At Sotheby’s | Masters Week 2016

Posted in Art Market by Editor on January 23, 2016


Gaspar van Wittel, called Vanvitelli, Naples, A View of the Riviera di Chiaia, oil on canvas, 75.7 by 174.8 cm (estimate: $1.5 / 2 million)

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Readers may recall that Christie’s decided to shift its Old Master sales (rebranded ‘Classic’) to April. Press release (19 January 2016) from Sotheby’s:

Sotheby’s Masters Week
New York, 27–30 January 2016

Sotheby’s annual Masters Week auctions in New York will be held 27–30 January 2016. This exciting auction series features rare and important European paintings, drawings, and sculpture dating from the 14th through the 19th centuries, including Orazio Gentileschi’s Danaë, one of the most important Baroque masterpieces left in private hands, and two very special private collection sales: The Collection of A. Alfred Taubman and The Road to Rome. The Masters Week exhibitions open 22 January in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries.

The Collection of A. Alfred Taubman: Old Masters
27 January 2016 | 6:00pm
Master Drawings
28 January 2016 | 10:00am
The Road to Rome: A Distinguished Italian Private Collection, Part I
28 January 2016 | 2:00pm
Master Paintings Evening Sale
28 January 2016 | 6:00pm
Master Paintings and Sculpture Day Sale
29 January 2016 | 10:00am
Master Paintings and 19th-Century European Art
29–30 January 2016 | 2:00pm and 11:00am

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The Collection of A. Alfred Taubman: Old Masters
27 January 2016, 6:00pm


Thomas Gainsborough, The Blue Page, oil on canvas, ca. 1770, 165.5 by 113 cm.

Mr. Taubman’s remarkable collection of Old Masters includes rare pieces by two of the most iconic names in the history of art: Raphael, whose small Portrait of Valerio Belli, Bust Length, Facing Left (estimate: $2/3 million)—one of the last of his paintings remaining in private hands—is unique in the artist’s oeuvre as the only known profile bust representation, and Dürer, whose Christ Being Nailed To The Cross (estimate: $1/1.5 million) is related to his important series of drawings known as the Green Passion. Mr. Taubman’s collection also offers one of the strongest groups of Baroque works in private hands, led by Valentin de Boulogne’s The Crowning With Thorns (estimate: $1.5/2 million), as well as a number of classic 18th-century British pictures, featuring Thomas Gainsborough’s The Blue Page (estimate: $3/4 million).

Master Drawings
28 January 2016, 10:00am

Sotheby’s 28 January sale of Master Drawings offers a strong selection of Italian drawings, led by Giandomenico Tiepolo’s The Country School (estimate: $600/800,000) from his famous series of scenes from the life of ‘Punchinello.’ The auction also features: newly-discovered drawings by 17th-century Dutch masters Jacob van Ruisdael and Dirck Helmbreeker; major British works by William Blake and J.M.W. Turner; a series of studies by Ingres; a portrait of Jean-Claude Gaspard de Sireul (estimate: $120/180,000) by François Boucherand; and Guercino’s masterly red-chalk Study of a Baby in a Basket (estimate: $60/80,000)—one of an outstanding group of four drawings by the artist.

The Road to Rome: A Distinguished Italian Private Collection, Part I
28 January 2016, 2:00pm

The Road to Rome: A Distinguished Italian Private Collection, Part I comprises 35 view and portrait paintings that display a splendid overview of ‘Grand Tour’ taste. Throughout the 18th century, young aristocrats partook in the Grand Tour, visiting Italian cities including Venice, Naples and Rome as the culmination of their academic studies. Inspired by their voyages, many of these travelers developed an interest in art, sitting for some of the great portrait painters of the time and immortalizing their adventures by purchasing breathtaking view paintings. Many of the great artistic talents of the time including Vanvitelli, Bellotto, the Van Lint family, Hackert and Caffi directly benefited from the patronage of these Grand Tourists, and paintings by them will be highlights of the auction.

Master Paintings Evening Sale
28 January 2016, 6:00pm


Giovanni Antonio Canal, called Canaletto, An Interior View of The Henry VII Chapel, Westminster Abbey, 1750s, oil on canvas, 74.3 by 65.1 cm.

Orazio Gentileschi’s superb Danaë (estimate: $25/35 million) will lead the Master Paintings Evening Sale on 28 January. This undisputed masterpiece is one of the most important Italian Baroque paintings to come to market since World War II. Sotheby’s invited Pamela Romanowsky, writer and director of The Adderall Diaries, to create a film inspired by the work resulting in a beautiful and modern interpretation. View her film here: Reimagining Gentileschi’s Danaë.

