Figurative art from van Goyen to Combas and the inescapable Bernard Buffet- La Gazette Drouot

Bernard BUFFET (1928-1999)
Bernard BUFFET (1928-1999)
Portrait de Monsieur Hervé Ségard, 1955

Bernard Buffet’s landscapes and still-lifes are omnipresent on the market, and this sale is no exception. They will be represented by a 1998 painting, Fleurs sur fond vert (Flowers on Green Background - estimate : 75 000/100 000€), and another from 1975, Environs de Cher, le chêne vert en automne, parc du château de Vieille-Ville (Environs of Cher, the Green Oak in Autumn, Grounds of the Château of the Old Town - 65000/85000 €).

But portraits are much harder to come by, which is why this one of Hervé Ségard is likely to arouse plenty of interest. It belongs to a series of around 10 portraits Buffet painted in 1954 and 1955 of his own initiative – they were not commissioned – to honor collectors who believed in him early in his career.

It is worth recalling that Buffet was just 27 in 1955. He had exhibited his first painting, a self-portrait, nine years earlier at the Galerie des Beaux-arts. Then, in 1947, the Drouant-David Gallery hosted his first solo show and a year later he signed a contract with the gallerist Emmanuel David, later shared with Maurice Garnier. Pierre Descargues devoted a book to him in 1949, and in 1955, the readers of Connaissance des arts magazine voted Buffet the best post-war painter. An endearing man who enjoyed high society, Buffet piqued the interests of many collectors. The 1955 series thus includes a portrait of French industrialist Hervé Ségard. These works herald a shift towards color and more decorative effects, such as this background of a green tapestry with red flowers, which is found in all the series’ portraits – a light, whimsical touch that, in the end, suits him very well.

August, Saturday 15, Cannes - BESCH CANNES AUCTION OW.

Bernard Buffet (1928-1999), Portrait de Monsieur Hervé Ségard, 1955, oil on canvas signed and dated, 116 x 81 cm.

Estimate : 120 000/150 000 €

Article published in la Gazette Drouot N°29 from July 24, 2020


Robert COMBAS C'est ta faute

This is a rich and humorous work, as we are used to with Robert Combas (born 1957). Dated 2002 and entitled C 'est ta faute, this acrylic on canvas is announced at 100000/150000€. An estimate that can also be explained by the impressive dimensions of this work of the leader of the free figuration : 241 x 295 cm. Combas identifies with this strange knight fighting a machine. “I defended myself with my midget strength,” he said, concluding that he no longer knows what he’s saying. An intriguing knight of the modern age!


Jan Van Goyen Estuaire de rivière

The ancient painting will also be present in Cannes with this maritime landscape of Jan Van Goyen (1596-1656), showing a River estuary with sailing boats and fishermen. This 27,5 x 41,5 cm inlaid panel, monogrammed "VG" and dated "1653" is presented with an estimate of 50000/60000€. It provides a beautiful illustration of the art of this Dutch marine painter who revolutionized the genre by a more naturalistic style, centered in particular on the treatment of the sky, often very cloudy, and on a masterful use of monochrome, which gives a rare atmosphere to his works.


Abel Grimmer

50000/60000€ are to be considered to carry this circular panel of Abel Grimmer (around 1570 - 1619) on the theme of L 'adoration des Mages. Signed and dated 1611, this painting belongs to one of the series of tondi realized by the Flemish painter on the months of the year, in parallel with biblical scenes. Thus, January, with its snow landscape, is associated with the birth of Christ and the adoration of the Mages. His realistic and popular works are close to the great tradition begun by Pieter Bruegel.


Jean Marais Tête de lion

During this sale will be proposed a collection of works from the collection of Jo Pasquali, the heir of Jean Marais (1913-1998), but also the one who trained him in the art of pottery in Vallauris. One will find as well a Portrait of Jean Marais by Christian Bérard, at 2000/3000€, as this Lion head in bronze signed Jean Marais and numbered 8/8 (54x47x15 cm, 4000/5000€). It is also worth mentioning an important bust in bronze and white marble (H. 94 cm) made by Pierre Calvi, in 1871: Selika, the African slave announced at 25000/30000€, which was part of the private collection of the mythical actor, artist and collector.

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