Featured Lot: It’ll Be Gone Soon!

Edouard Cortès, “Pont Au Change Au Crepscule,” 1928, oil on canvas, 19-3/4 x 25-1/2 in. (c) Sotheby’s 2017

In this ongoing series for Fine Art Today, we take a longer look at the history and features of a soon-to-be-available artwork of note. This week’s lot is a great work from 1920s Paris. Have you heard of its maker?

Evidence of Impressionism’s influence is on display through the paintings of Edouard Cortès (1882-1969), who’s frequently considered one of the great post-impressionists. Born in Lagny, France, in 1882, Cortès would end his life having established a successful art career specializing in Paris street scenes. The son of Antonio Cortès — a successful Spanish court painter — Edouard was always on the artistic path.

As reported by Rehs Gallery, “It was at the turn of the century, circa 1900, that Cortès began to paint the scenes that he would become most famous for — Paris’ streets and monuments. One of the more prolific artists of his time, Cortès found his niche and stayed with it. His views of Paris are among the most telling and beautiful images of this genre; capturing the city during all its seasons for more than 60 years.”

Although most of Cortès’ works are similar — displaying crowded streets on rainy days with glowing yellow-orange lamps and streetlights — they enjoy a degree of popularity among collectors. One such work, titled “Pont Au Change Au Crepscule,” heads to auction via Sotheby’s “Master Paintings & 19th Century European Art” sale on January 27 in New York.

Captured at twilight and under parting clouds, crowds of men, women, and children make their way over a bustling bridge. Two large buildings set the background with towers stretching into the air. As expected, the scene is dotted with flashes of yellow-orange light, especially from a trolley, whose headlamp shines toward the viewer as it rumbles through town.

Completed in 1928, the beautiful canvas is expected to sell between $30,000 and $50,000. To learn more, visit Sotheby’s.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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