Impressionist & Modern Art, 20 June, 6 p.m.
Koloman Moser worked for the Wiener Werkstätte up to 1907, after which he turned entirely to painting and proceeded to create 205 (presently known) works within a space of ten years. The garden of his villa in Vienna’s Hohe Warte neighbourhood offered him ample opportunity to satisfy his urge to combine natural motifs with symbolic exaltation. His painting Irises, which he began in 1911 and completed in 1914, marks the conclusion of a phase that he spent dealing with flowers, documenting them close-up and—despite the naturalistic feel of their portrayal—infusing them with symbolism. It will now become part of an important collection of Austrian paintings after having fetched a new world record price of € 480,000 (SP € 604,800).
Egon Schiele was, as expected, the evening’s clear “star”. A century after his untimely death, the impassioned fascination with Schiele’s oeuvre still runs strong—especially when, as here, “new” works come on the market after having spent long periods in old private collections. One of Schiele’s earliest oil paintings, in which his unmistakable personal style between nervous calligraphy and painterly concentration is clear to see, depicts chickens scavenging for food beside a green fence in a Klosterneuburg courtyard. The high price expectations for Schiele were commensurately exceeded, with the hammer price coming in at € 420,000 (SP € 529,200). Alongside this early work, the two works on paper from the final year of his life—both from the collection of Otto Stoessl, a friend of the painter in his later years—also did well: the view of Cesky Krumlov from an irritating bird’s-eye perspective, the first such work to have appeared on the market, fetched € 270,000 (SP € 340,200), while the attractive female nude seen from behind doubled its estimated price to go for € 250,000 (SP € 315,000)!
Gustav Klimt was of course likewise represented in Otto Stoessl’s collection; Stoessl’s assured gaze had selected a particularly attractive reclining nude on a white sheet that now changed hands for € 240,000 (SP € 302,400)!
Unmitigated success was also enjoyed this evening by the works of Graz-based painter Norbertine Bresslern-Roth, whose ten paintings were the object of intense bidding by collectors. The bidding for her Stille Gasse [Quiet Lane] culminated anything but quietly, reaching a top price of € 110,000 (SP € 138,600)!
This record-breaking evening also witnessed a new sales record—of around € 4.3 million Euros!—for the category of Impressionist & Modern Art.
Alle images available as highres download: Press Downloads