Christie's auctions '$2.3m' work by 'the greatest painter of the last century'

On October 12, Christie's New York will offer an extraordinary selection of 19th Century European Art Including Orientalist, Sporting and Maritime Paintings.

The sale will present exquisite examples of the classic tradition of Europe as well as the exotic allure of the Orient, and will feature some of the most sought-after artists of the 19th Century.

Giovanni Boldini’s exquisite Portrait of Marthe Régnier

Giovanni Boldini’s exquisite
Portrait of Marthe Régnier

These will include Giovanni Boldini, José Benlliure y Gil, Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, William Adolphe Bouguereau, Jean Baptiste Camille Corot, Frederick Lord Leighton and Montague Dawson.

In total, the sale will offer over 100 lots of great quality and beauty. The sale's top lot is Giovanni Boldini's exquisite Portrait of Marthe Régnier, 1905. Painted at the height of the artist's career, Marthe Régnier embodies Parisian chic during the Belle Époque.

The work is estimated at $2-3m.

Three years after Boldini executed this tour de force likeness, it was exhibited by its then owner, Michel Manzi, at the newly inaugurated Hôtel des Modes.

The hotel was the brainchild of Manzi and, as a meeting point for haute couture and contemporary art, was to prove an overnight success.

Adding to the drama of this portrait is Boldini's strident plunging perspective, one of the innovative hallmarks of the artist's mature oeuvre. Equally characteristic of Boldini's work is the pulsating pink patchwork.

The artist's daring compositional elements led cultural icon Gertrude Stein to presciently profess, 'Once time has established values in their correct order, Boldini will be recognized as the greatest painter of the last century.' It is expected to bring  $50,000-70,000.

Watch this space for more news on Christie's October 12 sale.


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