Old Masters

Traditionally this sector is defined as works by master painters working in Europe from before 1800. It includes Renaissance artists and Dutch Golden Age painters for example. Today Old Master auctions in London and New York will include works by British artists as well as some 19th century works.


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Varley the watercolour wonder

17 February 2020

Group of paintings by one of the less well-known masters of the medium comes to light

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Portrait of Napoleon’s sister sells in New York

10 February 2020

This large and imposing portrait of Pauline Bonaparte, the younger sister of Napoleon, sold for$310,000 (£238,700) in New York last week.

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Mantegna and Tiepolo make the difference in ‘highest NY Old Master total in five years’

03 February 2020

Two key consignments, one painting and one drawing, lifted the latest Old Master series in New York to the highest total for five years.

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Research adds value for Giuseppe de Ribeira portrait in Paris saleroom

03 February 2020

A newly discovered painting by Giuseppe de Ribeira (1591-1652) has been uncovered in a private home by the Paris auction firm Daguerre.

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Punchinello visits Paris as Tiepolo is key name at Christie's drawings sale

03 February 2020

March is when Paris turns its attention to the world of drawings and works on paper.

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Grotesque figures on 16th century engraving delight a buyer

03 February 2020

Populated with grotesque figures, this 16th century engraving after the early Flemish painter Hieronymus Bosch (c.1450-1516) sold for £16,000 at auction in London.

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Art Detective: help identify a mystery portrait of Anne Clive

20 January 2020

In the latest feature on mystery works the Art UK charity is seeking help to identify, we focus on a portrait of Anne Clive, the honourable Mrs George Sempill.

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Napoleonic family value at Doyle auction

20 January 2020

The Old Master paintings section of the sale taking place at Doyle in New York on February 5 will include this large and imposing portrait of Pauline Bonaparte, the younger sister of Napoleon.

A lawyer writes: Hals or not, ‘reasonable and rational’ wins out

20 January 2020

The most interesting recent art world case to find its way to trial, with judgment given in December 2019, was Sotheby’s vs Mark Weiss Limited (‘MWL’) and Fairlight Art Ventures Limited (‘Fairlight’).

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US auctions: New York series of Old Master drawings includes 'triumphant' equestrian studies

20 January 2020

Sotheby’s holds the first of its New York series of Old Master paintings and drawings at the end of January with its Masters Week sales running from January 24-31.

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Old Masters – it’s a world of finite resources

13 January 2020

Dearth of fresh works coming to the market is a challenge for Old Master auction series.

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Gérard emerges out of the shadow of Fragonard

13 January 2020

Only recently has the name Marguerite Gérard (1761-1837) re-emerged from the long shadow cast by her brother-in-law and tutor, Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806).

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Previews: £3000 - £5000

13 January 2020

Our weekly selection from salerooms.

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Old Master specialist hosts seminar on the art of connoisseurship

11 January 2020

An Old Master specialist previously at Sotheby’s is hosting a seminar on connoisseurship and its role in the art world at Olympia Auctions in west London later this month.

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Regent’s treat: Rediscovered Prince of Wales portrait sold for €325,000

06 January 2020

This rediscovered drawing of the future George IV (1762-1830) is believed to have been owned by his true love Maria Fitzherbert (1756-1837).

Sense of Taste by Michael Sweerts

Senses and sensibility – Trio of Michael Sweerts portraits emerge over two months

06 January 2020

Several portraits by the 17th century Flemish artist Michael Sweerts (1618-64) have been achieving six-figure sums at auctions in Europe recently.

‘The mocking of Christ’ by Cimabue

France blocks export of €19.5m Cimabue panel following sale to overseas buyer

03 January 2020

The French government has blocked the export of ‘The mocking of Christ’, a medieval panel by Cenni di Pepo (known as Cimabue) that sold in October for €19.5m plus premium at auction house Actéon.

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Government issues export bar for £8m Gainsborough landscape in hope of finding UK buyer

02 January 2020

The owner of a Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88) painting has been temporarily prevented from exporting the picture by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

‘The mocking of Christ’ by Cimabue

Six top Old Masters sold at auction in 2019

30 December 2019

This year has seen some notable action in the Old Master market including some major rediscoveries which led to some extraordinary bidding at auction. Here ATG picks out six highlights sold across 2019.

Hals

Sotheby’s wins court case over a disputed €10m ‘Frans Hals’ painting

11 December 2019

Auction house Sotheby’s has won its case against Fairlight Art Ventures, the former business partner of Old Master picture dealer Mark Weiss, over a Frans Hals (1582-1666) painting that the auction house now deems is a fake.

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