An upcoming auction features a wide range of exceptional art, from a sensual Gustav Klimt drawing to a Fabergé Russian icon.
Shapiro Auctions' upcoming 18 May Spring International Fine and Decorative Art Auction will feature over 400 artworks and antiques that span continents and centuries, from 18th-century Peru to 20th-century Russia. With artworks of classic European modernism, Asian antiques, American folk art, Old Masters paintings, Impressionist works, and more, there is something for every collector. Here is a compliation of the top lots.
A key highlight of this auction is a work by Gustav Klimt, Liegender Halbakt Nach Rechts (Half-nude reclining to the right). A rare yet classic example of Klimt’s mastery of the sensual and erotic, this pencil on paper drawing was previously in the famed collection of art dealer Serge Sabarsky and dates to 1914-15. It has been featured in multiple publications on the artist, including Alice Strobl’s Gustav Klimt, Die Zeichnungen, 1912-1918, vol. III. The work is iconic in its representation of Klimt’s female muses, who are frequently the subjects of his wildly popular sketches.
Also included is a selection of Klimt collotypes, representing some of his most iconic images, such as Wasserschlangen II (Water Serpents II) and Salome (Judith I). They were all originally published in Das Wek von Gustav Klimt from 1918. The works are signed in plate, with a unique intaglio signet printed in gold.
Still Life with a White Tablecloth and Pears (1918) is by Vladimir Roskin, who was born in Moscow on 17 May 1896. The future Soviet artist and master of propaganda posters studied at the Moscow State Stroganov Academy of Industrial and Applied Arts and the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. After the Revolution in 1917, he became an art instructor at the Department of the State Education and travelled throughout Russia giving lectures on modern art. He also picked avant-garde works by Malevich, Chagall, Kandinsky, Rodchenko, Stepanova and others for new museums as a representation of the new ‘left’ movement.
Soviet writer and artist Vladimir Mayakovsky invited Roskin to collaborate on the ROSTA Posters (also known as ROSTA Windows), propaganda art for the Soviet news agency. Roskin also took part in many exhibitions while also working as a decorator on theater plays by Vladimir Mayakovsky, Boris Pasternak, Yuri Olesha, and Alexey Tolstoy. During World War II, Roskin worked at exhibitions that praised the Red Army and the freeing Soviet cities. After the war Roskin became the Director of the Soviet Visual and Applied Arts Committee. However, in 1967, he publicly expressed his support for Oskar Rabin and was fired from the position. He died in Moscow in 1984.
A personal favorite lot in the auction for the auctioneer, Gene Shapiro, is this early nude by the Puerto-Rican artist Angel Botello, whose works have seen a considerable increase of interest in the past decade. Dated from the 1950s, the artwork was consigned by the family of an American diplomat in Haiti, where Botello worked during this time. Entitled Ma Femme Haitienne, the painting depicts a beautiful nude in repose, with an earnest sentimentality that exudes through the painting.
Angel Botello was a Spanish Puerto-Rican artist, who worked in Latin-American Post-Modernism. After four years at the École des Beaux-Arts, Botello returned to Spain and participated in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). As a result, he had to flee the country and eventually immigrated to the Dominican Republic, where he was warmly welcomed. In 1944 Botello moved to Haiti and met his wife. In order to capture the beauty of island life, 'the Caribbean Gauguin' used vivid, bold colours. To reside permanently, Botello and his family chose San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1953. The 33 years that Botello lived in Puerto Rico are considered the most prolific period in his artistic career. After his death in 1986, Angel Botello left behind an impressive legacy of oil paintings, lithographs, linocuts, serigraphs and bronze sculptures.
Shapiro Auctions has amassed a collection of Russian icons remarkable in its size, condition and origins. A collection like the one offered here has not been seen in New York or London in the last five years. This Fabergé silver and shaded cloisonné enamel icon depicts Saint Nino by Feodor Rückert, a collaborator with Carl Fabergé who lived in Moscow. Dating to 1908-17, this icon shows Saint Nino holding a cross in one hand and the Bible in her other. Saint Nino was canonised as a saint for bringing Christianity to Georgia, and it became the official religion in the region in 327 because of her evangelism. The icon is composed of egg tempera and gesso on wood panel, overlaid with oklad and applied overall with stylised flower heads and foliage against a shaded moss green ground.
This Madonna and Child oil painting dates to the 18th-century Cuzco School, a Roman Catholic art movement based in Cuzco, Peru. It began after the Spanish colonisation there in 1538, which ended the Incan Empire (Cuzco was the Empire's capital). Cuzco School paintings were characterised by religious subjects, most often the Madonna, liberal use of gilt, reds and yellows, and flattened perspective.