Category: Auctions

Sleeper Alert?

April 15 2024

Image of Sleeper Alert?

Picture: Bonhams

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Multiple accounts on 'X' (formerly known as Twitter) had drawn attention to this painting catalogued as 'After Rogier van der Weyden, late 17th Century - Portrait of Philip the Good' which achieved an impressive £203,600 over its low estimate of £4,000 last week at Bonhams London.

And a Chardin Melon for Paris!

April 5 2024

Image of And a Chardin Melon for Paris!

Picture: Christie's Paris

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

And published on the same day (as yesterday) is news that Christie's Paris will be offering this Chardin Still Life in their upcoming sale in June. The painting, which had been in both the Marcille and Rothschild collections, will be offered with an estimate of €8m - €12m.

Marquess of Bath to sell £25m Titian at Christie's

April 4 2024

Image of Marquess of Bath to sell £25m Titian at Christie's

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Exciting news from Christie's London that they will be offering the Marquess of Bath's Rest on the Flight into Eygpt by Titian in their July Old Master Paintings sale. The painting, which has been at Longleat for just shy of 150 years, will be offered carrying an estimate of £15,000,000 – 25,000,000.

On the painting:

Always regarded as a youthful masterpiece by Titian and generally dated circa 1510, there are however some inevitable variations on the precise dating. In his 2012 exhibition at the National Gallery in London: Titian, A fresh look at nature, Antonio Mazzotta, who dates the picture to circa 1508-9, observed that the monumental figure of the Virgin ‘prefigures other Titian heroines’ from the period, notably that of Judith as Justice in the detached fresco fragment from the Merceria entrance to the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, circa 1508 (Venice, Ca d’Oro), a key early commission, and that of the Magdalen in the artist’s slightly later Noli me Tangere, 1511-12 (London, National Gallery).

On it's illustrious provenance and history (which is worth reproducing in full):

The roll call of illustrious provenance for this painting begins with it being first documented in the collection of the Venetian merchant, Bartolomeo della Nave (1571/79-1632), described in 1629 as a ‘mercante da droghe’, whose activities focused on the spice trade. Della Nave's inventory reveals an astonishing collection that is unlikely to have been equalled in Venice during his day and included no fewer than fifteen works by Titian, notably including The Gypsy Madonna of circa 1511; his Violante of circa 1510-15; the Nymph and Shepherd of circa 1570 (all in Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum); and the artist’s mature masterpiece of 1565-76, The Death of Actaeon, now in the National Gallery, London. In 1636, the Longleat picture was valued at £200 in della Naves's inventory, twice the amount for the Death of Actaeon, suggesting Titian's early works were more highly prized than their later counterparts.

Through Bartolomeo’s brother, Andrea della Nave, and Basil Feilding, 2nd Earl of Denbigh, King Charles I’s ambassador to Venice, the majority of the collection was acquired en bloc by the latter’s brother-in-law, James, 1st Duke of Hamilton and sent to England. Following Hamilton’s execution by parliament in 1649, the collection was sold to Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands from 1647-1656. The picture appears in Teniers’ copper panel depicting The Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in his Picture Gallery in Brussels (Madrid, Museo del Prado), where it is shown hanging alongside other works by Titian acquired from della Nave’s collection, among which are the Nymph and Shepherd, Violante, and his Christ and the Woman taken in Adultery, circa 1511 (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum), an unfinished panel that the young Anthony van Dyck had made a sketch of during his visit to see the Venetian merchant’s collection in 1622.

The Longleat picture remained in the Imperial collection – passing by descent from Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor (1685-1740), Vienna, to Maria Theresa (1717-1780), Holy Roman Empress, Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, to Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor (1741-1790) – and was transferred to the Belvedere Palace in Vienna by 1781, where it was looted by French troops in 1809 for the Musée Napoléon. It was subsequently owned by Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro of Novar (1797-1864), a Scottish landowner, amateur artist and one of the most important patrons of Turner. Munro formed a celebrated collection that included Rembrandt’s Lucretia (Washington, National Gallery of Art), Veronese’s Vision of St. Helena (London, National Gallery), and at least ten pictures by Bonington, of which the finest was A fishmarket near Boulogne (New Haven, Yale Centre for British Art).

Early Titians of this calibre are rarely encountered on the market, it will be very exciting to see what it makes. I remember seeing the painting at Longleat several years ago. It was hanging in a very grand room full of Italian pictures in which visitors have to peer behind a rope to view, not ideal viewing conditions. It will be a wonderful opportunity to see it up-close in the galleries during the preview, a rare treat indeed!

Nelson-Atkins Museum to sell $18m Monet

April 2 2024

Image of Nelson-Atkins Museum to sell $18m Monet


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City will be selling an $18m Monet from their collection at Christie's in May.

