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Christie's New York to offer the Collection of Hunt Henderson
Claude Monet (1840-1926), La route de Vétheuil, effet de neige, oil on canvas, 24 1/8 x 32 1/8 in. Painted in 1879. Estimate: $10,000,000-15,000,000. © Christie’s Images Limited 2017.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s presents works formerly from The Collection of Hunt Henderson, which comprises one of the earliest important groupings of Impressionist & Post-Impressionist Art privately held in the Southern region of the United States. The collection will be sold across Christie’s sales of Impressionist & Modern Art on May 15-16, and American Art sale on May 23. Two highlights from the collection will be unveiled at Christie’s Hong Kong from March 30-April 6 with additional works to be first exhibited at the opening of the Christie’s Los Angeles Flagship in April 2017. The full collection will be on view at Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza from May 6-17.

Christie’s has been entrusted with this extraordinary collection and to have the opportunity to share these works with our global audience. Never has there been a time when the appetite for important works of art was as truly international as it is today. The pieces from this collection are precisely what buyers are looking for in the current market; exemplary examples from masters of the period with impressive early provenance and exhibition histories.” Remarked, Cyanne Chutkow, Deputy Chairman, Impressionist & Modern Art.

Thoughtfully assembled in New Orleans during the opening years of the twentieth century, a large portion of works have remained in the family’s collection since 1913. At that time, New Orleans was an epicenter of culture, more artistically engaged than any other city in the American South, owing to its well-established cosmopolitanism and its historical and cultural ties to France. Yet the city had only one art collector of truly national standing – the sugar magnate Hunt Henderson. The resulting collection is a world-class assemblage of avant-garde art, from Impressionism through early modernism, with the selection featured in the spring season sales to encompass works by Paul Cézanne, Honoré Daumier, Edgar Degas, Raoul Dufy, Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renior, and James McNeil Whistler expected to realize in excess of $23 million.

Leading the collection is Claude Monet’s, La route de Vétheuil, effet de neige, painted in 1879 (estimate: $10,000,000- 15,000,000). Monet painted this exquisitely subtle and delicate view of Vétheuil under heavy snow in 1879, during his first full year living in the rural hamlet about sixty kilometers northwest of Paris. This canvas is the first in a sequence of three painted from approximately the same vantage point, exploring the changes in the winter landscape over a period of days. The three years spent at Vétheuil represent a decisive moment of artistic reassessment for the Impressionist painter. It was here that Monet abandoned scenes of modern life and leisure that had dominated his earlier work and began to focus on capturing the fleeting aspects of nature, employing a nascent serial technique that laid the groundwork for his most important later production.

Also on view in Hong Kong, will be an exemplary canvas by Paul Cézanne, La côte Saint-Denis à Pontoise, painted circa 1877 (estimate: $5,000,000-7,000,000). This landscape, which Cézanne painted during a visit with Pissarro at Pontoise, bears witness to the extraordinary creative partnership between the artist and his Impressionist mentor. Pissarro produced a view of the identical motif in the same year, the two artists very possibly setting up their easels side-by-side. The paintings both depict a cluster of red- and blue-roofed houses on the rue Vieille-de-l’Hermitage, just a short walk from Pissarro’s home. Equally significant, however, are the differences between the two artists’ interpretations of their shared motif. While Pissarro continued to work within the Impressionist idiom, Cézanne had already begun to experiment with an increasingly abstract construction of the landscape, transmuting the vagaries of the natural world into the forms of an ideal order.

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March 30, 2017

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