Our cover this month, Henri Matisse’s “Mlle. Matisse en Manteau Écossais” (29 in. by 215/8 in.), sold for $13.69 million at Sotheby’s The Collection of A. Alfred Taubman: Masterworks auction in New York on Nov. 4, 2015. Taubman, the former chairman of the famed auction house, passed away in April at the age of 91. The sale of his personal collection, which also includes works by iconic artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Mark Rothko, has been highly anticipated, as little had been previously known about what artwork comprised his estate. The proceeds of the sale will be used to pay estate taxes and fund his charitable foundation.
Matisse was one of the most influential artists of his time, so many may find it surprising that he was initially educated as a lawyer and only developed an interest in art at the age of 21, after his mother bought him art supplies to help pass the time while he recovered from appendicitis. His career change was a disappointment to his practical father, but Matisse wasn’t discouraged from pursuing his newfound passion. The subject of our featured painting is Matisse’s only daughter, Marguerite, and the portrait exemplifies his unequivocal talent as a colorist. He initially worked in a very traditional style, mimicking the masters that he studied, but went on to experiment with more unconventional techniques.
Advisors should view estate planning as a form of art, adding innovative methods to their palette rather than dismissing them as eccentric (after all, as you’ll read in this issue, who would’ve thought trusts for our beloved pets would become common place?)