The ownership of the painting is slightly complicated, as the article linked above explains:

The museum, which only partially owns the work, will put its share of the proceeds towards establishing a new acquisition fund.

The Nelson-Atkins received this riverfront scene from Ethel B. Atha, wife of famed Folgers Coffee salesman Frank P. Atha, in 1986. The trailblazing Impressionist art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel first bought the work from Monet in 1891. It changed hands twice and ended up in the Athas’ possession some 50 years later. Ethel B. Atha donated the painting to the Nelson-Atkins as a partial gift, offering the institution two-thirds ownership while her family retained the final third. Following her death, that share fell to her daughter, Ethelyn Atha Chase, who passed away last September.

The museums Director's Julián Zugazagoitia has expressed that a new acquisitions fund could be useful as it “might identify the Monets of tomorrow.”

Dorotheum April Old Masters Sale

April 2 2024

Image of Dorotheum April Old Masters Sale

Picture: Dorotheum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Dorotheum in Vienna have published their upcoming sale of Old Master Paintings online. As usual, there are lots of interesting lots to peruse, including this recently reattributed Louyse Moillon (which had appeared at Roseberys in an uncleaned state back in 2021). The sale will take place on 24th April 2024.

Bonhams April Sale

March 28 2024

Image of Bonhams April Sale

Picture: Bonhams

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Bonhams London have published their upcoming April Old Master Paintings Sale. As usual, I won't spoil the fun by pointing out any lots in particular which may or may not look interesting. The sale will take place on 10th April 2024.

Sotheby's April Sale

March 28 2024

Image of Sotheby's April Sale

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Sotheby's London April Mid-Season Sale has been published online. As usual, I won't spoil any of the fun by pointing out any interesting lots.

Alongside the sale of Old Master and 19th Century works is the second part of Frames from the Richard Green Gallery (all sold without reserve).

A Park Avenue Collection at Christie's New York

March 27 2024

Image of A Park Avenue Collection at Christie's New York

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Christie's New York have recently published a single owner sale, called A Park Avenue Collection, which happens to contain some rather choice Old Masters that are worth looking up. The auction will take place on 17th April 2024.

Highlights include a St Petersburg era portrait of Vigée Le Brun's daughter (pictured), a Rubens oil sketch, a beautifully preserved Greuze and a dancing dog painting by Fragonard.

Amongst the lower value lots is this incredible evocative pigment-faded Simon Verelst still life, a painting which has a beautiful modern sensibility about it, I think:

Sleeper Alert!

March 26 2024

Image of Sleeper Alert!


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A reader has very kindly alerted me to the following painting catalogued as 'England (?) 1st half of the 19th century' which realised €59,800 over its €1,000 - €2,000 estimate the other day at Neumeister in Munich. The frame and reverse shows that the work had formerly been given to John Constable.

Sleeper Alert!

March 25 2024

Image of Sleeper Alert!


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The following painting catalogued as 'Genoa, 17th century' realised 110,000 CHF over its estimate of 10,000 - 15,000 CHF last week at Koller in Switzerland. Van Dyck was the name being whispered throughout social media. Let's see if it turns up anywhere interesting in due course!

Chicago Club to Sell Monet

March 25 2024

Video: CSB Chicago

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Chicago that the city's Union League Club, a private members club, is selling a $10m Monet to help pay for a rennovation project. The painting was gifted to the club by a member back in 1895, when it was valued at $500.

Graham Sutherland's Study of Winston Churchill Coming Up for Sale

March 22 2024

Image of Graham Sutherland's Study of Winston Churchill Coming Up for Sale


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Arts Council's website has alerted me to news that Graham Sutherland's Study of Sir Winston Churchill, a work of art which is under the exemption scheme, has a notice of sale on it. The painting, which appears to have always been in a private collection since it was completed in 1954, will be offered for sale at Sotheby's in June carrying a guide price of £800,000.

Hans Jakob Oeri Drawing Soars

March 22 2024

Image of Hans Jakob Oeri Drawing Soars

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from the recent Christie's Drawings sale in Paris that the following double portrait soared past its estimate two days ago. Hans Jakob Oeri's Double Portrait of Ludwig Schulthess-Kaufmann et Emil Schulthess-Schulthess realised an impressive €226,800 over its €15,000 - €25,000 estimate.

According to the catalogue note:

Born in Zurich, the brothers depicted here are depicted in their daily lives, engaged in two activities that are central to the family’s interests. The flowers in the foreground will be dried between the pages of a book held by one of the brothers, probably Emil. The reference to botany refers to the father, Leonhard Schulthess-Nüscheler (1775-1841), an amateur biologist and painter of flowers. The art is evoked by the instruments brought by Ludwig, which indicate the next stage of their work, when the plants are drawn after drying. The twins’ love of drawing carried them into adulthood, and they became amateur artists, focusing on the depiction of historical monuments.

