The Sam Josefowitz Collection: A Dazzling Array of Artistic Treasures

The upcoming auctions at Christie’s London and Paris salerooms are set to unveil the extraordinary Sam Josefowitz Collection, a testament to a lifetime of discerning passion and scholarly dedication.

This meticulously curated collection spans the ages, encompassing everything from Antiquities to Post-Impressionism, featuring the likes of Rembrandt, Les Nabis, and Giacometti furniture. The crown jewel of this collection, the “Masterpieces from The Collection of Sam Josefowitz,” is set to take centre stage in London on the 13th of October, featuring 38 exceptional lots that reflect the breadth of Sam’s erudition and artistic ardour. Before the grand event, these masterpieces will embark on an international tour, with a special viewing in London from the 6th to the 13th of October.

Félix Vallotton: A Trailblazing Artist

Renowned collector Sam Josefowitz’s admiration for Félix Vallotton is palpable, as evidenced by the inclusion of four exceptional Vallotton works in the upcoming auctions. Among these is “Cinq heures,” a masterpiece last seen at the Royal Academy’s Vallotton exhibition in 2019.

This iconic piece, part of the “Intérieurs avec figures” series, portrays an intimate embrace on a red armchair and is one of only two remaining in private hands. Expected to fetch a staggering £3,000,000-5,000,000, it is poised to shatter auction records for the artist. Additionally, “Paysage à Marcillac” (1925, estimate: £600,000-900,000) and “Un soir sur la Loire” (1923, estimate: £600,000-900,000) will further augment the presence of Vallotton’s works in London.

The Sam Josefowitz Collection: A Dazzling Array of Artistic Treasures

Akseli Gallen-Kallela: A Finnish Maestro’s Triumph

“Akseli Gallen-Kallela’s Autumn – Five Crosses: A preliminary work for the fresco in the Jusélius Mausoleum” (1902, estimate: £800,000-1,200,000) stands as a testament to the fusion of Art Nouveau and Symbolism. Previously owned by the Wittgenstein family for over eight decades, this masterpiece is primed to set a new auction record for the artist. This colossal oil painting, acquired by Sam Josefowitz in 1985, showcases Gallen-Kallela’s ability to transcend landscapes into monumental forms for the Jusélius Mausoleum.

Kees van Dongen: Capturing Elegance

A close friend of the Josefowitz family, Kees van Dongen, was commissioned to immortalize several family members in his art. Leading the ensemble is the monumental “La Quiétude” (1918, estimate: £3,000,000-5,000,000), depicting entwined figures against a steel-grey backdrop. “Nuages, ou Guus van Dongen et sa Fille Dolly portées aux Nues” (1905, estimate: £900,000-1,400,000) offers a glimpse into the artist’s Fauve period, while “La Porte Dauphine” (circa 1923, estimate: £600,000-900,000) captures the fashionable elegance of Paris.

Paul Gauguin: A Glimpse into Symbolism

“Clovis endormi” (estimate: £3,000,00-5,000,000), painted in 1884, offers a transformative portrait of Gauguin’s son. This work, displayed in various exhibitions since the late 1880s, marks Gauguin’s exploration of Symbolism and his departure from plein-air landscapes. Its personal nature and pioneering spirit make it a standout piece in the collection.

Aristide Maillol: A Rarity of Exquisite Quality

Aristide Maillol’s “Portrait de Mademoiselle Jeanne Faraill” (1888-89, estimate: £800,000-1,200,000) exemplifies the fusion of incredible quality and absolute rarity, as very few oils exist from the artist’s hand. Acquired in 1962 by Sam Josefowitz and recently displayed at the Musée d’Orsay, this artwork is poised to set a new auction record for Maillol’s paintings.

Diego Giacometti: A Personal Connection to Masterpieces

The auctions proudly feature personal commissions and rare models by Diego Giacometti, a sculptor cherished by the Josefowitz family. “Grande table basse à deux plateaux aux grenouilles” (circa 1978; estimate: £900,000-1,400,000) and “La console ‘Hommage à Böcklin'” (circa 1978; estimate: £2,000,000-3,000,000) exemplify Diego’s mastery of composition. These treasures, accompanied by other exceptional pieces, make this collection an unparalleled offering.

Gustave Caillebotte: A Singular Collector’s Vision

Sam Josefowitz’s appreciation for Gustave Caillebotte’s genius shines through five remarkable paintings. “Portrait d’Eugène Daufresne lisant” (1878, estimate: £1,000,000-1,500,000) encapsulates evolving social representation, while “Capucines” (1892, estimate: £900,000-1,400,000) reimagines the landscape genre with lush greenery. Additional paintings, including “Trouville, la plage et les villas” (1882, estimate: £700,000-900,000) and “Verger aux pommiers en fleurs, Colombes” (1883, estimate: £550,000-800,00), enrich this extraordinary Caillebotte collection.

Asian Artworks: A Global Odyssey

Sam Josefowitz’s travels enriched his collection with rare and prestigious Asian artworks. Among the highlights is the Assyrian Gypsum Relief of a Winged Genius (estimate: £2,500,000-4,000,000), a masterpiece from ancient Western Asia. The collection also includes Japanese sculptures, such as the Wood Sculpture of a Standing Jizo Bosatsu (estimate: £2,000,000-4,000,000), showcasing art historical significance.

Additionally, a Wood Sculpture of a Standing Female Shinto Deity (estimate: £400,000-600,000) and a Monumental Pale Pink Sandstone Stele of Dancing Ganesha (estimate: £600,000-900,000) add to the diversity of this exceptional assembly.

Rembrandt: Celebrating Prints of Distinction

Sam Josefowitz’s legendary Rembrandt print collection commences with the iconic “Self-Portrait etching at a Window” (1648, estimate: £80,000-120,000), described by Rembrandt scholar Christopher White as unparalleled. The upcoming auctions will offer further Rembrandt prints in London in December 2023, ensuring the legacy of this remarkable collector endures.

In conclusion, the Sam Josefowitz Collection represents an unparalleled confluence of artistic passion, scholarly dedication, and global exploration. With a rich diversity of works spanning centuries and continents, this collection promises to captivate art enthusiasts and collectors alike, setting new auction records and leaving an indelible mark on the art world. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness this extraordinary assembly of treasures.

Images: Christie’s

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