“Landscape under a Stormy Sky” (1888) painted by Vincent Van Gogh in Arles a year before his death is going to lead the Sotheby’s New York Impressionist and Modern Art Sale that will be held on 5 November. Another headliner of the upcoming auction will be one of the last Suprematist compositions by Kazimir Malevich that is now stored in a private art collection. This is the way the Sotheby’s auction house is trying to retain its leadership in the segment of Impressionist and Modern Art. So let’s go through it all point by point.
Van Gogh’s “Landscape under a Stormy Sky” is estimated at $50-70 million, but the experts believe that this amount can be exceeded considering the high prices for the artist’s paintings created in his last years. Since 2014, Sotheby’s has sold three works from that period. One of them titled “Alley Alyscamps” (1888) was bought this May for $66.3 million by a private collector from Asia. It was the highest price for the work by the Dutch post-impressionist artist ever sold at Sotheby’s. What’s more, in 1998, another Van Gogh’s masterpiece “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” was sold for a record $82.5 million at Christie’s New York. “Landscape under a Stormy Sky” together with other nine paintings comes from a group of works collected in the 1940s – 50s by Belgian private collectors Louis and Evelyn Franck. Among other treasures from this fantastic collection is Picasso’s “Nude with Crossed Legs” (1903) painted during the artist’s Blue Period. It is estimated at $8-12 million. As for the less expensive lots, they will be represented by the works created by Toulouse-Lautrec, Cézanne, Van Dongen, and Ensor.
In addition, Sotheby’s will put up for sale one more masterpiece, “Mystic Suprematism (Black Cross on Red Oval)” painted by Kazimir Malevich in 1920 – 1922. This is the last of the five works that in 2008 were returned by the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum to the artist’s heirs. Two other paintings from this list were sold privately including the one that is now exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago. Malevich’s “Mystic Suprematism” is estimated at $35-45 million. However, auctioneers hope to get more than expected considering the success of “Suprematism, 18th Construction” (1915) that was sold for $33.6 million in June this year. Moreover, the auction record for the works by Kazimir Malevich belongs to another one Suprematist composition painted in 1916. In November 2008, the unknown buyer bought it for $60 million at Sotheby’s New York.
In general, the auction house hopes to get at least $80 million for the Frank’s collection. And this is only a part of all lots that will go under the hammer on November 5, 2015. Well, the total amount is difficult to predict. We can only wait for the Sotheby’s fall auction results.