When he started out, the future champion of geometric painting dazzled viewers with a post-Impressionist technique that marvellously expressed all the capital's poetry.
Auguste Herbin (1882-1960), View of Notre-Dame or View of the Pont de la Tournelle, 1902, Oil on canvas, signed, 54 x 65 cm.
Auguste Herbin found himself in the spotlight at this sale, represented by two early paintings very different from his mature works, which each posted remarkable results. The first, €76,880, went to this View of Notre-Dame, an oil on canvas also known as View of the Pont de la Tournelle (54 x 65 cm, 1.7 x 2.1 ft). Painted in 1902, it illustrates the artist's highly promising beginnings with the blue silhouette of the iconic Gothic cathedral rising up on the Île de la Cité against the light. This painting was registered in the archives of Geneviève and Laurent Claisse. Another record of Herbin's Parisian wanderings in the same vein, also from the M. collection (Val-d'Oise), was Paris: View of the Bateau-Lavoir and Pont-Marie, also dated 1902 (59 x 73.2 cm, 1.9 x 2.4ft). The painting of the then working-class district on the banks of the Seine inspired a score of €60,760. Lastly, an impressive bid (€40,300) went to a piece of furniture: a highly curvaceous 18th-century Neapolitan commode (94 x 155 x 72 cm, 3 x 5 x 2.3 ft) embellished with marquetry decoration with three medallions against a squared background of lozenges in tulip wood, mother of pearl, bone and ebony fillets, with a top in Tinos green marble.