Works by Vincent van Gogh, Lucian Freud, Jasper Johns, Gustav Klimt, Georgia O’Keefe, and other major artists have been revealed to be part of the $1 billion collection of Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen that will be auctioned at Christie’s this fall.
News of Allen’s estate coming to auction was first reported in August. The tech mogul, who died in 2018 at the age of 65, was notoriously discreet about his collection. Details of Allen’s art holdings and where the collection would eventually end have long been shrouded in mystery. Now, Christie’s has revealed the top works that will be sold as part of the tranche of 150 works from Allen’s collection in November.
In what is billed to be the highest valued single-owner collection sale to ever come to auction, the works will be sold across multiple sales in New York that will take place on November 9 and November 10. Proceeds from the auctions will go to philanthropic efforts led by a foundation Allen set up during his lifetime. The collection is being sold by the executor of Allen’s estate, his sister Jody Allen.
Among the valuable works that will be auctioned range from those made by Old Masters to modern and contemporary artists. Two works produced in 1888: Georges Seurat’s Les Poseuses, Ensemble (Petite version), a figurative scene in the artist’s signature Pointillist style, and an orchard landscape scene, titled Verger avec cyprès by Vincent van Gogh, are each estimated to fetch in excess of $100 million.
Gustav Klimt’s Birch Forest from 1903, a landscape scene featuring a wooded area covered in orange leaves that was once owned by Adele and Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, is another of the high-valued works, estimated at more than $90 million. Allen paid $40 million for it in 2006. Claude Monet’s lavender riverscape, Waterloo Bridge, soleil voile (1899–1903), is expected to bring in an excess of $60 million. Also on offer is Lucian Freud’s Large Interior W11 (after Watteau), from 1981–83, that carries an estimate in excess of $75 million.
Other works by Paul Signac, Francis Bacon, and a J.M.W. Turner Venice seascape each carry estimates above $20 million.
Among the works with more modest estimates are sculptures, mixed-media pieces, and paintings produced by Louise Bourgeois, Jasper Johns, Georgia O’Keefe, and Jan Brueghel the Younger. Those works are expected to sell for prices ranging from $1.5 million–$8 million. Others by the likes of Rene Magritte and Agnes Martin will also be sold.