the world of the racetrack and steeplechase developed in tandem with his survey of other aspects of the modern world, notably the world of dance. In his depictions of equestrian subjects, Degas moved from the precise delineation of complex arrangements of figures in space in the first half of his career to a much broader, more atmospheric approach in the latter half, when the present work was executed. Avant la course is composed of flat modernist patches of color in which the artist employed great contrasts of light and dark forms and asserted the dynamism of the composition over any specificity of details.
Two works by Picasso from the late 1940s will also be offered. Painted in 1947, Pablo Picasso’s Tête de femme au chapeau vert is a portrait of the artist’s lover Françoise Gilot (est. $4/6 million). Gilot, who was the mother of Picasso’s two children – Paloma and Claude, was a painter in her own right. The present work is a reflection of both Picasso’s renewed optimism following the war years, and Gilot’s full asecndancy as his lover. Pablo Picasso’s lively portrait of their son, Claude à Deux Ans et Son Cheval de Bois (est. $5/7 million), was completed a few weeks after the boy’s second birthday in the summer of 1949. The picture is one of two oil versions that Picasso painted of his son Claude with his hobby horse and marks the beginning of an important new stage in his artistic development. Beginning in 1949 and continuing through the early 1950s, Picasso completed a series of portraits of Claude and his younger sister Paloma that reflect the powerful impact the children had on his art as he witnessed their childhood wonderment and joy of first discovery.
Alberto Giacometti’s startling Tête d'homme from 1964-65 is the personification of the artist’s existential dilemma in the last month of his life (est. $1.5/2 million). Giacometti’s late portraits are all inextricably linked to the artist's confrontation of his own mortality and the personal turmoil that clouded his later years. The stark images were a conduit for expressing his anxiety surrounding these issues that became central to the Existentialist movement. Femme, oiseau from 1972 is a striking example of Joan Miró’s late works, featuring the characteristic iconography of figures and birds (est. $3/4 million). Executed with a technical assurance and the economy of pictorial means typical of the last decades of his career, the present work shows his style verging between figuration and abstraction. Also by Miró is Femmes et oiseau dans la nuit, one of the compositions which the artist completed in the aftermath of the war. This jewel-like picture from 1946 is populated by Miró's Surrealist characters who are recognized easily for who they are - women cocooned by the night sky.
In addition to the works coming from the Durand-Ruel and Sackler Collection, property from other distinguished private collections will also be offered this fall. From the estate of Chicago collector Grace E. Hokin is Fernand