Christie's NY To Sell Re-Discovered, Restituted Hartley Masterwork This May Christie’s is delighted to announce the consignment for sale of Marsden Hartley’s
Lighthouse – an American Modernist masterwork
almanac, Der Blaue Reiter.
While Paris inspired him, it was Berlin that truly captured Hartley’s imagination. When he first
traveled there in January, 1913, he immediately fell in love with the city and returned in May to live.
Once settled in Berlin, in early 1914 Hartley embarked upon his Amerika series, using the German
spelling of his home country to identify these innovative works. Through his interpretation of
Native American symbolism which he boldly painted in an Expressionist, synthetic Cubist style,
Hartley explored American themes and his identity as an American, while continuing to develop an
entirely new way of seeing, wholly unlike any of the art produced by any of his American
The outbreak of war in August of 1914 and the subsequent loss in the hostilities of his friend,
Lieutenant Karl von Freyburg, inspired Hartley to commence a new series based on German military
themes. Using some of the visual elements and technical innovations of his Amerika series, Hartley
incorporated in these new works martial iconography in an even bolder synthetic cubist style. In
April of the following year, combining the progressive imagery of both the Amerika and German
Officer series, Hartley produced several works, including Lighthouse, which stand as exuberant
summations of his acclaimed Berlin pictures. Few works by any American have ever rivaled their
passionate intensity, or their seminal importance to the advent of American modernism.
Auction: Important American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture May 21
Viewing: Christie’s Los Angeles April 8-10, 15-17
Christie’s New York May 17-20
Christie’s is the world's leading art business with global auction sales in 2007 that totaled £3.1 billion/$6.3
billion. This marks the highest total in company and in art auction history. Christie’s is a name and place that
speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in
1766 by James Christie, Christie's conducted the greatest auctions of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, and
today remains a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers over 600 sales annually in
over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine,
and more. Prices range from $200 to over $80 million. Christie’s has 85 offices in 43 countries and 14
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emerging and new markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales
and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai.