Picasso and Montézin reveal two facets of art at the turn of the 20th century
Pierre-Eugène Montézin (1874-1946), Waterlilies, signed oil on canvas, 70.5 x 75.5 cm.
This sale devoted to Impressionist and modern paintings posted two excellent results in each category. The 1901 charcoal drawing by Pablo Picasso of a Woman standing with two children (31.2 x 22 cm) topped its estimate when it was carried off for €162,500. Meanwhile, these waterlilies by Pierre-Eugène Montézin – an obvious tribute to Claude Monet – doubled their expected price. They marvellously illustrate the technique used by the artist to render the effects of light, with lively, rapidly applied impasto colours evoking reflections in the water and giving vibrancy to the scene. Other painters came close to six figures with their results. Albert Marquet finally landed €98,850 for L'Anse des Pilotes, Le Havre (32 x 41.5 cm), a panel of 1934 estimated at €50,000. Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita followed close on his heels with €97,500 for a painting from ten years earlier: a Still Life with Pipe and Doll. The little figurine in traditional Japanese costume echoes the origins of the artist, who here illustrates a typically Western genre (27.5 x 22 cm). Two pastels of female figures also appealed to collectors. It took €84,500 to secure a Standing woman in grey initially sketched in charcoal on blue paper by Berthe Morisot (50 x 34,5 cm), and €80,600 for a Blue Nude by Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer, which shot up to six times its estimate (91 x 60 cm).