Animals are in the spotlight at a sale by auction house Sotheby’s in Paris, with several equine-themed lots among a range of works on offer.
The sale on April 22 is the first devoted to one of the most universal themes in the history of art. As a primary subject in art, the representation of animals bears witness to the importance of this ancestral relationship between animals and humans across all art forms, countries and periods.
Since prehistoric times, animals have been a major source of inspiration and creativity for artists. Wild or domesticated, real or imaginary, depictions of animals can be found in all civilizations, this omnipresence an illustration of the strength of their symbolic charge.
Of the 71 lots on offer, the sale topper is expected to be Giraffes in Mirage on the Taru Desert, Kenya, 1960, by Peter Beard. Its pre-auction estimate is €200,000 to €300,000. It is described as “a unique object, toned silver print extensively annotated in ink, with collaged photograph and profusely illustrated with paint and inks on the image, printed later”.
A patinated bronze and epoxy stone sheep Mouton de Pierre by François-Xavier Lalanne, is the next highest estimated lot, at €150,000 to €200,000.
A white marble Italian piece from the second half of the 18th century titled Sea Horses/Chevaux marins has the highest estimate among the equine pieces, at €70,000 to €100,000. It was most likely produced in Genoa, and is on a wooden plinth.
Among the other equine works, the bronze Standing stallion / Cheval debout by Isidore-Jules Bonheur (1827-1901) and the pigment print Zèbre de Grévy et Grue by Jan Gulfoss both have an estimate of up to €8000.
An enameled earthenware piece by Pablo Picasso, completed in 1952, is expected to reach up to €1500. Picador is from an edition of 500.
The “Animals” sale in Paris is at 2.30pm (CEST) on April 22. Those wishing to bid must register first.