Van Goghs, Monets, Gauguins, and more to go under the hammer at Christie’s

The auction, with masterpieces spanning 500 years of art history, amounts to an unprecedented $1 billion from the estate of the philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, Paul G. Allen.

Breughel Five Senses Smell

The Younger Jan Brueghel, The Five Senses, Smell.

October 4, 2022: From co-founding Microsoft in 1975 to starting his first charitable foundation in 1986, from creating the acclaimed Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) in 2000 to launching the Allen Institute in 2003 with its game-changing scientific breakthroughs across brain science, cell science, and immunology, Paul G. Allen lived a life motivated by a love of ideas and making the world a better place. Mr. Allen passed away in October 2018, but the breadth and depth of his generosity and desire to continue improving people's lives worldwide even after his death will create an impact for generations to come.

Cezanne Paul mountain top

Paul Cezanne, La Montagne Sainte-Victoire.

Christie’s, and the estate of Mr. Allen, will unveil highlights from Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection, featuring 500 years of groundbreaking art. The highlights will be part of an unprecedented $1 billion sale across two live auctions at Christie’s Rockefeller Center beginning November 9, 2022. All of the estate’s proceeds from this historic sale will be dedicated to philanthropy, according to Mr. Allen’s wishes.

Claude Monet Waterloo

Claude Monet, Waterloo Bridge, soleil voile.

Marc Porter, Chairman of Christie’s Americas, commented, “This is an unprecedented moment, worthy of the collector and the artists whose work he pursued. ‘Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection’ brings together masterpieces in support of philanthropy on an epic scale. It’s hard to imagine that this is the result of one man’s passionate pursuit of excellence, but Paul G. Allen was indeed a visionary, and he was drawn to artists who shared his genius for seeing our world in new ways and explaining it to us by new means.”

Turner Joseph

Turner Joseph Mallord William, Depositing of John Bellini's Three Pictures in La Chiesa Redentore, Venice.

Mr. Allen collected art of the finest calibre, acquiring superb pieces by the world’s most iconic artists. The sale will include examples, often among the finest in private hands, by Jan Brueghel the Younger, J.M.W. Turner, Edouard Manet, Vincent Van Gogh, Georges Seurat, Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, Gustav Klimt, Georgia O'Keeffe, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, and many others. The collection reflects the pioneering work of artistic visionaries through their expression of paint, light, portraiture, and place.

Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh, Verger avec cypres.

Max Carter, Vice Chairman, 20th and 21st Century Art, Americas, remarked: “The Paul G. Allen Collection, like Cézanne’s breathtaking view of Mont Sainte-Victoire, is the summit of the mountain. From Brueghel’s Five Senses and the Venetian imaginings of Turner and Manet, to late 19th-century masterpieces by Van Gogh, Gauguin and Monet, Klimt’s Birch Forest and Freud’s Large Interior, W11 (after Watteau), arguably the greatest set piece of the last fifty years, the Collection is bounded only by vision and quality. And then there is Seurat’s Les Poseuses. Formerly in the collections of Alphonse Kann, John Quinn and Henry McIlhenny and featured in the 1913 Armory Show, when it appeared at auction for the one and only time in 1970, the art historian John Russell suggested that it was one of the three or four most beautiful works of art to be sold since the war. It remains so today."

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