$2.3 million to in excess of HK$62.4 million.
Patti Wong, Chairman of Sotheby's Asia, commented: The success of the first Modern Masters selling exhibition in 2010 is a testament to the increasing sophistication of buyers within Asia, especially from within Greater China, for high quality works by important artists from the Impressionist and Modern period. In response to the huge amount of interest generated among collectors for this important field, we selected carefully from Europe and America an outstanding group of French landscape paintings from the late 19th to the early 20th century to be presented at our brand-new state-of-the- art gallery space in Hong Kong. It offers a unique and exclusive opportunity to acquire masterpieces outside of our auction calendar. Our experts look forward to offering our clients a new and exciting dimension to the Sothebys experience in Asia while sharing their passion and expertise in this field.
Over the years, Sothebys has identified increasing demand for both Barbizon and Impressionist paintings which hold particular appeal to our audience in Asia. To cater to their collecting interest, we meticulously selected a collection of important landscape paintings a popular subject matter in the mid-19th century by major artists of this genre for the second edition of the Modern Masters series, said David Norman, Co-Chairman of Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art Department Worldwide. This selling exhibition uniquely features works of leading Realist painters Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Gustave Courbet from the late 19th century, together with later works by the great generation of Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-August Renoir and Alfred Sisley. The exhibition charts the evolution of French landscape painting in the late 19th century and reveals the influence of Barbizon School on the later plein-air style of painting of the Impressionists.
FRENCH LANDSCAPE PAINTING
Beginning in the mid-19th century, landscape painting was the subject that defined French Art. Prior to this time, landscape was only a secondary element in the painting, simply a setting or a stage upon which historical, political, religious or mythological subjects were presented. French artists, beginning around 1830, chose landscape as the main subject matter, and often depicted the simple, sparsely populated areas just outside of Paris in a more natural and highly poetic manner. Artistic leaders of this Realist movement were Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Gustave Courbet.
By the early 1860s, the style now known as Impressionist first arose. The leading artists, who focused predominantly on landscape as their subject, were Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sisley. They painted either urban views of a rapidly modernising Paris or the nearby countryside, and focused their sights both on scenes of simple peasant and agrarian life, as well as the leisure activities of the rising middle classes venturing out of from the city. The Impressionists formulated a revolutionary style of painting an art of vivid colour, fast and loose brushstrokes, and an observation of the effects of light, season and weather played on the landscapes. Theirs was an art of modern life which reflected the changing tastes and break from traditions that arose at the beginning of a new century.
During the spring and summer of 1880, Claude Monet (1840 1926) painted nearly 30 views of the area in and around Vétheuil, a village on the Seine. Four depict views along the Chantemesle - La Roche-Guyon road, the thoroughfare where Monet's house was located. The most beautiful of the group is the present work - La Route de Vétheuil. It is the largest of the four, and is the most significant in terms of style, paint handling, and composition. Here, the sweeping curve of the road is typical of the inherently strong, relatively simple shapes that began to appear in Monet's work in the early 1880s. In composition it foreshadows many of the views of the coast of Normandy that he painted during the 1880s and 1890s, as well as the Poplar series of 1891.