David Rockefeller’s art collection to auction

Christie’s is hosting an auction of art from the collection of the late billionaire David Rockefeller (1915-2017) in the spring. 

Rockefeller was the head of the fabulously wealthy US banking family. He was also a passionate patron of the arts, who gave away hundreds of millions of dollars to institutions like New York’s MoMA.

Picasso Matisse Rockefeller

Works by Picasso and Matisse feature in this upcoming sale

As you’d expect, his collection includes a number of hugely exciting pieces.

Picasso’s Young Girl With A Flower Basket (1905) is likely to be the headliner, with an estimate of $70m.

The work dates to Picasso’s Rose Period, when he was living in a community of artists in Montmartre, Paris.

At this time Picasso was just beginning to play around with primitivist themes. By 1907, he would embark on a series of experiments with African art.

Matisse’s Odalisque with Magnolias (1923) is another headliner, valued at $50m.

An odalisque was a term for a chambermaid serving in a harem during the Ottoman empire. Odalisques were popular subjects in western Orientalist art and were typically depicted as reclining nudes.

Matisse became fascinated with this motif during the 1920s.

Some of his most valuable works are from the period. This lot looks poised to set a long overdue new auction record for Matisse.

As it stands the record is $33.6m, set for L'Odalisque, harmonie bleue at Christie’s in 2009.

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