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By Alberto Giacometti
From the Collection of Comtesse Viviane de Witt
Estimated price: €1-1.5 million
In June, Sotheby’s Paris will be offering a remarkable selection of works from the Collection of Comtesse Viviane de Witt in its Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary Sales. Viviane de Witt became one of France’s first female auctioneers in 1978, swiftly making her mark on the country’s male-dominated auction world. She is the wife of Jérôme de Witt, a descendant of Napoleon’s brother Jérôme, King of Westphalia.
Comtesse de Witt’s interests span a wealth of fields ranging from Chinese snuff-bottles to tribal and contemporary art. The sale at Sotheby’s will offer a group of exceptional works from the leading masters of the 20th Century. Included in the auction is a rare Alberto Giacometti Figurine, circa 1949/50 which was one of the artist’s first painted bronzes. The sculpture, estimated at €1-1.5 million, is thought to have been unveiled at Giacometti’s first post-war exhibition in Paris, staged at the Galerie Maeght in 1951, and was presented to his great friend Balthus.
Another highlight is a superb collection of works by Pablo Picasso embodying different aspects of the artist’s oeuvre. A major drawing by Willem de Kooning exhibited at the retrospective held at the Guggenheim and Whitney Museum in New York is also offered, as well as important works by Jean Dubuffet, Alexander Calder and Anselm Kiefer.
The highlight of the contemporary section is a work by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Titled Crown Hotel (Mona Lisa Black Background), the painting was produced when Basquiat was only 22 years old and marks a crucial period from his career. It is a work of tremendous depth and complexity with references to both Leonardo’s Mona Lisa and Manet’s Olympia.
Sotheby’s Paris Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary Sales will be held on June 5 and 6, 2013.
For further information, please visit http://www.sothebys.com.
First published in the Adbuzzzz Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on May 19, 2013.