The Classic Taste of the Edo Period and Metzinger

On 07 October 2021, by Claire Papon

The contents of an apartment—antique furniture, 19th and 20th-century paintings and objets d'art—is coming up for auction.

Jean Metzinger (1883-1956), Deux femmes (Two Women), oil on canvas, after 1947, 55 x 38 cm/21.7 x 15 in.
Estimate: €25,000/30,000

It is a cozy place. The decor is harmonious, while the paintings are as appealing as the objects and furniture. Collected over a long period of time, the family has kept everything in good condition. An example is Kees Van Dongen’s Élégante au soulier rouge (Elegant Woman with a Red Shoe, watercolor, 53 x 82 cm/20.9 x 32.3 in), which is emblematic of the artist’s paintings of high society figures. The model—perhaps an ancestor—is shown full length and in profile, her gown hugging her slim silhouette, her hand casually resting on the back of a Louis XV armchair, the tip of her vermilion shoe echoing her lipstick (€18,000/25,000).

Two paintings by Jean Metzinger—one from around 1944, Le Bassin devant la maison (The Pool in Front of the House, €18,000/20,000), the other, Deux femmes (Two Women, see photo), after 1947—attest to his attachment to cubism and his return to the movement, of which he was a proponent. Dated 1923, Femme aux grands yeux (Woman with Big Eyes) by Jean Crotti (1878-1958) recalls Amedeo Modigliani’s almond-eyed portraits (€4,000/6,000). Later in the sale come Enfants au jardin (Children in a Garden), a dining room overdoor signed with Georges d'Espagnat’s initials (€7,000/9,000); Rouen, effet de neige (Rouen, Snowy Effect), a panorama by Albert Lebourg with a soft atmosphere (€5,000/8,000); and a set of watercolor sketches by Natalia Goncharova for creations by Boris Knyazev, a Saint Petersburg dancer and maître de ballet (master of ballet) who moved to Paris in 1924 (€1,200/1,500).

A Jiaqing-Daoguang bottle vase in decorated porcelain and polychrome enamel from the pink family depicting 100 deer under pines is likely to outdo its €15,000/20,000 estimate, while a six-leaf Edo Period folding screen featuring a scene from Tales of the Genji appraised at €8,000/10,000 may do likewise. The Louis XV and Louis XVI furniture is expected to fetch between several hundred and 2,000 euros.

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