Auctions | February 16, 2015

Brush and Ink Drawing by Matisse, Klee Watercolor, & Picasso Drawings at Swann Galleries March 5


New York—On Thursday, March 5, Swann Galleries will auction more than 600 works of art by American and European artists working in the 19th and 20th centuries. There are drawings and paintings as well as desirable prints and other multiples.

Henri Matisse’s Tête de jeune fille, brush and black ink on paper from 1950 is the sale’s top lot, with a presale estimate of $300,000 to $500,000. This large drawing comes with a detailed provenance.


Another impressive unique piece is Paul Klee’s widely exhibited Nächtliche Landschaft, watercolor and color chalk on paper, 1937, once in the collection the artist's wife Lily Klee ($120,000 to $180,000).

Also estimated in the low six figures is Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Nu endormi au bras levé, a color pastel counter proof on tissue-thin Japan paper, circa 1885, with the outlines of the subject’s face and hair and contours of the body reinforced by the artist in pencil, ex-collection Ambroise Vollard, Paris ($100,000 to $150,000).

A pen and ink drawing by Pablo Picasso, Femme nue couchée, 1969 is featured ($60,000 to $90,000) as is a circa 1956 color crayon on paper design for a necktie involving colorful flowers ($20,000 to $30,000).

A run of Picasso prints features his monumental Tête de Femme (Portrait de Jacqueline de Face, II), color linoleum cut, 1962 ($80,000 to $120,000); Tête de jeune fille, lithograph, 1947 ($60,000 to $90,000); and Magicienne captant et renvoyant sur son plafond les rayons du soleil, etching, 1934 ($30,000 to $50,000).

Additional unique works by European artists include Jean Dufy’s Bateax á voile au Havre, oil on canvas, which will be included in the forthcoming Dufy catalogue raisonné ($30,000 to $50,000); ?douard Vuillard’s Femme assise en Intérieur, color pastels on paper mounted on canvas, which is likely a preparatory study for his oil painting Madame Albert Henraux ($40,000 to $60,000) and Edvard Munch’s Portrait of a Young Girl, pencil on paper, circa 1882, to be included in the catalogue raisonné of Munch's drawings currently in preparation by the Munch Museum, Oslo ($30,000 to $50,000).

One-of-a-kind American examples include two carved woodblocks by Blanche Lazzell, which were gifted by the artist to a niece. One is double-sided and was used for her prints Cape Cod Cottage and The Coffee Pot, 1936, the other is Back Street, 1937 ($30,000 to $50,000 each). 

A run of drypoints by master American printmaker Martin Lewis includes his magnificent views of circa 1930 New York City, such as Glow of the City, with a lit skyscraper in the background, 1929 ($30,000 to $50,000); a snow scene, Bay Windows, 1929 ($15,000 to $20,000) and Shadows, Garage at Night, 1928, which rarely appears at auction ($8,000 to $12,000).

Among additional print highlights are Paul Ranson’s Tigre dans les Jungles, color lithograph in black and yellow, 1893 ($20,000 to $30,000); Paul Gauguin’s Sirène et Dieu marin, color woodcut in black, brown, tan and burnt orange on Japan paper, circa 1895-1901 ($30,000 to $50,000); Félix Vallotton’s Le Bain, woodcut, 1894 ($20,000 to $30,000); Joan Miró’s Le Permissionaire, color aquatint and etching, 1974 ($40,000 to $60,000); and Shiko Munakata’s Morning Chrysanthemums, color woodcut on Japan paper, 1945 ($30,000 to $50,000).

The auction will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 5 and will continue after a lunch break at 2:30 p.m. The works will be on public exhibition on Sat., February 28, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; and Mon., March 2 through Wed., March 4, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

An illustrated catalogue, with information on bidding by mail or fax, is available for $40 in the U.S./ $50 elsewhere from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online at

For further information, and to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Todd Weyman at (212) 254-4710, extension 32, or via e-mail at

Live online bidding is also available via

First image: Henri Matisse, Tête de jeune fille, brush and black ink on paper, 1950. Pre-sale estimate: $300,000 to $500,000.

Second image: Paul Klee, Nächtliche Landschaft, watercolor and color chalk on paper, 1937. Pre-sale estimate: $120,000 to $180,000.