People, places and stories – paintings, works on paper and sculpture from the Continent, the UK, and the distinctly non-European lands of Russia, India and Israel comprise this rich, eclectic auction. With examples that range from the Renaisssance to the early-mid 20th century, this sale truly has something for everyone, with works culled from important estates and private collections. Worthy of particular note are fine collections of Old Master drawings and paintings largely from two prominent private collections, an excellent selection of works from the estate of philanthropist Richard M. Scaife, including Heywood Hardy’s major early golf-themed painting depicting Lord Welmyss preparing to putt at North Berwick and Geoffrey Douglas Giles’s ‘Epsom Derby’ of 1894. Each of these oils are monumental in scope and size, the former at nearly 180 cm in length, and the latter a whopping 108 cm in length. Leaving Europe, ‘The Coquette,’ from the school of renown Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma is one of thre more important works in this sale; it is a rare oil by an even rarer artist whose works rarely surface outside the U.S. Moise Maimon’s sweeping depiction of the Russo-Japanese war, ‘The 18th of April in the Turenchen Mountains’ is another major work by an artist whose paintings appear infrequently on the market.
Amid this rich selection of works being offered in Freeman's June 14 auction of European Art & Old Masters, fine art specialist David Weiss chooses some of his favorite pieces. Exhibition for this sale opens to the public on Friday, June 10 at 10am.
Ravja Ravi Varma was one of the leading Indian artists working in the 19th century. Owned by the same family for nearly 50 years, this important portrait, beautifully and meticulously rendered, relates directly to ‘The Coquette’ and ‘Lady with Fruit,’ two major known works within Varma’s oeuvre. Employing European aesthetics during the time of the British Raj, Varma was not only a prolific portraitist but a landscape painter as well.
School of Raja Ravi Varma
"The Coquette" (detail)
Unparalleled as an observer and recorder of all manner of ships, few 20th century painters are as skilled or highly regarded in the genre of marine art as is Montague Dawson. A regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy and Royal Society of Marine Artists, no detail was too small to small or too incidental for Dawson to record – the decks, rigging, foremast, mainmast, jib and sails, along with the whitecaps and swells of the sea.
"Departing Day" (detail)
There have been only six other paintings by Moisei Lovovich Maimon to have been offered at auction. The present work certainly qualifies as a major example by the artist; we suspect it may well bring an auction record for this much heralded but lesser known Russian painter. A romanticized depiction of the heroic events of the Russo-Japanese War in which the priest Stepan lead the failed charge at Port Arthur under the command of General Zasulich in April 1904, it is based on a prototype painted by Maimon in 1905.
Meisei Levovich Maimon
The 18th of April in the Tyurenchen Mountains (detail)
‘Le Foi, L’Esperance et la Charite’ by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes is rendered in a pale blue and gold colours and with delicate, flat and simplified forms that show classicizing influences – all unmistakable hallmarks of the artist's paintings. The heretofore unknown work is a replica version of one of the murals by the artist depicting the life of Saint Genieve in the Panthéon, Paris.
Pierre Puvis de Chavannes
"La Foi, L'Espéreance et la Charité"