Freeman’s- Bronzes of Beethoven by Antoine Bourdelle

Freeman’s- Bronzes of Beethoven by Antoine Bourdelle

On October 21st, Freeman’s will celebrate Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday by offering a collection of 12 portrait bronzes of the composer by French sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, one of the most talented pupils of Auguste Rodin. This one-of-a-kind collection traces his evolution as an artist.

 

“What better way to celebrate Beethoven’s legacy than through the sculptures of Antoine Bourdelle,” says Freeman’s chairman Alasdair Nichol, “one of the artists who was the most influenced by the music, and overall persona, of the composer.”

Freeman's Auction Bronzes of Beethoven Ludwig Van Antoine Bourdelle

 

SINGLE-OWNER COLLECTION MAKES ITS DEBUT

Freeman’s is honored to present these bronzes, which have never been on the market before. Collector Robert A. Becker began acquiring them in the early 1970s when he met the artist’s daughter, Rhodia Dufet-Bourdelle, in Paris. She sold Becker and his wife one or two bronzes every year after.

 

This culminated in the impressive collection Freeman’s is now proud to offer at auction for the first time. Among the sale’s highlights is Beethoven à Deux Mains (Lot 9, $80,000-120,000). The piece portrays Beethoven as the image of a true tormented genius. Seven other bronze casts of this work were made, as well as one granite version, which is in the collection of the Musée Bourdelle in Paris.

Freeman's Auction Bronzes of Beethoven Ludwig Van Antoine Bourdelle
Freeman's Auction Bronzes of Beethoven Ludwig Van Antoine Bourdelle

 

BUILDING THE MYTHOS OF BEETHOVEN

Beethoven dit Métropolitain (Lot 7, $20,000-30,000) is another featured bronze. Standing an impressive forty inches high, the sculpture is one of Bourdelle’s most accomplished portraits of Beethoven. This was also the first one ever purchased by the French government (it is now in the Musée D’Orsay).

 

Meanwhile, both Beethoven, La Joue Appuyée sur une Main (Lot 1, $20,000-30,000) and Beethoven aux Grands Cheveux (Lot 5, $20,000-30,000) emphasize Beethoven’s infamously wild hair. They also remind viewers how influential Bourdelle was in constructing the mythos of Beethoven.

 

INSPIRED BY BEETHOVEN’S ORIGINAL LIFE MASK

Several works inspired by Beethoven’s original life mask are featured in the sale  (see Lot 2, $6,000-10,000; Lot 3, $4,000-6,000; Lot 4, $10,000-15,000). Also of note is La Pathétique (Lot 12, $5,000-8,000). Made in 1929, the year of Bourdelle’s death, it is the very last bronze the artist produced of Beethoven.

 

 

AUCTION

October 21 | 10am EDT

 

SPECIALIST

Raphaël Chatroux | Head of Sale

[email protected] | 267.414.1253

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON FREEMAN’S CLICK HERE.

Freeman’s- Jackson Pollock Painting Once Thought To Be Lost

Freeman’s- Jackson Pollock Painting Once Thought To Be Lost

On October 5th, 2020, Freeman’s will hold its single-owner auction of the Collection of Dr. Henry & Mrs. Fannie Levine. This special sale honors the legacy of these prominent Philadelphia collectors. It is also a rare opportunity for discerning buyers seeking blue-chip material offered for the first time in decades.

 

Considered lost for many years, Jackson Pollock’s Pennsylvania Landscape returns to the art market with this event. Collectors will also find a diverse offering of work by Karel Appel and Paul Jenkins, as well as a 1949 still life by Bernard Buffet.

 

A LIFETIME OF CURIOSITY FUELS A COLLECTION

Curiosity and love of learning connected all of the Levines’ endeavors, from their careers in medicine to their passion for travel, music, and art collecting. They frequented museums and galleries, both in Philadelphia and around the world. They brought home carefully-wrapped treasures in their suitcases whenever they returned from holiday. Over the years, this grew into a collection that is both deeply personal and historically significant.

Henry Levine’s voracious appetite for art and its makers led him to collect certain artists in great depth, tracing their development over time. He was particularly interested in how artists explored different techniques and materials and the auction includes work across a variety of media by artists such as Asger Jorn, Karel Appel, and Paul Jenkins, alongside excellent examples by Bernard Buffet, Raoul Dufy, Jackson Pollock and Jean Dubuffet.

PREVIOUS SINGLE-OWNER EVENT SHATTERS ESTIMATES

The Robert J. Morrison Collection auction, another recent single-owner event from Freeman’s, finished with a near-perfect 99% sell-through rate. The final sale total was $1,485,837, outperforming the pre-sale high estimate by over $400,000.

Meanwhile, Freeman’s most recent auction of Modern & Contemporary Art achieved over $1 million, just shy of its pre-sale high estimate. It also attained an impressive 95% sell-through rate. This is the latest in a long string of successes for the department, which has maintained an average sell-through rate of 92% in the last year.

 

JACKSON POLLOCK PAINTING ONCE THOUGHT LOST RETURNS WITH FREEMAN’S

The undoubted highlight of the sale is a 1936 painting by Jackson Pollock, depicting the rolling hills and charming farmhouse of a familiar Pennsylvania country scene. Pollock’s Pennsylvania Landscape is an exciting discovery, both for the art market and the academic community. Freeman’s is delighted to bring this treasure back to the market for the first time in nearly fifty years.

Helen Harrison, Director of the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, recently described it as a “gem,” painted while the artist was employed by the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project. According to Harrison, Pollock kept Pennsylvania Landscape for himself and brought it to Kansas City to show his influential teacher, Thomas Hart Benton.

Beyond the superlative Pollock painting, The Levine Collection has a significant number of works by two artists: Dutch CoBrA artist Karel Appel and American mid-century abstract artist Paul Jenkins.

Karel Appel was a leading figure and founding member of the mid-century CoBrA art movement. In “Big Boy Blue” (estimate: $50,000 – 80,000), a single, central figure is scrawled in lines over stark background planes of yellow, white, and black. Another canvas from 1967, “Untitled (Two Heads)” (estimate: $40,000 – 60,000), depicts two visages composed of myriad strokes of pure reds, blues, oranges, and greens.

Paul Jenkins’ paintings in this collection show the depth and diversity of the American artist’s work. This includes numerous pieces from the artist’s best-known, mature style of works. These “Phenomena” pieces represent the artist’s interest in color field painting. “Phenomena Saracen Shadows” (estimate: $12,000-$18,000) is among the captivating examples.

Though Jenkins is best known for this “Phenomena” style, the Levines also valued his earlier work, which portrayed a somewhat psychedelic abstraction rendered in heavily-applied pigments. “Medusa” ($12,000-$18,000) shows the distinct contrast between these two styles.

CONSIGNMENTS WELCOME

This year’s Modern & Contemporary Art auction, to be held on November 17th, is still open for consignment. If you have a piece that would make an exemplary addition to the event, please contact Dunham E. Townend at [email protected] with more information about your property.

AUCTION

October 5 | 12pm EDT

 

SPECIALIST

Dunham Townend | Head of Sale

[email protected] | +1 267 414 1221

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON FREEMAN’S CLICK HERE.

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