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Art Investment News, 10-14: Miniatures
Intimate gems @ petites prix from Morisot, Bonnard, Luce & others at Bonham's Impressionist & Modern Sale

Pierre Bonnard (French, 1867-1947), "Sur la plage." Stamped with the artist's initials 'PB' (Lugt 3887; lower right)l. Pen and black ink on paper. 16.3 x 20 cm (6 7/16 x 7 7/8 in). Estimate: $4,000 - $5,600. Courtesy of Bonhams.

By Paul Ben-Itzak
Text copyright 2013 Paul Ben-Itzak

You take the six-figure, accomplished, grand-scale Impressionist oil on canvas masterpieces; I still prefer the smaller-scale (and petite prix) pen and ink, pencil on paper etchings and pastel and watercolor studies of Impressionists and post-Impressionists like Pierre Bonnard, Berthe Morisot, and Paul Signac. You can almost feel the artist at work, sitting on a Parisian park bench or before his easel on a Provincial beach, capturing a daughter (Morisot) or a wife (Bonnard) at play or in repose. And for prices in the low four figures, you can actually afford to own the original work. Gems by these three, as well as a series of oil paintings by another under-estimated Impressionist / Post-Impressionist, Pissarro's pal (and fellow anarchist traveler) Maximilien Luce, and work by 'second-tier' Impressionists Eugene Boudin and Armand Guillaumin, are among the minor masterpieces and raw studies on auction for Bonham's October 23 Impressionist and Modern Art sale in London. And that's before you even get to the stash of original work by Ballets Russes designers Natalia Goncharova and Alexandre Benois. Herewith a sampling.


Berthe Morisot (French, 1841-1895), "Julie Manet au Bois du Boulogne." Stamped with the artist's initials 'B.M' (lower right). Colored pencils on paper, 16.1 x 21.9 cm (6 5/16 x 8 5/8 in)..Estimate: $,3,200 - $4,800 U.S.. Courtesy of Bonhams.


Paul Signac (French, 1863-1935), "Marseille, la sortie du port." Signed 'P. Signac' and indistinctly inscribed 'Pour Lilliane Levy/le Marseille qui manquait/dans la serie des illustrations/d'un des plus beaux livres du monde!' (lower right). Pencil and watercolour on paper. 14.5 x 9 cm (5 11/16 x 3 9/16 in.) image size; 28 x 22.5 cm (11 x 8 7/8 in.) sheet size. Executed circa 1929. Estimate: $6,400 - $9,600. Courtesy of Bonhams.


Maximilien Luce (1858-1941), "Dimanche a Mericourt." Oil on panel, unframed 9.8 x 34 cm (3 7/8 x 13 3/8 in). Estimate: $1,600 - $2,400. Courtesy of Bonham's. Given directly by the artist to the family of the present owner. Sold with a photo-certificate of authenticity from Denise Bazetoux, the work will be included in volume IV of her "Catalogue Raisonne de l'Oeuvre de Maximilien Luce," currently in preparation.


Maximilien Luce (1858-1941), "Sur la plage du Treport." Oil on board, unframed. 15.4 x 26.8 cm (6 1/16 x 10 9/16 in.). Estimate: $1,300 - 1,900. Courtesy of Bonhams.


Maximilien Luce (1858-1941), "Jeunes plongeurs." Signed 'Luce' (lower left and verso). Pen and black ink and oil on paper, unframed. 16 x 20.2 cm (6 5/16 x 7 15/16 in). Estimate: $1,300 - 1,900. Courtesy of Bonhams.


Alexandre Benois (Russian/French, 1870-1960), "City view across a river." Signed 'Alexandre Benois' (lower left). Pencil, pen and ink, watercolour and gouache on paper laid to card. 15.4 x 20.5 cm (6 1/16 x 8 1/16 in). Estimate: $1,600 - 2,400. Courtesy of Bonhams.



Alexandre Benois (Russian/French, 1870-1960), "City view across a river." Signed 'Alexandre Benois' (lower left). Pencil, pen and ink, watercolour and gouache on paper laid to card. 15.4 x 20.5 cm (6 1/16 x 8 1/16 in). Estimate: $1,600 - 2,400. Courtesy of Bonhams.


Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova (Russian, 1881-1962). Costume design for Serge Lifar in "Sur le Borysthene." Signed with artist's initials 'N.G.' (upper left). Pencil, pen and black ink on paper, unframed. 20.5 x 27 cm (8 1/16 x 10 5/8 in.). Executed circa 1932. Estimate: $ 800 - $1,100. Courtesy of Bonhams.


Vladimir Vasilievich Lebedev (Russian, 1891-1967), "Cabaret dancer." Pen and black ink and gouache on grey paper, 30.7 x 23 cm (12 1/16 x 9 1/16 in.). Estimate: $1,300 - $1,900. Courtesy of Bonhams.


Marie Laurencin (French, 1883-1956), "Brune aux perles." Signed 'Marie Laurencin' (lower right). Pencil on buff paper. 24 x 18.7 cm (9 7/16 x 7 3/8 in). Estimate: $2,400 - 3,200. Courtesy of Bonhams.



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