Bountiful Nature, from Korovin to Alfred Boucher

On 05 May 2021, by Anne Doridou-Heim

Modern artists Constantine Korovin, Henri Hayden, Moïse Kisling and Alfred Boucher celebrated fruits and flowers.

Constantine Korovin (1861-1939), Nature morte au panier de fruits, oil on canvas, 81 x 129.5 cm/31.88 x 50.78 in.
Result: €180,320

Russian-born artist Constantine Korovin (1861-1939) is best known at auctions for his views of Paris and snowy Russian landscapes, but he also painted bountiful still lifes of fruit and flowers. His vibrant Impressionist style and rich, colorful palette are a perfect match for these scenes, including Nature morte au panier de fruits (Still Life with Basket of Fruits), which fetched €180,320. This is the first time the work has ever come up for auction. Korovin sold it directly to a collector, whose family has kept it ever since: a further asset.

The Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme de Paris preempted The Grand Sanhedrin, a major work by Édouard Moyse. Next up was Le Lavandou, an oil on canvas of the Var town by Henri Hayden (1883-1970) dated August 1921 (64 x 81 cm/25.19 x 31.88 in). Structured like a mosaic of architecture, vegetation, cliffs and whitecaps, it sold for €56,028. Moïse Kisling (1891-1953) was almost his neighbor. The bouquet of flowers he painted in Sanary in around 1925 (65 x 50 cm/25.59 x 19.68 in) found a buyer at €38,640.

Volubilis (Morning Glory), or Aux champs (In the Fields), (55 x 43 x 24.5 cm/21.65 x 16.92 x 9.64 in), a high relief in white marble by Alfred Boucher (1850-1934), illustrated the sale’s sculpture section and Boucher’s love of nature. Presented at the Salon of 1896, the first model drew the attention of a critic who "savored the chaste grace and ingenuous delicacy of this high relief figure of a young girl standing out against a forest background chiseled with a rare delicacy.” This version—Boucher made many variations, all featuring a young girl but with different plant backgrounds—fetched €41,216.

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