January 8 - Sotheby's unveils the highlights of its London Evening Sale, including paintings by Van Gogh and Matisse in Hong Kong.
This rare Van Gogh painting titled "L'Homme est en mer" is one of the centerpieces of next month's Impressionist and Modern Art auction at Sotheby's in London. Expected to fetch as much as $13.14 million (USD), it is one of 18 highlights that are currently on display in Hong Kong. Sotheby's Simon Stock says no one really knows the inspiration behind the painting. SOUNDBITE: Simon Stock, senior director of impressionist and modern art at Sotheby's, saying (English): "But it is a very touching and quite emotional scene. The baby is now fallen asleep in the warmth of not just the mother's arms but also in the warmth of the fire. Meanwhile, the mother is looking into the fire itself and looking wistfully and thinking about her husband who's gone to sea and when will he return and will he be safe." Among the most expensive paintings showcased is an 1897 Camille Pissarro piece titled "Boulevard Montmartre, matinee de printemps," estimated to sell upwards of $11.5 million (USD). Sotheby's held its first major auction in Beijing last December, moving the competition with its rival Christie's into one of the world's hottest art markets. Stock says previewing the works in Hong Kong first, highlights the importance of Asian art buyers. SOUNDBITE: Simon Stock, senior director of impressionist and "The Asia market is of course an incredibly important market for Sotheby's. The market is so global in the field of impressionist and modern art, that we have collectors from all parts of the world, from Europe, Russia, North America, and Asia is increasingly perceived to be a very important and growing market. And that is why we take this part of the world so seriously." The auction will be held at Sotheby's in London on February 5 and 6.