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The Zieseniss collection of Impressionist art highlights Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art Sales
Gustave Courbet, Étretat: les falaises. Oil on canvas. Painted in 1870. Estimate $2/3 million. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s November 2013 auctions of Impressionist & Modern Art in New York will offer an important collection of Impressionist paintings assembled in Paris in the early 20th century by Christian Otto Zieseniss, a pioneering German-American stockbroker and diplomat as well as one of the first great collectors of Impressionist Art in Europe. The Evening Sale on 6 November will offer 8 canvases by Gustave Courbet, Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley, and the Day Sale on 7 November will offer an additional 10 works by Eugène Boudin, Camille Corot, Johan Barthold Jongkind and Stanislas Lépine. The collection has descended through the Zieseniss family to the present owner, and is estimated to achieve $11.9/17.2 million.

The Zieseniss Collection will make its debut at Sotheby’s Paris in a public exhibition on 18 & 19 September, before returning to New York for exhibition in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries beginning 1 November.

Andrew Strauss, International Specialist in Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art department, said: “Assembled nearly a century ago, the Zieseniss collection represents a veritable time-capsule. With the exception of two works by Courbet and Sisley that were chosen to adorn the French pavilion at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, none of these paintings has been seen for several generations, remaining tucked away in a private family collection. The group offered for sale this November traces a journey of plein air painting from Courbet to Sisley, showing the influence of Corot and Courbet on the Impressionists. Christian Otto Zieseniss’ passion and discerning eye is reflected in the quality and choice of his paintings.”


• Gustave Courbet, Étretat: les falaises. Oil on canvas. Painted in 1870. Estimate $2/3 million

Andrew Strauss commented: “Painted in 1870 – the year of Monet’s Impression: Sunrise which gave the movement its name – Courbet’s Étretat : les falaises is a magisterial work. Depicting the cliffs that Monet would later claim his own, it displays a remarkable modernity in its structure and brushwork. This new approach to painting outdoors, capturing the intensity of ever-changing light, marked a turning point and paved the way for the Impressionists.”

• Camille Pissarro, Les Coteaux de Thierceville, meules, berger et troupeau. Oil on canvas. Painted in 1897. Estimate $2/3 million

• Alfred Sisley, La Passarelle. Oil on canvas. Painted in 1886. Estimate $1.8/2.5 million

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