Stunning Hammershøi interior offered at Christie's Sale of 19th Century European Art

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Stunning Hammershøi interior offered at Christie's Sale of 19th Century European Art
Vilhelm Hammershøi (Danish, 1864-1916), Bedroom, Strandgade 30, 1906, oil on canvas, 59.5 x 67.5 cm, Estimate: £250,000-350,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2013.

LONDON.- Christie’s department of 19th Century European Art announced its autumn sale, which will take place on 26 November 2013. Discerning collectors will be offered the opportunity to acquire works coming from significant collections, including a rediscovered work by Alfred De Dreux from the collection of Prinz Maximilian zu Fürstenberg; various paintings from the Simone et Jean Tiroche Collection; a strong group of wildlife paintings by German Naturalist painter, Wilhelm Kuhnert from the private collection of a Scottish country house, as well as a stunning work by Vilhelm Hammershøi, Bedroom, Strandgade 30, 1906, formerly in the collection of the artist’s friend and biographer, Alfred Bramsen, who had acquired it directly from the artist (estimate: £250,000-350,000). Featuring a stellar array of works by European masters, the sale includes a monumental Orientalist painting by Alfred De Dreux, and the first ever oil painting by renowned German artist Adolph Menzel. With over 75 works ranging from £8,000to £500,000, the sale is expected to realise in excess of £3 million. Hammershøi’s trademark painting illustrates the poetic interior views that are so representative of the Danish artist's practice, and is also notable for its spatial complexity, which serves to reinforce the sense of isolation that informs so much of the artist's work.

Christie’s will offer one of the most exciting compositions produced by renowned Romantic artist Alfred De Dreux, Guerrier Ottoman a Cheval, believed to have formerly been part of the collection of the Comte de Fleury of the Aide de Camp to Emperor Napoleon III (estimate: £300,000-500,000). De Dreux was one of the chief artists of the Second Empire. Leading the sale, this monumental rendition of a mounted Ottoman warrior firing a pistol combines a profoundly Romantic vision with Alfred De Dreux's extraordinary talents as the leading equestrian artist of his generation. Both in its subject matter and rich coloration, this work can be seen as a testimony to the work of Théodore Géricault, with whom the artist grew up with as a child, and of Eugène Delacroix, to whose pictures of galloping Arab horsemen it bears such a striking resemblance. This is one of relatively few Orientalist works by De Dreux; the last one in the genre to have appeared on the market realised a world record price when it was sold at Christie’s London in May 2006 for £848,000.

German born artist Wilhelm Kuhnert was one of the first European artists to travel to East Africa to sketch the wildlife and terrain of the region. While most of Kuhnert's contemporaries studied animals in captivity, Kuhnert worked with the prominent animal painter Richard Friese, emphasizing the study of animals in their native habitats. Christie’s will offer a group of 14 oil paintings by the artist who, in 2008, realised a world record price at $590,500.

Further highlights of the sale will include a mesmerizing painting by Jean Raffaëlli, a French realist painter, sculptor, and printmaker who exhibited with the Impressionists. Having studied under Jean-Léon Gérôme and later working alongside Edgar Degas, Raffaëlli’s oeuvre reflects modern sociological conditions, while typifying the aesthetic and political concerns of his time. In the present work, Portrait of the Artist William Dannat, exhibited at the Salon of1891, Raffaelli manages to portray the psychological character of the his sitter with the painterly touch of the Impressionists (estimate: £60,000 – 80,000).

A pupil of Jean Léon Gérôme, the American painter Frederick Arthur Bridgman devoted himself almost exclusively to representations of daily life in Algeria, which are notable for their lightness of touch and particular sensitivity to the subtleties and diversity of human expressions and poses. The present painting, Fording the Stream, showing horsemen crossing an oasis at nightfall, reflects a turning point in Bridgeman’s artistic development (estimate £120,000-180,000), as the artist turned from a highly polished style which echoes that of his master, to a more painterly approach which more accurately reflects the subtleties of light and shade of the North African climate. The Orientalist selection of the sale is further highlighted by a pair of panoramas of Constantinople by Italian painter Carlo Bossoli (estimate £120,000-180,000). Always executed with great attention to detail and enriched with little scenes of local colour, Bossoli’s works combine a sense of the picturesque, influenced by Venetian vedute painters of the 17th century, with a sense of the landscape, architecture and everyday life of Constantinople at the time.

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