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Ferdinand Hodler's "Thunersee" soars to CHF 4.3 million as winter landscapes triumph at Sotheby's Zurich
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Schneeberge mit Skiläufern. Sold for: CHF 1,215,000 / EUR 1,041,429. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

ZURICH.- This evening’s sale of Swiss Art/Swiss Made confirmed Sotheby’s dominance of the market for the finest and rarest works of art by key Swiss artists. The auction was a celebration of the country’s artistic wealth, as masterpieces by Ferdinand Hodler and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner drove the auction total to a three-year high for this category at Sotheby’s of CHF 7,938,024 / EUR 6,804,021. This brings Sotheby’s total sales of Swiss Art in 2017 to CHF 13,111,274 (EUR 11,531,493). Sales of Swiss Art at Sotheby’s are attracting more and more international collectors, as well as a new wave of participants who have never bid in this category before.

In addition to masterworks by Switzerland’s most important painters, this evening’s auction also success for contemporary artists including Rémy Zaugg, Richard Paul Lohse and Verena Loewensberg. There were also strong prices for works by Christo - a perfect example of the international artists who have been inspired by Switzerland, embodying Sotheby’s theme, ‘Swiss Art/Swiss Made’.

Ferdinand Hodler’s Thunersee mit Stockhornkette im Winter
CHF 4,292,400 / EUR 3,679,200

This stunning winter landscape prompted intense bidding in the sale room, confirming the museum-quality and rarity of the work, launching on the international market the commemorations of the centenary of Ferdinand Hodler’s death. Depicting the Stockhornkette mountain range blanketed in winter colours, this painting was being offered for the very first time at auction (estimate of CHF 2-4 million / EUR 1,730,000 – 3,460,000) (lot 35).

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner : Schneeberge mit Skiläufern
CHF 1,215,000 / EUR 1,041,429

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s powerful expressionist winter landscape, Schneeberge mit Skiläufern is an outstanding example of 20th-century avant-garde painting. Realised in the countryside surrounding the Swiss mountain town of Davos, where Kirchner settled in 1917, this masterpiece was also absolutely fresh to the market, having never been offered at auction before (estimate: CHF 1,000,000 – 1,500,000 (EUR 865,000 – 1,300,000) (lot 31).

There was a very strong response for the works of Contemporary art on offer this evening, including a new artist record for Rémy Zaugg: his large-scale triptych by About Death II far exceeded the pre-sale estimate to sell for CHF 97,500 / EUR 83,571 (lot 73, estimate: CHF 60,000 – 80,000 / EUR 52,000 – 69,500), alongside a striking example of the constructivist school, Zwei un zwei gleiche verschränkte Farbrhythmen an vier weissen Feldern, 1952/71 by Richard Paul Lohse which sold for CHF 40,000 / EUR 34,286 (lot 74, estimate: CHF 20,000 – 30,000 / EUR 17,300 – 26,000, right). Verena Loewensberg’s large-scale composition, Ohne Titel, 1980 also caught the attention of collectors today, reaching a final price of CHF 60,000 / EUR 51,429 (lot 75, estimate: CHF 40,000 – 60,000 / EUR 34,600 – 52,000).

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