The near-entirety of an artwork assortment belonging to Gérard Depardieu, the prolific French actor whose profession was clouded in recent times by accusations of sexual assault and harassment, was offered at a two-day Paris public sale this week that introduced in 4 million euros, together with charges, or about $4.2 million.
Over 230 gadgets went beneath the hammer on Tuesday and Wednesday at a sale organized on the Hôtel Drouot by the Ader public sale home, together with work by Alexander Calder and sculptures by Auguste Rodin, whom Depardieu performed within the 1988 film “Camille Claudel.”
About 100 folks crammed into the public sale room on Tuesday night time for the sale of the gathering’s most outstanding gadgets, together with a small oil painting of a flower vase by Odile Redon, which offered for €50,000, and the three small Rodin sculptures, which offered for €15,000 to €65,000.
The star of the night time appeared to be a 4.5-foot enlargement of “Walking Man,” a bronze sculpture initially made by Germaine Richier in 1945. The enlargement, which used to dominate Depardieu’s lounge, was hammered as much as €510,000 — however the public sale home mentioned in an announcement Wednesday that the actor determined on the final minute to not promote the sculpture, and withdrew the lot.
“This can be a critical assortment,” David Nordmann, one of many two auctioneers at Ader in command of the sale, mentioned in an interview. “This isn’t the gathering of a celeb who purchased paintings simply to point out off.”
Nordmann had beforehand labored with Depardieu when the actor sold off the contents of a Parisian advantageous eating restaurant that he owned. The 2 males stayed in contact and mentioned the sale his artwork assortment. Depardieu gave the go-ahead in early 2023, and let the auctioneer decide the items and set the costs.
“He liked to gather,” Nordmann mentioned, recalling how Depardieu spent hours telling him about Matisse’s superiority to Picasso the primary time he entered the actor’s residence. However “in some unspecified time in the future,” he added, “he reached the top of that course of.”
He has additionally confronted a rising variety of sexual abuse accusations. In interviews in April with Mediapart, an investigative information web site, 13 girls — actresses, make-up artists and manufacturing workers — accused Depardieu of constructing inappropriate sexual feedback or gestures through the capturing of movies launched between 2004 and 2022. Two different girls made related accusations in opposition to him in interviews this summer with France Inter, a radio station. Depardieu declined to be interviewed for this text, however has all the time denied any legal habits.
The turmoil in his private life might need factored into his resolution to promote, Nordmann mentioned, “however not within the sense that he’s attempting to show some extent” or distract from the accusations.
“He desires to maneuver on,” he mentioned.
Some gadgets offered at costs a lot increased than anticipated, together with a 1928 portrait by Christian Jacques Bérard that offered for €55,000 euros, 11 occasions the low estimate, and a monochromatic ink composition by Jean Arp that offered for €20,000. However most items offered throughout the estimated vary.
The gathering, which skews closely towards postwar abstraction and modern artwork, contains broadly recognizable names — a Duchamp collage; a number of pieces by Miró. Depardieu seems to have favored rugged compositions, daring colours, thick brushstrokes and uncooked supplies, in step with his larger-than-life persona, Nordmann mentioned.
He refused to lend items for reveals, Nordmann mentioned, together with the Richier sculpture, which was not too long ago requested for a show at the Centre Pompidou.
The sale didn’t embody any Depardieu memorabilia. However it attracted unusually giant crowds, each through the sale and beforehand, as hundreds of curious guests crowded the Hôtel Drouot to get a peek on the actor’s assortment earlier than it was snapped up.
Depardieu is considered one of France’s most outstanding and prolific lead actors, an internationally acknowledged determine who has performed within the final 50 years in additional than 250 films, together with “Cyrano de Bergerac” and “The Man within the Iron Masks,” and in TV reveals like “Marseille.”
Over the previous decade, although, Depardieu’s recognition has waned as private scandals overtook his performing profession. He grew to become a Russian citizen in 2013 to keep away from taxes in France, and has expressed a powerful friendship with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, though final 12 months he denounced the invasion of Ukraine.
However the accusations of sexual abuse in opposition to Depardieu have been extra damaging. He has not been convicted in reference to any of the accusations.
However Depardieu has been charged with rape and sexual assault in a case involving Charlotte Arnould, a French actress who has accused him of sexually assaulting her in Paris in 2018, when she was 22, throughout casual rehearsals for a theater manufacturing. Prosecutors had initially dropped that investigation in 2019, citing of a scarcity of incriminating proof, however it was reopened in 2020.
The French film business has grappled with a number of high-profile accusations of sexual abuse in recent times and brought steps to deal with them. However blended reactions to the #MeToo motion in France — which has additionally given a heat reception to artists accused of abuse — uncovered sharp cultural divides between France and america.
Juliette Guéron-Gabrielle contributed reporting.