An evocative painting of 1957 by Renato Guttuso, Aranceto Notturno, was sold yesterday at Phillips 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale in London.
It fetched £170,100 including premium, starting from an initial estimate of £70,000.
Coming directly from the distinguished permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art New York (sold to benefit acquisitions fund), the painting was exhibited in 1958 at the Aca & John Heller Galleries, New York, the first Guttuso's appearance in the USA.
In recent months, several American Museums have decided to sell artworks to raise funds for new acquisitions or to cover operating costs, generating an ongoing debate in the arts industry.
Renato Guttuso - Aranceto Notturno
signed 'Guttuso' lower right oil on canvas 140.3 x 230.8 cm (55 1/4 x 90 7/8 in.) Painted in 1957.
New York, Aca Heller Gallery, Guttuso, 7 - 28 April 1958, no. 26, p. 31 (illustrated on the cover) Große Kunstausstellung München at Haus der Kunst, Arte Italiana dal 1910 ad Oggi, 7 June - 15 September 1957, no. 98 (titled as Aranceto grande) New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Recent Acquisitions, 30 January - 19 April 1959 Milan, Palazzo Reale (no. 106, p. 197, illustrated, p. 127); Rome, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Arte Italiana del XX Secolo da Collezioni Americane. La Mostra, promossa e studiata dal Museum of Modern Art - New York, è stata realizzata dall'Ente Manifestazioni Milanesi, 30 April - 10 September 1960; then travelled as New York, Santini Brothers Warehouse, 20th Century Italian Art from American Collections, 24 - 26 October 1960 New York, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, 14 May 1965 - 29 April 1976
Literature: Milton Gendel, ‘Art and artists under Communism. Guttuso: a Party point of view’, ART News, vol. 57, no. 1, March 1958, no. 3, p. 27 (illustrated) 'Painting and Sculpture Acquisitions, January 1, 1958 through December 31, 1958', The Bulletin of The Museum of Modern Art, vol. 26, no. 4, July 1959, p. 20 (illustrated, p. 13) Alberto Moravia and Franco Grasso, Renato Guttuso, Palermo, 1962, p. 121 (illustrated) Enrico Crispolti, Catalogo ragionato generale dei dipiniti di Renato Guttuso, vol. II, Milan, 1984, no. 57/68, p. 86 (illustrated)