NEW YORK—Works by Claude Monet, Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso and other perennial favourites are going on the auction block at Christie’s sale of impressionist and modern art Thursday night.
Kahlo’s “Two Nudes in the Forest (The Land Itself)” is poised to exceed the current auction record for the Mexican artist of $5.6 million. Estimated to bring $8 million to $12 million, it depicts two nudes in a dreamlike setting. The painting was most recently shown in an exhibition at The New York Botanical Garden last year.
The small 1939 canvas was a gift for Kahlo’s friend, the Mexican film star Dolores del Rio. It last appeared at auction in 1989.
The top lot of the sale is an iconic painting by Monet depicting his beloved water lily pond. It’s one of a sequence of 14 paintings by the French impressionist artist created in 1918-1919. “Pond with Water Lilies” has been in the same collection for 20 years and is estimated to bring $25 million to $35 million. The auction record for Monet work is $80.4 million for another water lily picture.
“Seated Man,” a picture from Picasso’s famous musketeer series, has an estimated hammer price of $8 million to $12 million. Created in 1969, the colorful portrait of a swordsman was exhibited at the 1970 Avignon exhibition at the Palais des Papes.
There are a total of 52 works in the auction, including several by Rene Magritte. His “The Depths of Pleasure,” a painting that was inspired by his wife gazing out at the moon on a summer night in 1947, is estimated to sell for $4.5 million to $6.5 million.