Jawlensky Leads Bonhams Impressionist Sale in London

Alexej von Jawlensky (1864-1941), Bretonin. Estimate: £300,000-500,000.
Art Martin Cid Magazine
Art Martin Cid Magazine

London – Bretonin, a painting by Alexej von Jawlensky (1864-1941) leads Bonhams’ Impressionist & Modern Art sale on Thursday 18 April in New Bond Street, LondonThe work has an estimate of £300,000 – 500,000.

Ruth Woodbridge, Head of Bonhams’ Impressionist & Modern art department in London, commented: “Jawlensky was a key proponent of German Expressionism, and a founding member of the Munich-based Der Blaue Reiter group, alongside Gabriele Münter, Franz Marc, August Macke and Wassily Kandinsky. Painted circa 1906, Bretonin is an early example of Jawlensky’s ability to blend influences, including Fauvism and Pont-Aven Synthetism, into what would become one of the most important artistic voices of Expressionism. Bretonin embodies Jawlensky’s desire to reveal the spiritual in nature through his use of colour. Bretonin also shows Vincent van Gogh’s influence on Jawlensky, with bold colours and choice of a ‘primitivist’ theme of a rural Breton peasant as a central subject. It’s a striking work and we expect a lot of interest from collectors.”

Born in Russia in 1864, Jawlensky started his working life in the military, before enrolling in art school in 1896. Bretonin was painted barely a decade later, whilst Jawlensky was travelling in France to learn from both the old and modern masters. One artist whose footsteps he sought to retrace was Paul Gauguin, who had had a huge impact on the Russian painter. Jawlensky first visited Brittany in 1905, two years after the Gauguin’s death, and returned on a number of occasions.

Brittany remained an enclave that resisted modernisation in France and retreated into its traditions and folklore. This fascinated the Parisian artists who visited by rail, fresh from the city and led to the birth of the Pont-Aven School, a group of artists who gathered around the small town of Pont-Aven in Brittany.

Writing in Bonhams Magazine, Claire Wrathall states: “If his time in Paris introduced him to the work of Gauguin, Cézanne and Van Gogh, the summers he spent in Brittany, Normandy and Provence opened his eyes to the synaesthetic potential of colour and taught him to paint what he felt, not what he saw.”

Read in the full article A Colourful Past HERE in Bonhams Magazine

Other highlights of the sale include:

  • Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978), Ponte di Rialto. Estimate: £130,000-180,000.
  • Honoré Daumier (1808-1879), Avocat et client (L’avocat et le paysan – Défenseur et accusé). Estimate: £80,000-120,000.
  • Henri Lebasque (1865-1937), Les Andelys. Estimate: £80,000-120,000.
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