In addition, the evening sale offers paintings by an impressive list of iconic artists: Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Pieter Jansz. Saenredam, Sandro Botticelli, Eustache Le Sueur and Jacob Jordaens, whose St. Martin Healing a Possessed Man (estimate: $4/6 million) is one of the most exciting Flemish Baroque rediscoveries in decades. Further highlights include Canaletto’s An Interior View of The Henry VII Chapel, Westminster Abbey (estimate: $5/8 million), dating from the early 1750s, which depicts an remarkable view of Henry VII’s chapel in Westminster Abbey—one of the artist’s
rare works of an interior.

Master Paintings and Sculpture Day Sale
29 January 2016, 10:00am

The Day Sale offers a wide range of European paintings and sculpture spanning six centuries. Highlights of the paintings include works by esteemed artists Hubert Robert, Hans Bol, Jan van Goyen, Lucas Cranach the Younger, Apollonio di Giovanni di Tommaso, Edwaert Collier, and Pietro Antonio Rotari. Sculpture and works of art from the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods include an important pair of Venetian 15th-century Istrian stone figures of Hope and Charity (estimate: $400/600,000) by Bartolomeo Bon; a beautifully-painted enamel plaque of The Annunciation (estimate: $50/80,000) by Royal enameller Leonard Limosin; and a pair of elegant Italian terracotta figures of Mercury and Minerva (estimate: $80/120,000), attributed to the late 17th-century Florentine sculptor Giovanni Baratta.

Master Paintings and 19th-Century European Art
Session 1: 29 January 2016, 2:00pm / Session 2: 30 January 2016, 11:00am

Part 1 of the sale includes works by European artists from the 15th through the 18th centuries, while Part 2 focuses on 19th-century French, Italian, British, Dutch, German, Spanish and Scandinavian paintings, with a selection of Sporting pictures.

Colnaghi’s at New York’s Old Masters Week

Posted in Art Market by Editor on January 23, 2016


Luis Egidio Meléndez, Still Life with Oysters,
Plate of Eggs, Garlic and Receptacles
, 1772.

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As noted at Art Daily (20 January 2016). . .

Colnaghi’s Winter Exhibition of European Old Master Paintings and Sculpture will be held in the prestigious New York Galleries of Carlton Hobbs, from 21st to 30th January 2016, located at 60 East 93rd Street, together with Tomasso Brothers and Carlton Hobbs LLC. This joint exhibition will represent the first Colnaghi’s show in the United States after its merger with the Fine Art Dealers Coll & Cortés (London and Madrid). The exhibition will coincide with the New York annual Old Masters Week. The aim of this exhibition is to display the latest discoveries and examples of masterpieces that have never been presented before to the American public.

Still Life with Oysters, Plate of Eggs, Garlic and Receptacles is one of the most beautiful works by the highly regarded painter of still lifes, Luis Egidio Meléndez (Naples, 1716 – Madrid, 1780). The painting represents food and utensils typical of any eighteenth-century Spanish kitchen, but in Meléndez’s hands the arrangement results in an image of timeless and sublime beauty. This composition was so successful that Meléndez repeated it several times with small variations. One example that is particularly close to the one presented here, although slightly smaller is now in the collection of The Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid. The work is signed and dated in black on the table edge at the right : Ls. Eo. Mz. Do ANNO 1772.

Colnaghi will also be exhibiting a Magnificat Anima Mea (My soul doth magnify the Lord) by the Spanish Baroque painter, Francisco de Zurbarán. The painting is signed ‘FZ’, and it has been dated by the artists scholar Odile Delenda between 1628 and 1630. This beautiful image was discovered by D. Manuel Gómez Moreno in the south of Spain in the middle of the twentieth century. After being rediscovered by Colnaghi it will be shown for the first time in more than 80 years.

Unlike painting, the art of polychrome sculpture is remarkable for the fact that many of its greatest masterpieces are not in museums but in the churches, convents and cathedrals for which they were originally made. Rather than being considered primarily as art works, Spanish polychrome sculpture is still revered today primarily for its function, as religious objects that are worshiped by the devout and carried through the streets during the annual Holy Week. But this fact has recently changed and a testimony to this shift is that museums have begun to acquire masterpieces of Spanish Sculpture. The Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired Pedro de Mena’s Ecce Homo and Mater Dolorosa from Coll & Cortés in 2014. They are now on display at one of the museum’s galleries dedicated to the Spanish art of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (Gallery 611). Notable for its outstanding quality is an Infant Christ by Mena (Spanish, Granada 1628–1688 Málaga). Carved wood sculpture, enhanced by paint and other media, including glass eyes and hair. Equally impacting is Mena’s highly sensitive Saint John the Baptist, made by Polychrome wood, glass and silver. The eyebrows, almond-shaped eyes and the modelling of the head and locks of hair that are softly carved to appear like modelled clay.