Christie’s Announces Highlights From Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection

Unprecedented $1 Billion Philanthropic Sale of Masterpieces Spanning Years of Art History.

Christie’s and the estate of the philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, Paul G. Allen, recently unveiled highlights from Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection, featuring 500 years of groundbreaking art. The highlights will be part of an unprecedented $1 billion sale across two live auctions at Christie’s Rockefeller Center beginning November 9th. The auctions will offer a comprehensive study of the art historical canon of more than 150 masterworks. All of the estate’s proceeds from this historic sale will be dedicated to philanthropy, pursuant to Mr. Allen’s wishes.

A visionary and innovator, Paul G. Allen collected art of the finest caliber, acquiring superb pieces by the world’s most iconic artists. The sale will include examples, often among the finest in private hands, by Jan Brueghel the Younger, J.M.W. Turner, Edouard Manet, Vincent Van Gogh, Georges Seurat, Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, Gustav Klimt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, and many others. The collection reflects the pioneering work of artistic visionaries through their expression of paint, light, portraiture, and place.

Max Carter, Vice Chairman, 20th and 21st Century Art, Americas, remarked: “The Paul G. Allen Collection, like Cézanne’s breathtaking view of Mont Sainte-Victoire, is the summit of the mountain. From Brueghel’s Five Senses and the Venetian imaginings of Turner and Manet to late 19th-century masterpieces by Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Monet, Klimt’s Birch Forest and Freud’s Large Interior, W11 (after Watteau), arguably the greatest set piece of the last fifty years, the Collection is bounded only by vision and quality. And then there is Seurat’s Les Poseuses.

Formerly in the collections of Alphonse Kann, John Quinn, and Henry McIlhenny and featured in the 1913 Armory Show, when it appeared at auction for the one and only time in 1970, the art historian John Russell suggested that it was one of the three or four most beautiful works of art to be sold since the war. It remains so today.”

Marc Porter, Chairman, Christie’s Americas, commented, “This is an unprecedented moment, worthy of the collector and the artists whose work he pursued. ‘Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection’ brings together masterpieces in support of philanthropy on an epic scale. It’s hard to imagine that this is the result of one man’s passionate pursuit of excellence, but Paul G. Allen was indeed a visionary, and he was drawn to artists who shared his genius for seeing our world in new ways and explaining it to us by new means. Christie’s is honored to be able to make this historic sale come to life and share it with the world.”

