Bloemenstilleven by Leo Gestel tops Christie's Modern Art sale in Amsterdam

Bloemenstilleven (1913), a painting by Leo Gestel, has sold for $695,433 at Christie's Modern Art sale in Amsterdam.

The piece achieved a 2.3% increase on a $685,822 high estimate on December 10.

Bloemenstilleven Leo Gestel
Bloemenstilleven is an abstract flower still life

Gestel (1881-1941), along with Mondrian and Sluijters, is credited with developing a uniquely Dutch approach to modernist art in the early 20th century.

Their highly structured approach to abstraction grew out of their earlier work in a style commonly referred to as Amsterdam luminism, which invoked the bold colours of Van Gogh - whose significance was recognised early on in Holland.

Tragically, a fire in a studio in Bergen, Norway in 1929 destroyed most of Gestel's work.

Georges Vantongerloo's Courbes (1938) was another important lot, realising $629,397.

Vantongerloo Courbes Christies Amsterdam
Vantongerloo painted Courbes in 1938

Vantongerloo (1886-1965) was a Belgian-born painter and sculptor, and a co-founder of de stijl - one of the most significant art movements of the 20th century, which included Rietveld and Mondrian among its members.

His fascination with pure abstraction led him to use mathematical formulae in the development of his work and, while less well known than some of his contemporaries in de stijl, he still achieves solid figures at auction.

In 2012, a Vantongerloo painting titled Composition Emanante De L'Equation Y=-AX2+BX+18 Avec Accord De L'Orange-Vert-Violet achieved £623,650 ($985,367) at Christie's London.

The present auction achieved total sales of $6m, and featured the work of a number of major modernist artists, including Jan Sluijters and Pablo Picasso.  

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Images: Christie's

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