Great modern classics, including a bronze athlete, a Provencal landscape and a lyrical abstract painting, achieved outstanding results in Marseilles.
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), The Age of Bronze, small model, signed bronze with a brown-black patina, marked “Alexis Rudier/Fondeur Paris”, cast in July 1930, 64.4 x 24.6 x 19 cm/25.35 x 9.68 x 7.48 in.
The Age of Bronze is one of Auguste Rodin’s most iconic pieces. It was with this inspired nude that the public and institutions began to appreciate this master of modern French sculpture. The bronze statue with a nuanced black-brown patina was cast from the original, smaller plaster model in 1875-1877. This version was obtained by reduction in November 1904. Our proof was cast in July 1930 and bears the mark “Alexis Rudier/Fondeur Paris” as well as the interior stamp “A. Rodin” (64.4 x 24.6 x 19 cm/25.35 x 9.68 x 7.48 in). All of these qualities were rewarded with €442,400.
Georges Mathieu’s 1986 abstract painting Jour immense (Huge Day) fetched the second-highest price of this brilliant sale: €316,000. The artist renewed his gestural palette in this large oil on canvas (120.5 x 120 cm/47.44 x 47.24 in.), using blue and bright pink colors in keeping with its upbeat title.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s small (16.5 x 25.5 cm/6.49 x 10.04 in), monogrammed oil on canvas La Maison blanche (White House) is listed in Ambroise Vollard’s Tableaux, pastels et dessins de Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Paintings, Pastels and Drawings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paris, 1918, vol. II, page 179). This southern vision, accompanied by a certificate from the Wildenstein Institute dated December 11, 2006, sold for €202,240.