Paul Cézanne’s painting ‘Vue sur L’Estaque et Le Château d’If’ (1883–1885) will go under the hammer at Chrisite’s London in February 2015. The painting has been in the private collection of British magnate Samuel Courtauld since he purchased the work in 1936.
“The sun here is so terrific that objects appear silhouetted not only in white or black, but in blue, red, brown, violet,” Cézanne wrote in a letter to his friend Camille Pissarro in 1876. The artist’s planes of colour prefigured Cubism, and the view of pines and the Mediterranean sea beyond red roof tiles of Estaque, a fishing port near Marseille, was a recurrent theme in the Cézanne’s work.
The artist hid in Estaque in 1870 to avoid being conscripted to fight in the Franco-Prussian war. He returned on several occasions, producing 12 canvases of the view; the work up for auction was painted in 1883-85, during one of his final visits to the town.
The painting is one of 12 works by Cézanne that Courtauld acquired. However, this particular painting was the only pieces that the collector kept for himself. The other works the collector were gifted to his Courtauld Institute of Art.
The landscape painting is a rare example which Cézanne painted in portrait orientation Christie’s has placed a £8–12 million, or $12.6–18.9 million estimate on the masterpiece. However, due to an irrepressible appetite for Cézanne works in Asia, and the infrequency of Cézanne works on the auction market, and ‘L’Estaque et Le Château d’If’s’ particularly rare example of the artist, the painting is likely to surpass this estimate.
“There’s a huge appetite for Cézanne’s works across Asia. He’s one of the names you hear constantly on people’s wish lists, along with Van Gogh, Monet, and Picasso.” Stated The auction house’s head of Impressionist and Modern art in London, Jay Vincze to the FT.