Elizabeth Taylor's incredible art collection of masterpieces by Van Gogh, Pisarr and Degas to go under the hammer
When the Elizabeth Taylor Collection went under the hammer at Christie's New York last month, sales of dazzling array of Taylor's possessions fetched a staggering 103m, far exceeding Christie's pre-sale expectations.
Bidders across the world bought up every one of the 1,778 lots of jewellery, clothing, decorative arts and film memorabilia.
Now, the remaining works from Taylor's art collection are to go up for auction, with 38 masterpieces from the Hollywood icon's personal collection to go under the hammer.
Augustus John's Portrait of Poppet in Black Hat is one of a clutch of John paintings in Taylor's collection, offered in the Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale on 8 February. Estimate 40,000 to 60,000
Among their number are paintings by such
masters as Vincent Van Gogh, Degas, Renoir – and many by celebrated British artist Augustus John,
including Poppet in Black Hat, which is a painting John did of his daughter.
The three most valuable works are Van
Gogh's Vue de L'Asile de la Chapelle de Saint-Rmy, painted in 1889 in
Saint-Rmy, with an estimate of 5-7million; Camille Pissarro's Pommiers ragny, signed and dated 'C.Pissarro.94', which has an estimate of 900k to 1.2m; and Degas's autoportrait, painted in 1857-1858, and with an estimate of 350,000 to 450,000.
These three will be offered in an evening sale of the Impressionists and Modern Art on 7 February.
The rest of the paintings will be
split between two sales on 8 February, Impressionists and Modern Works
on Paper Sale, and Impressionists and Modern Day Sale.
Taylor's The Vue de l’Asile et de la Chapelle de Saint-Rmy by Vincent Van Gogh has an estimate of 5m to 7m
Taylor's enduring passion for art is
thanks in part to her father Francis Taylor, an esteemed art dealer
who had an art gallery on London's Old Bond St.
From an early age, he instilled a deep appreciation of the arts into his daughter, who went on to freely indulge in her passion, particularly for impressionist and modern art, when she was financially independent.
Mr Taylor was in fact close friends with Augustus John, and bought the Taylor's family home in Hampstead (where Elizabeth Taylor was born in 1932) from the Welsh artist.
When they moved in, many of John's works still hung on the walls. Elizabeth went on to inherit these works from her father.
At the start of the Second World
World War, Mr Taylor transferred his family and business to California,
setting up shop in the Beverly Hills Hotel where celebrities such as
Greta Garbo, Vincent Price and Hedda Hopper invested in works for their
Mr Taylor continued to stay in touch with Augustus John after
moving to the U.S., acting as his American agent, and corresponded with him frequently, in one letter referring to Elizabeth Taylor's shining Hollywood debt.
Camille Pissarro's Pommiers ragny, signed and dated 'C.Pissarro.94', has an estimate of 900k to 1.2m
Elizabeth Taylor, left, with her art dealer father Francis Taylor and mother Sara
In a missive marked 25 June 1943,
Francis Taylor wrote to Augustus John: 'We have settled down to living
in California and our young daughter is
by way of being a movie star, if you see a picture of Lassie Come Home
which will be released in September, she is in that.
'Also she may get
the lead part in National Velvet. Even if you are not a movie fan see
the Lassie picture it is in colour and is beautiful'
An autoportrait of Edgar Degas, stamped with the signature 'Degas', painted in 1857-1858, has an estimate of 350,000 to 450,000
Giovanna Bertazzoni, International
Specialist Head of Impressionist and Modern Art, at Christie's, said:
'Elizabeth Taylor was as passionate about buying art as she was jewels.
'Advised by her father, Francis
Taylor, who was a very successful art dealer, she bought extensively in
the 1960s, concentrating on the names of the zeitgeist: Van Gogh, Degas,
Renoir, Utrillo, Rouault.
'She was careful to purchase pieces
that were as eye-catching as the marvellous Van Gogh, as well as more
demanding and academic works such as the Degas self-portrait.
'Having grown up surrounded by fine
art and surrounded by her own canvases until the end of her life, this
collection of paintings was very important to Miss Taylor and provides
collectors with not only a very interesting insight into the icon
herself, but also an exciting opportunity to acquire important works by
leading Impressionist and Modern artists.'
Marc Porter, the Chairman and
President of Christie's Americas, extends the invitation of The
Elizabeth Taylor Trust – to Miss Taylor’s many admirers in Europe – to
visit the complete group of pictures to be sold from her collection,
which will be on view for the first time in London between 2 and 7
For more information, please visit christies.com for more information.