A sale of works that belonged to the late Swiss art dealer Ernst Beyeler, which include Picassos and a huge Monet, could fetch more than $50 million (SFr42 million).
Also represented at the auction, at Christie’s London on June 21-22, are smaller gems providing a more intimate picture of the life of Beyeler and his wife Hildy. The proceeds will benefit the Beyeler Foundation museum near Basel.
A good eye
Museum in RiehenIn 1982 he and his wife created the Beyeler Foundation to which they donated their collection. Architect Renzo Piano designed a home for it in Riehen, near Basel, and the museum opened to the public in 1997. “We would hope to achieve in excess of $50 million in the sale order to help the Beyeler Foundation,” said Rumbler, who described the museum as being of exceptional quality. The sale and the distribution of the proceeds are being carried out according to Beyeler’s wishes set out in his will. He died on February 25, 2010 at age 88, two years after Hildy, whom Rumbler points out played a key role in Beyeler’s success. No works from the museum are being sold. The auction’s highlights include Monet’s Nymphéas, painted between 1916 and 1919, and Picasso’s Buste de Françoise, a great colorist portrait of 1946.
Also being sold are some more personal items like Wood Stabile by Alexander Calder, which always sat either on or beside Beyeler’s desk, and a Paul Klee watercolour, Parklandschaft, which hung above his bedside table in Basel for more than 50 years.