Pierre Bergé, who was both the business co-founder and former life partner of Yves Saint Laurent and who died last year, was a prolific collector of design, art and books. Now a huge selection of works, spanning from antiquities to contemporary art, which were kept between his four properties and gathered by both Bergé and Saint Laurent over 50 years, will go under the hammer in Paris next week at Sotheby’s freshly renovated spaces at the Galerie Charpentier.
Bergé, who was known for his outspoken political views as well as his business acumen, had eclectic, but exquisite tastes. Of the almost 1000 lots housed in Bergé’s homes in Normandy (‘the Datcha’), Provence (‘Mas Theo’), Morocco (‘Villa Mabrouka’) and Paris (Rue Bonaparte), there are 16th and 17th-century Vanitas, orientalist paintings and antique furniture in addition to Islamic, African and Asian art. Bergé was also known for his devotion to books and manuscripts.
Sale highlights will include a 1999 mirror by designer François-Xavier Lalanne (see above) originally created for the living room in Tangiers, a screen made up of six straw marquetry panels by Jean-Michel Frank, as well as and a set of eight palette armchairs by Emile Jacques Ruhlmann. The art on offer is pretty serious too: 10 paintings by the French Expressionist artist Bernard Buffet up for sale, as well as important Orientalist works by Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Noüy, Ludwig Deutsch and Baron Gros among a wider offering.
Madison Cox, president of the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent (Paris), the Fondation Jardin Majorelle (Marrakech) said in a statement: ‘A passionate and voracious collector his entire life, Pierre Bergé had a unique, heartfelt and genuine relationship with the multitude of objects, books, and works of art with which he personally chose to surround himself. Recalling both distant or familiar places, as well as souvenirs of moments or periods of his life, Pierre had the greatest pleasure in sharing them with those intimate friends that he considered his extended family. The contents of his various residences, while well documented, remained part of his private universe towards the latter part of his life. It is with a great sense of responsibility that the decisions were made to share them at this sale, and to continue the Pierre Bergé legacy.’
Ever the philanthropist, Bergé insisted before his death that proceeds of the sales should benefit the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent and the Fondation Jardin Majorelle.
‘Pierre Bergé: From One Home to Another’ will take place 29-31 October at Sotheby’s Paris, in association with Pierre Bergé & Associés, followed by a final auction on 14 December at Pierre Bergé & Associés. For more information visit the Sothebys website
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