A First Look At Highlights From The Collection, With More Masterpieces To Come

Christie's Announces Highlights From Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection
PAUL GAUGUIN (1848-1903)
Maternité II
oil on burlap
37¼ x 24 in. (94.7 x 61 cm.)
Painted in Tahiti in 1899
Estimate on request, in excess of $90,000,000
Christie's Announces Highlights From Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection
GUSTAV KLIMT (1862-1918)
Birch Forest
oil on canvas
43 3/8 x 43 1/4 in. (110.1 x 109.8 cm.)
Painted in 1903
Estimate on request, in excess of $90,000,000
Christie's Announces Highlights From Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection
LUCIAN FREUD (1922-2011)
Large Interior, W11 (after Watteau)
oil on canvas
72 ¼ x 78 in. (185.4 x 198.1 cm.)
Painted in 1981-1983
Estimate on request, in excess of $75,000,000
Christie's Announces Highlights From Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection
VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853-1890)
Verger avec cyprès
oil on canvas
25 3/4 x 31 7/8 in. (65.2 x 80.2 cm.)
Painted in Arles in April 1888
Estimate on request, in excess of $100,000,000
Christie's Announces Highlights From Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection
CLAUDE MONET (1840-1926)
Waterloo Bridge, soleil voilé
oil on canvas
25 3/4 x 39 1/2 in. (65.4 x 100 cm.)
Painted in1899-1903
Estimate on request, in excess of $60,000,000
Christie's Announces Highlights From Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection
EDOUARD MANET (1832-1883)
Le Grand Canal à Venise
oil on canvas
221/2 x 18 3/4 in. (57.2 x 47.6 cm.)
Painted in fall 1874
Estimate on request, in excess of $50,000,000
Christie's Announces Highlights From Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection
PAUL CÉZANNE (1839-1906)
La montagne Sainte-Victoire
oil on canvas
25 5/8 x 31 7/8 in.(65.1 x 81 cm.)
Painted in 1888-1890
Estimate on request; in excess of $120,000,000
Christie's Announces Highlights From Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection
JASPER JOHNS (B. 1930)
Small False Start
encaustic, acrylic and paper collage on fiberboard
21 7/8 x 18 1/4 in. (55.6 x 46.4 cm.)
Executed in 1960
Estimate on request, in excess of $50,000,000
Christie's Announces Highlights From Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection
PAUL SIGNAC (1863-1935)
Concarneau, calme du matin (Opus no. 219, larghetto)
oil on canvas
25 7/8 x 32 in. (65.7 x 81.3 cm.)
Painted in 1891
Estimate on request, in excess of $28,000,000
Christie's Announces Highlights From Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection
FRANCIS BACON (1909-1992)
Three Studies for Self-Portrait
triptych—oil on canvas
each: 14 x 12 in. (35.6 x 30.5cm.)
Painted in 1979
Estimate on request, in excess of $25,000,000
Christie's Announces Highlights From Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection
JOSEPH MALLORD WILLIAM TURNER (1775-1851)
Depositing of John Bellini’s Three Pictures in La Chiesa Redentore, Venice
oil on canvas
29 x 45.1/2 in. (73.7 x 115.6 cm.)
Estimate on request, in excess of $30,000,000
Christie's Announces Highlights From Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection
RENÉ MAGRITTE (1898-1967)
La voix du sang
oil on canvas
31 1/8 x 23 1/8 in. (79.1 x 58.6 cm.)
Painted in 1948
$12,000,000-18,000,000
Christie's Announces Highlights From Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection
LOUISE BOURGEOIS (1911-2010)
Black Flames
bronze, paint and stainless steel
69 ½ x 12 x 12 in. (176.5 x 30.5 x 30.5 cm.)
Executed in 1947-1949 and cast in 1989
$1,500,000-2,500,000
Christie's Announces Highlights From Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection
AGNES MARTIN (1912-2004)
Untitled
acrylic and graphite on canvas
60 x 60 in.(152.4 x 152.4 cm.)
Executed circa1999-2000
$4,000,000-6,000,000
Christie's Announces Highlights From Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection
GEORGIA O’KEEFFE (1887-1986)
White Rose with Larkspur No. 1
oil on canvas
36 x 30 in. (91.4 x 76.2 cm.)
Painted in 1927
$6,000,000-8,000,000
Christie's Announces Highlights From Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection
JAN BRUEGHEL THE YOUNGER
(1601-1678)
Set of Five Panels ** | The Five Senses: Sight
oil on panel
panel: 27 5/8 x 44 5/8 in. (70.2 x 113.3 cm.)
$4,000,000-6,000,000
[**Note: above represents one of the five panels)
Christie's Announces Highlights From Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection
JASPER JOHNS (B. 1930)
Map
encaustic on printed paper mounted on Masonite
8 1/2 x 11 in. (21.6 x 27.9 cm.)
Executed in 1960
$5,000,000-7,000,000

Philanthropist and Innovator Paul G. Allen (1953 – 2018)

From co-founding Microsoft in 1975 to starting his first charitable foundation in 1986, from creating the acclaimed Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) in 2000 to launching the Allen Institute in 2003 with its game-changing scientific breakthroughs across brain science, cell science, and immunology, Paul G. Allen lived a life motivated by a love of ideas and making the world a better place.

An avid art collector for decades, Allen began publicly sharing pieces from his collection in the late 1990s through dozens of often anonymous loans to museums around the world. In addition, he mounted exhibitions that shared highlights of his collection with the public, including the renowned Seeing Nature exhibit that toured nationally in 2016. It showcased 39 iconic landscape paintings that demonstrated the natural world and highlighted key moments in the development of the landscape genre.

“You have to be doing it because you just love the works… and you know that all these works are going to outlast you,” Allen reflected in an interview for Seeing Nature. “You’re only a temporary custodian of them.”

In 2010, Allen was an early signer of the Giving Pledge, a commitment to contribute the majority of one’s wealth to charitable causes, and in 2015, he was awarded the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy for dedicating his private wealth to public good. He remarked “…one of my core goals is to accelerate discovery and provide some of the world’s brightest minds with the resources to solve some of the world’s thorniest challenges.”

His philanthropic contributions of more than $2.65 billion during his lifetime deepened our understanding of bioscience, shared art, music, and film with the world, tackled epidemics, helped save endangered species, explored the ocean floor, and invested in more vibrant and resilient communities. Many called Allen a polymath, whose knowledge and skills spanned a wide range of disciplines.

Allen passed away in October 2018, but the breadth and depth of his generosity, and his desire to continue improving the lives of people around the world even after his death, will create an impact for generations to come.

Exhibition and Tour Dates

Live Auctions at Christie’s New York:
• PART I – 9 November at 7PM
• PART II – 10 November at 10AM

Christies

editor

Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had auction sales in the first half of 2019 that totalled £2.2 billion / $2.8 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectables, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.