Léopold Survage (1879–1968), Horse, 1933, oil on canvas, 162.5 x 130 cm/63.98 x 51.18 in.
In 2012, the musée d'Art moderne de Collioure (Southern France) hosted a show of works by Léopold Survage from his stays in the small Catalan port between 1925 and 1932—scenes of daily life in a restrained palette of ochre, brown, green, blue and white, some of which are in the museum in nearby Céret. It is hard not to recall them when looking at the monumental Horse. After witnessing a bull dramatically charging through the crowd at a bullfight in Tossa, Catalonia, Survage captured the scene in several works: the animal’s power and brutality, people panicking at the sudden, unexpected turn of events and the horseman trying to stop his steed with an almost incantatory motion.
In 1933, the same year as Horse, Picasso painted Death of the Bullfighter (musée Picasso, Paris), which shows the dramatically entangled bodies of a horse, a picador and a bull in the middle of the ring. To this violent realism Survage preferred exploring the world through his imagination.
Five-figure estimates from other provenances include Village, 1947, a late work by Maurice de Vlaminck, whose broad, brisk strokes sweep the canvas with primary colors and deep black tones (€30,000/50,000), and Young Girl Lying Down, a 1948 black stone and watercolor portrait by Balthus (€12,000/15,000). Scantily dressed and languidly leaning her head to one side, her gaze is lost in thought. The model is 18-year-old Jacqueline Matisse, granddaughter of Henri and daughter of Pierre, a gallery owner and major promoter of Balthus, whose work he exhibited six times in New York starting in 1938.
Beautiful French and foreign 19th-century jewelry (€400/4,000) and a 1935 diamond and yellow-gold bracelet signed René Boivin (€15,000/20,000) will bring down the curtain.