Art Market Magazine


Asia decidedly has its sights on the West; but we certainly don't want to imply some far-fetched story of industrial espionage! What we are seeing here is the attraction (or passion, rather, at this level of prices) felt for certain Western works by the wealthier members of the Middle Kingdom and the Land of the Morning Calm… Hitherto, these buyers have chiefly focused on prestigious works conferring social kudos, or pieces from their own heritage: this month, a Chinese buyer pursued one of the Qianlong Emperor's seals up to €1.6 million, while Wang Zhongjun, the Chairman of Huayi Brothers Media, treated himself to a Van Gogh bouquet for $61.76 million. But a more unusual aspect is now emerging: the appeal of certain "European" items with a powerful ideological stamp. As a result, Napoleon's hat has departed for the premises of Harim, the South Korean food-processing group. Its chairman, Kim Hong-Kuk, bought the imperial bicorn (for €1.8 million, no less) to "breathe new life into the entrepreneurial spirit". Fetishist or strategist, this businessman certainly pulled off an impressive publicity stunt!

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Who but Picasso can boast of having seven museums named after him in Europe, no less? The one in Paris, the most important, is now re-opening in the Marais, renovated and redesigned after a long spell in purdah. The inaugural chronological hang devised by Anne Baldassari, the museum's former director, restores all the splendour of the works, inventiveness and constantly renewed career of this revolutionary in painting: a quintessential artist of the 20th century. "At the age of ten, I painted like Raphael, but it took my whole life to be able to draw like a child," said Picasso. The Hôtel Salé now has 37 rooms compared with the previous 20. "Three are devoted to Marie-Thérèse, whom my grandfather would wake up at night to show her what he had painted. Before, Picasso's women used to be an underground affair. Now they have moved to the upper floors!" smiles Olivier Picasso. Of the artist's many companions, Marie-Thérèse is the one who commands the highest prices in the market: in 2010, the "Nu au plateau de sculpteur" of 1932 topped the €86 million mark at auction… 


Art Market Magazine

Gerhard Richter is as much in the limelight as ever, in both museums and auction rooms. He is the star of the upcoming Versailles Enchères sale with this painting of 1999, "Abstraktes Bild 857-1". Although he has expressed himself in many different forms throughout his career, trying his hand at sculpture and drawing, and integrating photography into his work, Richter sees himself primarily as a painter. 



The motto inscribed on this jade seal refers to a pavilion: a peaceful place where the Qianlong Emperor liked to withdraw. This could have been the Yue Xin Dian on the island in Beihai Park in Beijing, or an imperial residence, "the Jingyi Gardens" of Tianqin: a huge complex of pavilions and gardens laid out between 1744 and 1754. The stamp features in the collection of seals entitled "Qing dai di hou xi yin pu"



Maitre Osenat had never seen his auction room as packed as it was for this sale of part of the Napoleonic collections of Monaco's royal family. The total of €10 million taken over two days left the high estimate of €4 million far behind. Every nationality was represented, and collectors were far less reserved than usual, to the great surprise of some of the regulars. The happy winner of Napoleon's hat



It could be said that Adrian Cheng is following in his family’s footsteps. Aged thirty-five, he is part of an extensive business dynasty; his grandfather Yu-Tung Cheng, with an estimated fortune of $13.7 billion, occupies 76th place on the Forbes list.It was he who founded the family empire some eighty-five years ago, creating Chow Tai Fook Jewellery, a jewellery brand that has now also become a retailer.



After the ritual bronzes of the Meiyintang collection, the Musée National des Arts Asiatiques de Paris continues its exploration of Ancient China. "Splendor of the Han looks back over the epic period of the Chinese emperors who reigned from 202 BC to 220 AD over a huge territory only rivalled at the time by Rome. Staged to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and China.



Imaginary interview with Perugino. Fontignano, 1523. The master welcomes us to this small village, where he is decorating the parish church. Your maniera dolce has been praised throughout Europe. How do you explain this? When I arrived in Florence in 1470, I brought a type of sweetness from Umbria that contrasted markedly with the grandiloquent feel of the reign of Lorenzo the Magnificent.



Art Market Magazine Gazette International

December 2014 Edition

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