Paul Gauguin’s Painting Restituted to Ambroise Vollard’s Heirs Could Fetch $15 Million
Kanebridge News
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Paul Gauguin’s Painting Restituted to Ambroise Vollard’s Heirs Could Fetch $15 Million

By FANG BLOCK
Fri, Apr 14, 2023 10:34amGrey Clock 3 min
Paul Gauguin’s Nature morte avec pivoines de chine et mandoline Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Paul Gauguin’s painting, Nature morte avec pivoines de chine et mandoline, which hung on the walls of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris for nearly 40 years before it was restituted to heirs of early 20th-century Paris art dealer Ambroise Vollard, will be auctioned next month at Sotheby’s in New York.

An example of the artist’s early experiments with post-impressionism, the still life is expected to sell for between US$10 million and US$15 million, before fees.

Nature morte is among a group of four works that were returned to Vollard’s descendants following years of legal proceedings, Sotheby’s said in a news release Thursday. The other three include a landscape by Pierre-August Renoir, Paysage de bord de mer, 1884, with a low estimate of US$1 million; a red chalk work on paper by Renoir, Le Jugement de Pâris, circa 1915, which has low estimate of US$300,000; and a watercolor and pencil work on paper by Paul Cézanne, Sous-bois, circa 1882-84, with a low estimate of US$250,000.

All three artists, alongside Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Vincent van Gogh, and many others, were championed and supported by Vollard, Sotheby’s said.

“The name Ambroise Vollard is one that resonates deeply across generations of the art world, as one of the most legendary dealers of the 20th century,” Allegra Bettini, Sotheby’s head of the modern evening auction in New York, said in the release.

“Each of these works speak to his importance as a central figure who helped shape modern art and whose legacy is still felt today,” she said.

Pierre-August Renoir’s landscape Paysage de bord de mer Courtesy of Sotheby’s

While Vollard died unexpectedly in 1939 before the Nazi occupation of France, his brother, Lucien, who held close ties with the Nazis, and some other art dealers stole and sold thousands of artworks belonging to the dealer. Many of the pieces were sold to Nazi members or German museums and dealers, according to Sotheby’s.

Gauguin’s Nature morte was painted in 1885 when the artist began to pursue his art full time after losing his job as a stockbroker. This still life marked a point in the artist’s career when he began to experiment with vivid colors, a shift that Sotheby’s said became the basis of the post-impressionist movement.

At that time, Gauguin’s new direction got attention from both Vollard, who organised several major exhibitions after Gauguin’s departure for Tahiti in the 1890s, and van Gogh, who invited Gauguin to join him in Arles, France, a few years later, according to Sotheby’s.

The painting is “filled with rich hues and striking tonal contrasts, including the use of blue—something rare in Gauguin’s palette,” Sotheby’s said.

The four works were unveiled Thursday at Sotheby’s galleries in Paris. They will be auctioned at its modern evening sale on May 16 in New York.

Gauguin’s auction record was set during the sale of the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen last year. The 1899 painting Maternité II sold for US$106 million, with fees.



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The Great Wealth Transfer: How rich millennials will invest the billions coming their way

The younger generation will bring a different mindset to how and where their newfound wealth is invested

By Bronwyn Allen
Fri, Mar 1, 2024 2 min

There is an enormous global wealth transfer in its beginning stages, whereby one of the largest generations in history – the baby boomers – will pass on their wealth to their millennial children. Knight Frank’s global research report, The Wealth Report 2024, estimates the wealth transfer set to take place over the next two decades in the United States alone will amount to US$90 trillion.

But it’s not just the size of the wealth transfer that is significant. It will also deliver billions of dollars in private capital into the hands of investors with a very different mindset.

Seismic change

Wealth managers say the young and rich have a higher social and environmental consciousness than older generations. After growing up in a world where economic inequality is rife and climate change has caused massive environmental damage, they are seeing their inherited wealth as a means of doing good.

Ben Whattam, co-founder of the Modern Affluence Exchange, describes it as a “seismic change”.

“Since World War II, Western economies have been driven by an overt focus on economic prosperity,” he says. “This has come at the expense of environmental prosperity and has arguably imposed social costs. The next generation is poised to inherit huge sums, and all the research we have commissioned confirms that they value societal and environmental wellbeing alongside economic gain and are unlikely to continue the relentless pursuit of growth at all costs.”

Investing with purpose

Mr Whattam said 66% of millennials wanted to invest with a purpose compared to 49% of Gen Xers. “Climate change is the number one concern for Gen Z and whether they’re rich or just affluent, they see it as their generational responsibility to fix what has been broken by their elders.”

Mike Pickett, director of Cazenove Capital, said millennial investors were less inclined to let a wealth manager make all the decisions.

“Overall, … there is a sense of the next generation wanting to be involved and engaged in the process of how their wealth is managed – for a firm to invest their money with them instead of for them,” he said.

Mr Pickett said another significant difference between millennials and older clients was their view on residential property investment. While property has generated immense wealth for baby boomers, particularly in Australia, younger investors did not necessarily see it as the best path.

“In particular, the low interest rate environment and impressive growth in house prices of the past 15 years is unlikely to be repeated in the next 15,” he said. “I also think there is some evidence that Gen Z may be happier to rent property or lease assets such as cars, and to adopt subscription-led lifestyles.”

Impact investing is a rising trend around the world, with more young entrepreneurs and activist investors proactively campaigning for change in the older companies they are invested in. Millennials are taking note of Gen X examples of entrepreneurs trying to force change. In 2022,  Australian billionaire tech mogul and major AGL shareholder, Mike Cannon-Brookes tried to buy the company so he could shut down its coal operations and turn it into a renewable energy giant. He described his takeover bid as “the world’s biggest decarbonisation project”.

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