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Pierre-Auguste Renoir
La jeune fille au cygne, 1886

Constantin Brancusi
La muse endormie II,c. 1925

Claude Monet
Eglise de Varengeville,
effet du matin, 1882

Henri Matisse
Jeune fille à la fenêtre, 1921

artnet auction report: christie's impressionists

by Walter Robinson

"It's certainly not a market given to speculation, but it is a strong market for anything of quality," said Christie's chief auctioneer Christopher Burge at the after-sale press conference on Nov. 11, giving a postive spin to what was a rather unexciting event. The overall total for the evening sale of Impressionist and modern works was $69,972,000, just under a presale estimate of $79 million-$109 million. A modest 51 of the 70 lots offered were sold.

While the cynical (and clueless) press corps might characterize the sale as "lackluster," it still contained a luminescent Monet of Waterloo Bridge in London that sold for $8.2 million, a golden Brancusi sleeping muse for $6.6 million, a classic portrait of a young girl by Renoir for $5 million and a Braque Fauve landscape from L'Estaque for $3.5 million. The prices of other lots are listed below.

Practically all the buyers were "anonymous," though Carol Vogel of the New York Times spotted Dallas collector Raymond Nasher buying lot 157, Giacometti's Femme de Venise IV, for $2.4 million. (I have to say that standing on the sidelines among the auction "journalists," who spend almost two hours craning and peering to identify bidders while writing the hammer prices in their catalogues, is not exactly my idea of the cosmopolitan life.) The only other high-profile buyers at the sale were dealers David Nash and his wife Lucy Mitchell-Innes, who bought the Monet bridge picture as well as two Redons.

Among the bargains was lot 126, Monet's Eglise de Varengeville (1882), a beautiful painting that sold for $1,542,500 -- easily worth more than one-fifth of Waterloo Bridge! And the Matisse market seems to have been momentarily off, a good opportunity for whoever bought lot 162, Matisse's Jeune fille à la Fenêtre (1921) for $607,500, below its low estimate; and lot 166, the late Matisse Grille (1953), paying $640,500 for a beautiful and rare example of the artist's final flair.

The absence of any spectacular results in last night's sale was actually welcomed by one museum curator, who must keep an eye on insurance costs for loan exhibitions. One generally unnoted effect of Monday's Ganz sale, in which values shot up by 300 percent or more, was to wreak havoc on the museum insurance budgets.

