Top Lots

Top Lots: American and European Art

Exciting artists include Henri Matisse, Fairfield Porter, Dorothea Sharp, Louis Valtat, Walt Kuhn, Oskar Kokoschka, Pavel Tchelitchew, and John Rhoden.

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Published on
October 31, 2023
Lot 22 ​​​​Henri Matisse, Flowers in a Vase

Lot 22 Henri Matisse, Flowers in a Vase


On November 2nd Capsule presents American and European Art. The auction features exciting offerings by well-known artists of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Spanning a range of subjects from charming landscapes to compelling renderings of the human form. The sale offers an excellent selection of paintings, works on paper, bronze sculptures and more. 

An exciting highlight from the sale is the above ink and watercolor by Henri Matisse. This work was authenticated by George Matisse and the winning bidder will receive the Certificate of Authenticity provided by him. Flowers in a Vase is an exemplary example of Matisse’s ability to capture the essence of his subjects in a unique and expressive manner with his vivid use of color, and innovative use of form. The purple and green of the flowers and leaves in this work seem to jump off the page. Henri Matisse's artistic legacy endures as an inspiration to artists and art enthusiasts worldwide, and his works continue to captivate and influence the art world to this day.

Lot 20 Fairfield Porter, Spruce Head, Maine, (1968-1971)

Lot 20 Fairfield Porter, Spruce Head, Maine, (1968-1971)


Also featured in the sale is a painting by Fairfield Porter. Porter is known for his incredible works of art simplifying light into shapes of color to create brilliant still lifes and landscapes. Spruce Head, Maine, created between 1968 and 1971, is an intimate painting of a bright and cloud-blanketed vista by Fairfield Porter. The artist grew up visiting Spruce Head Island off the rugged Maine coast and continued to do so into his adult years. This dreamy landscape demonstrates Fairfield Porter’s intentions of capturing a “first-timeness” in his work. Spruce Head, Maine is a soft and luminous composition brought forth with fresh, warm tones, and offering a nostalgic, near-magical window into the phenomena of being in a beautiful place for the first time.

Lot 35 Dorothea Sharp, On the Beach

Lot 35 Dorothea Sharp, On the Beach


Another exciting offering is On the Beach, a loving and playful scene by English artist Dorothea Sharp. Sharp is known for her impressionistic landscape and portrait paintings, and her ability to capture the charm of the British Coast. This painting is a stunning example of Sharp’s talent to represent both the sea and the innocence and playfulness of children in her works. On the Beach features the characteristic loose brushwork, vibrant colors, and emphasis on capturing the fleeting effects of light and atmosphere associated with Sharp’s work and the impressionist movement.

Lot 32  Louis Valtat, Cruche aux Anémones (1926)

Lot 32  Louis Valtat, Cruche aux Anémones (1926)


Also featured in the sale is this 1926 painting by Louis Valtat who exhibited with the Fauves in the famous 1906 Salon d’Automne. In his floral still life compositions Valtat paid meticulous attention to detail and the interplay of light and color. These works often feature bouquets of flowers, such as roses, peonies, and other blossoms, arranged in vases or on tables. What distinguishes Valtat's floral still lifes, like Cruche aux Anémones, is his bold and unapologetic use of color. He applied paint in thick, expressive brushstrokes and employed a vivid and sometimes non-naturalistic palette that was a hallmark of Fauvism.

Lot 34 Walt Kuhn, Work Horses

Lot 34 Walt Kuhn, Work Horses


A notable highlight is the painting Work Horses by Walt Kuhn. Kuhn played a crucial role in advocating for modern art in the United States during the early 20th century. He is particularly recognized for his role in promoting and organizing the famous Armory Show of 1913, which introduced modern European art, including works by Picasso and Matisse who are both featured in our sale, to the American public for the first time. His style was versatile, working in various styles, from Realism to Fauvism. Although Kuhn is largely known for his brooding portraits of clowns and other circus performers, Work Horses is a beautiful example of his ability to capture form and his elegant brushwork.

Lot 89 Oskar Kokoschka, Untitled (Mein Lied-Albert Ehrenstein) (1929)

Lot 89 Oskar Kokoschka, Untitled (Mein Lied-Albert Ehrenstein) (1929)


American and European Art also features works on paper like this ink drawing by Oskar Kokoschka. Kokoschka was known for his ability to convey deep emotional and psychological content, including raw and sometimes unsettling depictions of the human experience. While his paintings are characterized by vivid colors, his drawings, like this one, are characterized by their bold and expressive lines. Thank you to Aglaja Kempf and the Fondation Oskar Kokoschka for confirming the authenticity of this work.

Lot 91 Pavel Tchelitchew, Beach Scene (1933)

Lot 91 Pavel Tchelitchew, Beach Scene (1933)


Another ink on paper in the sale is this work by Pavel Tchelitchew who is best known for his contributions to the Surrealist movement. His paintings are characterized by dreamlike and metaphysical qualities, often featuring fantastical and enigmatic subjects. Tchelitchew's figurative work remains a testament to his ability to use the figure as a means to explore the depths of the human psyche. This Beach Scene captures his mastery over the human form and his expressive line work. 

Lot 6 John Rhoden, Harlem Hospital Sketch (1966)

Lot 6 John Rhoden, Harlem Hospital Sketch (1966)


In the sculpture section of the sale we have this bronze work by John Rhoden. Rhoden was a prominent African American sculptor known for his significant contributions to modernist and abstract art. His sculptures often combined African and European artistic traditions, while exploring themes of identity, spirituality, and the human condition, making him an influential figure in the world of American art. His legacy endures through his art and his role in promoting diversity and inclusion in the art world. This work is a sketch of Monumental Bronze, also called A Happy Family is the Core of a Healthy Community for the Harlem Hospital in New York.

Exhibition Hours: 

Wednesday November 1st, 11-3PM

Pre-bidding for American and European Art is available now. Live bidding begins November 2nd at 11:00 AM EST.

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