Sell off the Period Rooms, says the Brooklyn Museum

March 19 2024

Image of Sell off the Period Rooms, says the Brooklyn Museum


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz: have shared news that the Brooklyn Museum will be selling off the contents of four period rooms, alongside 200 furnishings. The initiative is due to attempts to regain gallery space for permanent displays of 'Indigenous Arts, Contemporary, Arts of the Americas and more'. Regular readers might remember that the museum sold off a selection of paintings including Old Masters in 2020.

According to the article linked above:

“We know [the period rooms] are much beloved,” said museum director Anne Pasternak in an email. “We have been studying them intensively over the past few years, with input from outside experts as well as our curators, and the truth is that some of them are of lesser quality, duplicate comparable works in the collection, and/or require extensive conservation to be on display.” [...]

“Deaccessioning allows curators to refine and focus the collection, ensuring that we continue to display work that resonates and tells meaningful stories for our visitors,” said Pasternak. “Thus, we are very invested in making room for many of our great collections that have never had permanent gallery space in the Museum, such as Indigenous Arts, Contemporary, Arts of the Americas, and more. While it is always difficult to part with any work in our collection, the curators have been very careful to select objects that, while very good examples of their kind, will not diminish our collections by their absence.”

The auctioning off of the rooms and their contents will take place this month at Brunk Auctions in Asheville, North Carolina. 

I should also mention that the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York sold a selection of 174 lots of Chinese ceramics and jades yesterday at Bonhams. Click here to see the results.

Rediscovered Klimt on display at Daniel Katz Gallery

March 14 2024

Image of Rediscovered Klimt on display at Daniel Katz Gallery

Picture: @danielkatzgallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Daniel Katz Gallery in London have shared news on Instagram that they are hosting Klimt's rediscovered Portrait of Fräulein Lieser. The work is due to come up for sale at Kinsky in Vienna on 24th April 2024 carrying an estimate of €30 - €50m. It isn't clear whether members of the public can go and see it, or how long it will be on display for, but why not try your luck if you can't make it to Vienna next month! It's rather beautiful and slightly eerie how much Robin Katz (pictured) appears to have been teleported from fin de siècle Vienna for this photo...

A.W. Devis Indian Scene Soars!

March 12 2024

Image of A.W. Devis Indian Scene Soars!

Picture: Gorringe's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The following scene of Indian Weavers by Arthur William Devis realised an impressive £130,000 (hammer price) over its £5,000 - £8,000 estimate at Gorringe's today. An incredible example of the interest in such paintings these days, I suppose!

Modern Sales in London

February 27 2024

Image of Modern Sales in London

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The sales of Modern to Contemporary Art are opening in London this week. Christie's sales (branded 20th / 21st Century) open today, and Sotheby's The London Sales open tomorrow for viewing.

As ever, there are some very beautiful and valuable pictures coming up on the block. Christie's sales are led by an 'Estimate upon request' Hockney and a £30m - £50m Magritte. My personal favourite is this hauntingly quiet Monet (pictured), estimated at a mere £12m - £18m. Sotheby's sales are headlined by a £5m - £7m Signac, a £8m - £12m Picasso, and a £5m - £7m Joan Miro. More news in due course!

Rare Hercules Segers at Koller

February 26 2024

Image of Rare Hercules Segers at Koller

Picture: Koller

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Several accounts on 'X' (formerly Twitter) have pointed out this rare landscape by Hercules Seghers that it coming up at Koller in Switzerland. The painting, which was rediscovered and first published in the major Rijksmuseum exhibition in 2016-17, will be offered on 22nd March 2024 carrying an estimate of 350,000 - 500,000 CHF.

Sleeper Alert!

February 14 2024

Image of Sleeper Alert!

Picture: Vanderkindere

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

'X' (formerly Twitter) was awash with news about the following painting which was auctioned off at Vanderkindere in Belgium yesterday. The work catalogued as 'Flemish School, 16th century' achieved €202,000 over its €10,000 - €15,000 estimate.

Self Portrait by Marie Gabrielle Capet Coming up in Nice

February 9 2024

Image of Self Portrait by Marie Gabrielle Capet Coming up in Nice

Picture: La Gazette Drouot

Posted by Adam Busiakeiwicz:

La Gazette Drouot have published an extended article on a very interesting Self Portrait by Marie-Gabrielle Capet (1761-1818) which is coming up for sale in Nice next week. Capet, who was a pupil of Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, came from a modest background and eventually exhibited widely in pre and post revolutionary France. The painting, which is a recent rediscovery, relates to a much larger variant now in the Neue Pinakothek, Munich. It will be offered on 15th February 2024 carrying and estimate of  €15,000 -  €20,000.

Update - The painting realised €310,000!

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