1. RenoirTête de jeune fille$700,000-$900,000$1,432,500
2. RodinTête de Lady Sackville$500,000-$700,000$442,500
3. RenoirLa danse à la campagne$350,000-$450,000$530,500
4. SisleyConfluent de la Seine et du Loing$800,000-$1,200,000$1,322,500
5. PissarroBerger avec moutons$250,000-$350,000$376,500
6. PissarroSaint-Martin, près de Gisors$700,000-$900,000$552,500
7. MonetWaterloo Bridge, soleil voilé$4,000,000-$6,000,000$8,252,500
8. PissarroPrimrose Hill, Regent's Park$800,000-$1,000,000$717,500
9. SisleyChantiers de Matrat$600,000-$800,000pass at $450,000
10. DegasDanseuse au tambourin$1,400,000-$1,800,000$1,432,500
11. GauginLa orana Maria$350,000-$450,000$354,500
12. Toulouse-LautrecAu bal masqué--les fêtes parisiennes--noveaux confettis$800,000-$1,200,000pass at $600,000
13. RenoirLa jeune fille au cygne$5,000,000-$7,000,000$5,062,500
14. DegasDanseuse russe$400,000-$600,000$398,500
15. MonetRégates à Argenteuil$6,000,000-$8,000,000pass at $4 million
16. RenoirTulipes$500,000-$700,000$992,500
17. MorisotFillettes à la fenêtre$1,200,000-$1,600,000$1,212,500
18. GauguinFerme à Osny$700,000-$900,000$1,322,500
19. PissarroBois de chataigniers à Louveciennes$2,000,000-$3,000,000$2,202,500
20. RenoirFemme à la robe bleue debout dans le jardin de Saint-Cloud$1,000,000-$1,500,000$1,542,500
21. PissarroPrintemps à Pontoise$700,000-$900,000$750,500
22. MonetPrintemps, saules$1,400,000-$1,800,000$1,542,500
23. SisleyScène de rue à Marly$600,000-$800,000pass at $380,000
24. RenoirTête de jeune fille$700,000-$900,000$1,872,500
25. CézannePaysage avec conduite d'eau$3,500,000-$4,500,000$3,302,500
26. MonetEglise de Varengeville, effet du matin$1,000,000-$1,500,000$1,542,500
27. PissarroL'èglise Saint-Jacques à Dieppe, matin, soleil$3,000,000-$4,000,000pass at $2.6 million
28. RenoirFemme au collier$1,500,000-$2,000,000$1,322,500
29. SignacClocher de Saint Tropez$800,000-$1,000,000$827,500
30. RedonFleurs$300,000-$400,000$772,500
31. RedonPortrait de Geneviève de Gonet enfant$400,000-$500,000pass at $280,000
32. RedonLe pégase noir$900,000-$1,200,000$882,500
33. RedonLa Prédication$100,000-$150,000$101,500
34. RedonLe Bouddha$300,000-$400,000$266,500
35. RedonLe char d'Apollon$1,000,000-$1,500,000pass at $600,000
36. RedonLa barque$150,000-$200,000$134,500
37. RedonLa roue de la fortune$100,000-$150,000$101,500
38. RedonSaint Georges et le dragon$400,000-$600,000pass at $240,000
39. RedonPortrait de la Marquise de Gonet$150,000-$200,000$134,500
40. SisleyPéniches sur le Loing à Saint-Mammès$600,000-$800,000pass at $400,000
41. BraquePaysage à L'Estaque$2,000,000-$3,000,000$3,522,500
42. KandinskyMurnau-Obermarkt$1,800,000-$2,500,000pass at $850,000
43. ModiglianiBeatrice Hastings assise$3,000,000-$4,000,000$2,642,500
44. RouaultClown à la marionette$400,000-$500,000pass at $240,000
45. DerainBateau au port de Collioure$1,400,000-$1,800,000$2,262,500
46. VlaminckRivière ensoleillée avec canotier$500,000-$700,000$640,500
47. PicassoEtude pour La toilette$300,000-$400,000$332,500
48. BraqueVerre$700,000-$900,000pass at $600,000
49. GrisGuitare$800,000-$1,000,000$911,500
50. LégerLe blessé$1,000,000-$1,500,000$882,500
51. KandinskyNach Rechts--Nach Links$500,000-$700,000$387,500
52. BrancusiLa muse endormie II$4,000,000-$6,000,000$6,602,500
53. KleeHöhlen ausblick$300,000-$400,000$266,500
54. MiroPersonnage devant la lune$500,000-$700,000$772,500
55. MatisseNature morte, bouquet et compotier$4,500,000-$6,500,000pass at $3,500,000
56. KleeMärchen$800,000-$1,200,000pass at $500,000
57. GiacomettiFemme de Venise IV$1,400,000-$1,800,000$2,422,500
58. MagritteLa perspective amoureuse$1,500,000-$2,000,000pass at $1.1 million
59. MatisseJeune fille en robe blanche$1,200,000-$1,600,000pass at $900,000
60. MiroLa nuit$1,000,000-$1,500,000$1,652,500
61. DaliUntitled$300,000-$500,000$486,500
62. MatisseJeune fille à la fenêtre$700,000-$900,000$607,500
63. GiacomettiTête de Diego au col roulé$400,000-$600,000$882,500
64. ChagallLe clown peintre$600,000-$800,000$574,500
65. MooreReclining Figure No. 7$600,000-$800,000$607,500
66. MatisseGrille$400,000-$600,000$640,500
67. MagritteLa voix du sang$1,000,000-$1,500,000$992,500
68. ChagallVase de fleurs, couple et coq$500,000-$700,000pass at $450,000
69. MooreLarge Totem Head$800,000-$1,000,000pass at $600,000
70. ChagallCouple sur fond rouge$500,000-$700,000$635,000
WALTER ROBINSON is editor of ArtNet Magazine.