Lot Details & Additional Photographs
Oil on canvas, signed in Farsi at lower center, signed and dated 1961 on the verso, presented in a gilt floater frame.
DOA 48 x 32.5 in.
Estate of the Late Evangeline Brewster Johnson Merrill and by descent to the consignor
Sohrab Sepehri is among Iran's greatest 20th century poets and contemporary painters. This painting has been in a private collection for over forty years. Fittingly it reemerges during a renaissance of interest in Iranian modernist artist, corresponding with the new "Iran Modern" exhibition at the Asia Society in New York. Daughter of Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical founder, Robert Wood Johnson, Evangeline Brewster Johnson Merrill was a prominent supporter of the arts at a very early point in her life. In 1943, she was made a Fellow in Perpetuity of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; throughout her life she was a patron of several museums, including the Peabody Museum of Yale University. Her philosophy and passion for art is well defined in a letter to a family member dated January 20, 1970, in which she seeks support for The Norton Gallery, "Art, together with Science, constitutes the highest form of human evolution, and I think you will agree that their preservation and development become a most important civic responsibility of us all. Museums preserve the inspired art of the past and the challenging art of the present in order to stimulate and enlarge our culture pattern." Evangeline was particularly interested in promoting contemporary artists, encountering many throughout her travels and work with the United Nations. She had a particular interest in Middle Eastern and Continental artists, as illustrated in the collection offered here. She lived with her collection, sharing it with others while entertaining at her home. Numerous works from her collection, by such important artists as Klee and Kandinsky, are in the collections of MOMA and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Scattered paint flaking; several small water spots; puncture / tear in lower right quadrant (approximately 3/4 inch in length).
$30,000 - 50,000