The Rockefellers’ entire collection of art and artefacts goes under the hammer

Picassos, Monets and Matisses will be among the lots in the Christie’s sale this May

A 1923 reclining nude by Matisse ($50m)
A 1923 reclining nude by Matisse ($50m)

One of the art sales of the year, Christie’s auction of the collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller takes place in New York (and online) in May. Gathered over a lifetime and handed down from previous generations of the family, it encompasses impressionism, post-impressionism, English and European furniture, Asian art, European ceramics and Chinese porcelain, silver, and American decorative arts and furniture. Highlights include a Rose Period Picasso (estimate $70m), which the Rockefellers acquired from Gertrude Stein’s collection; Monet’s Nymphéas en fleur (1914-17; $35m); and a reclining nude by Matisse (1923; $50m). Selected items will also be exhibited at Christie’s auction houses in London, Los Angeles and New York in the run-up to the sale, and all proceeds will be donated to charities including the American Farmland Trust, the Council on Foreign Relations, Harvard University and MoMA.

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