Is this a Rubens?

September 23 2020

Image of Is this a Rubens?

Picture: Hammersite

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

This drawing made $24,000 yesterday over its $2k - $4k estimate at Hammersite auctions in Tel Aviv yesterday. The auctioneer had catalogued the Woodland Scene as by 'Peter Paul Rubens'.

I'm not sure what the rules are Israel regarding the legalities of catalogue notes, but, in the UK at least if you are auctioning off a work and giving it to an artist in full (no added 'attributed to' or 'Follower of' etc.) then the buyer has the opportunity of legal recourse if it shown to be otherwise. This is why the big auction houses have so many bits of legal text at the back of their printed catalogues.

The auction house had drawn a comparison to this sheet in the Ashomolean Museum in Oxford, which is a recognised work by Rubens. The work also bore provenance linking it to the Estate of Isidor Kaiser, Copenhagen-Hamburg.

As the old saying goes, Caveat emptor.

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