will auction a major Impressionist icon, Le Pont de lEurope dated 1876 by Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894). Coming from a French private collection, the work is entering the market for the first time in 60 years. With an estimated value between 3 and 4 Million euros, the painting will be presented during the sale of Impressionist and Modern Art on December 2, 2013.
Given its quality, rarity, and size, the availability on the market of such a major work by Gustave Caillebotte represents a major event for collectors and institutions, emphasizes Olivier Berman, director of the Impressionist Art department at Artcurial
This magnificent painting by Gustave Caillebotte, a true genius of image, is one of the versions of his famous composition Le Pont de lEurope from 1876, currently held by the Musée du Petit Palais in Geneva.
Gustave Caillebotte distinguished himself from the very beginning of his career as a painter. His Raboteurs de parquet from 1875, currently part of the collection of the Orsay Museum in Paris, was refused by the Jury of the 1875 Salon. No matter! The artist presented it the following year in the second exhibit of the Impressionist group. Critics were conquered by this impressive page in the book of modern art.
The present composition with its spirited brushwork, greatly daring in its framing, feeling for space, rhythm, presents its contemporary subject for the first time in a unique way directly, with no intervening story or ulterior motive.
The innovative approach lies in the choice of an urban landscape with its industrial architecture and contemporary figures. In this version, the isolated figure gazing at the train tracks, which are not seen in the painting, the power of the metallic struts and the rhythm created by their oblique intersections, presents an exact portrait of a period, a city in the process of change, standing on the threshold of modern times.
This version of Le Pont de lEurope is an integral part of the history of one of the greatest 19th century paintings, an exact portrait of its time and an artistic masterpiece, states Serge Lemoine, scientific and cultural advisor at Artcurial.
The sale is also an integral part of current events since an important retrospective of Gustave Caillebotte at the Bridgestone Museum in Tokyo will open on October 10, 2013. Between March, 2011 and January, 2012, a major exhibit dedicated to the Caillebotte brothers was organized by the Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris, and later at the Musée National des Beaux-Arts in Québec.
Le Pont de lEurope will be included in a traveling exhibit beginning in New York (from November 2 to 6), then on to Brussels (November 14-18), and finally presented in Paris starting November 29, 2013.