Sotheby's to sell a Masterwork by Paul Gauguin - November 7, 2007 On the evening of November 7, 2007, Sotheby’s in New York will offer for sale Paul Gauguin’s Te Poipoi (The Morning), one of the greatest Tahitian scenes by the artist remaining in private hands.
STUNNING TAHITIAN SCENE HAS BEEN CONSIGNED BY THE FAMILY OF RENOWNED AMERICAN COLLECTOR, JOAN WHITNEY PAYSON
TE POIPOI (THE MORNING) FROM 1892 IS ESTIMATED TO SELL FOR $40/60 MILLION
New York, NY – October 5, 2007 – On the evening of November 7, 2007, Sotheby’s in New York will offer for sale Paul Gauguin’s Te Poipoi (The Morning), one of the greatest Tahitian scenes by the artist remaining in private hands. For the past 62 years, this painting was part of one of the most illustrious collections ever formed in America, that of Joan Whitney Payson. Acquired by Mrs. Payson and her husband, Charles, in 1945, this stunning scene of an exotic paradise hung alongside masterpieces by artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and others, and has been consigned for sale by her family. Executed in Tahiti in September or October 1892, the painting is estimated to sell for $40/60 million (£20/30 million)*. Prior to auction, the painting will be on view at Sotheby’s London from October 7-12 and in New York from November 2-7, 2007.
David Norman, Executive Vice President, a Chairman of Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Department Worldwide, said, “Sotheby’s is thrilled to have yet another occasion to represent one of the greatest collecting families in America. Joan Whitney Payson and her brother John Hay Whitney were each the very definition of the enlightened, passionate and daring American collector in the 20th century, and their previous sales, whether directly or indirectly, through Sotheby’s – Vincent van Gogh’s Irises, Pierre-August Renoir’s Au Moulin de la Galette, Pablo Picasso’s Au Lapin Agile and Boy with a Pipe, among others -- represent not only many of the world’s greatest works of art, but also landmarks of the modern art market. “For Paul Gauguin, the towering figure who provided the bridge from Impressionism to 20th century Modernism, the search to represent the ideal in art took him outside the comforts of western tradition toward the great exoticism of remote Tahiti. In the present work, the artist represents a quintessential Tahitian scene – an unspoiled landscape populated by native women going about their daily routines in the midst of a sun drenched, color-rich paradise.” In Te Poipoi, Gauguin presents a highly idealized version of paradise, untouched by western influence. This stunning canvas was painted on the island’s southern coastal region of Mataiea in September or October 1892, about a year into the artist’s first extended stay in French Polynesia. The title of the painting refers to the still and quiet morning hours when the local people began their day. We can imagine Gauguin’s voyeuristic pleasure in watching this intimate scene of women bathing beneath a canopy of banyan and mango trees. Te Poipoi is a refreshingly modern and daring interpretation of the ritual of the bath, one of the most symbolically loaded themes in the history of western art. Edgar Degas presented one of the best well-known modern interpretations of this theme