Auction: Paintings of Asia, Major Works by French auction house Aguttesfeaturing Chinese painter Sanyu and Lin Fengmian
On 11 March, French auction house Aguttes is going to present a meticulously curated sale Paintings of Asia, Major Works, featuring works by some of the most sought-after artists. Top lots of the sale are Sanyu’s Potted Peonies in a Blue and White Jardiniere (1950s) and Lin Fengmian’s Femme au miroir.
Potted Peonies in a Blue and White Jardiniere (Fleurs en pot dans une jardinière bleue et blanche sur une table bleue)is a masterpiece created by Sanyu(ChangYu 1901-1966) in the 1950s. Flowers is one of the artist’s signature motifs throughout the course of his career. The work was acquired directly from the artist by Comtesse Matilde Locatelli and thus by descent. It was then acquired by a Spanish private collector and remained in the collection since then for about 70 years.
Sanyu (1901-1966). Potted Peonies in a Blue and White Jardiniere
Oil on hardboard, signed lower right
Lot no.: 1
Created in: 1950
Size: 109.8 x 79.8 cm
Estimate: €2,500,000 - 3,500,000
Sanyu, born in a province of Sichuan, was one of the first Chinese artists to visit Europe in the early 1920s. When he moved to Paris, he was captivated by the incandescent art scene. He attended classes at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, and became a regular visitor to the cafés of Montparnasse. A brilliant artist with an inquisitive mind, he formed connections with numerous artists and figures of his time. The patron and collector Henri-Pierre Roché supported him for a while, introducing him to Picasso, Matisse, Foujita and Man Ray. Within the environment of the Paris School, he learned to combine aspects of his traditional Chinese education with the foundations of Western modernism. The distinctive feature of the style he developed was this union of two cultures, its essence lying between Eastern serenity and Western aesthetics.
Although his work was misunderstood and known to very few during his lifetime, the intercultural dynamics he explored and this form of hybridisation, which was totally new at the time, undoubtedly made him a pivotal artist with a key role in the history of Chinese art.His work was gradually rediscovered in the late twentieth century, and a number of international retrospectives were dedicated to him. Today, Sanyu’s work has finally been acclaimed by the art world.
Also on auction is Woman with a Mirror by Chinese painter Ling Fengmian (1900-1991). It reflects the Western qualities that imbued his work, particularly in the shape of the face, where the influence of Modigliani’s portraits is discernible.
This type of woman’s portrait, characteristic of Ling Fengmian's style in the 1950s and early 1960s, invariably featured a flower in a vase or a ceramic bowl. The diaphanous feel of the petals and the transparency of the white garment are achieved through the light, skilful application of the paint. Black and blue tones highlighted with white in the background of the work, where a few hazy red lines suggest architecture, set the figure of this young woman in an indeterminate space that immerses the viewer in a sense of reverie and contemplation.
Lin Fengmian (1900-1991). Woman with a Mirror
Ink and color on silk, signed and stamped by the artist lower left
Lot no.: 2
Size: 67.5 x 65.5cm
Estimate: €250,000 - 350,000
Born in 1900 in Guangdong province in China, Ling Fengmian wanted to become a painter from an early age. In 1918, he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Dijon, then the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris the following year. On his return to China in 1926, he became president of the Beijing National Academy of Arts. In 1928, he founded the Hangzhou Academy of Arts with Cai Yuanpei. He was considered the father of Chinese modernity, with students who included Chu Teh-Chun and Zao Wou-Ki. He used Western techniques like watercolours and oils to achieve effects of transparency, and used square formats, very different from the traditional formats found in Chinese painting.
The auction detail:
Aguttes ｜11 March 2020, Paintings of Asia, Major Works
24 February 2020 (Monday) to 3 March 2020 (Thursday) ｜10am - 1pm，2pm - 6pm (except Fri afternoon and weekends)
Official exhibition dates & address
9-10 March 2020｜11am - 6pm
11 March 2020｜11am - 12pm
Address: Paris, Drouot salle 2 : 9, rue Drouot
11 March 2020 (Wednesday)｜2:30pm (local time)
Address: Drouot salle, Drouot-Richelieu, 9, rue Drouot 75009 Paris
Aguttes is the fourth largest French auction house and the first one to be independent, with no outside shareholders. Founded in 1974 by Claude Aguttes and now run with two of his daughters—Philippine Dupré la Tour and Charlotte Reynier-Aguttes—the auction house has a team of 60 people. In 2018 the company passed the symbolic €50-million auction milestone, a result never before achieved by an independent auction house in France. In 2019, Aguttes totalled €66 million.
With an international saleroom located in western Paris and representative offices in Brussels, Lyon and Aix-en-Provence, Aguttes stands out for its personalised service and responsiveness. The auction house is positioned on the valuation and auction of exceptional works and major French collections. In 2019, thanks to its international buyers (who amount to 70% of all buyers), it has held 76 auctions above €100,000, 4 sales of million-euro lots, and 15 world records.
Aguttes is positioned as the alternative to art market leaders in its 15 specialised departments: Asian painters, Old Masters Paintings & Drawings, Asian art, Russian Art, Classic Cars, Jewellery & Fine Pearls, Collector Watches, Rare Books & Manuscripts, Contemporary, Modern & Impressionist Art, Design, Furniture & Decorative Art, Wine & Spirits.