“Landscape under a Stormy Sky” (1888) painted by Vincent Van Gogh in Arles a year before his death is going to lead Sotheby’s New York Impressionist and Modern Art Sale that will be held on November 5. Another headliner of the upcoming auction is one of the last Suprematist compositions by Kazimir Malevich from a private art collection. This is the way Sotheby’s is trying to retain its leadership in the segment of Impressionist and Modern Art. 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 due to 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,” along with other nine paintings, comes from a group of works collected in the 1940s – 50s by the 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.
Sotheby’s will also offer for sale “Mystic Suprematism (Black Cross on Red Oval)” painted by Kazimir Malevich in 1920 – 1922. This is the last of the five works returned by the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum to the artist’s heirs in 2008. 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, especially taking into account the success of “Suprematism, 18th Construction” (1915) that was sold for $33.6 million this past June. Besides, the auction record for the works by Kazimir Malevich belongs to another Suprematist composition painted in 1916. In November 2008, the unknown buyer bought it for $60 million at Sotheby’s New York.
Overall, Frank’s collection is likely to bring in at least $80 million. However, the total amount is difficult to predict. We can only wait for Sotheby’s New York auction results!