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.


Andrea Mantegna drawing

Rare Andrea Mantegna drawing estimated to make over $12m at Sotheby’s auction

11 October 2019

One of only around 20 known drawings by Andrea Mantegna (c.1431-1506) will be the highlight of Sotheby’s Old Master drawings auction in New York next year.

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Art dealers help discover original Anthony van Dyck portrait in Liverpool gallery

08 October 2019

A picture in Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery has emerged as an original Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641) portrait.

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A sleeper spotted beneath the Neapolitan dirt

30 September 2019

Despite surface dirt and other condition issues, a painting of Naples drew a dramatic bidding competition at a recent auction in Rome.

Cimabue art

Cimabue panel found hanging in kitchen to be auctioned in France estimated at €4m-6m

24 September 2019

A work spotted by a French auctioneer in a kitchen hanging above a hotplate has been ascribed to the Italian artist Cimabue (c.1240-1302). Valued at €4m-6m, it will be the first work attributed to the Florentine early Renaissance master to be offered at auction.

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Late career portrait by Jean-Baptiste Greuze emerges at Skinner

16 September 2019

A portrait of an unidentified young man by the 18th century French artist Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725-1805) will feature in the auction to be held by Skinner in Boston on September 27.

Joshua Reynolds portrait

‘Stolen’ Joshua Reynolds portrait at centre of controversy between UK family and Japanese museum

12 September 2019

A Japanese museum has claimed it bought a painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds “in good faith and without fault from a respectable art dealer” after it was identified as being stolen from a UK stately home.

Mawley Hall in Shropshire

Contents from Shropshire’s 18th century stately home Mawley Hall come fresh to the market at Cheffins

26 August 2019

The principal contents of Mawley Hall, the 18th-century country mansion described by Country Life as 'Shropshire’s Baroque masterpiece', will come up for auction in Cambridge next month.

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St Agatha returns to Osterley Park after nearly ninety years away

17 August 2019

A painting of the early Christian martyr St Agatha by Italian artist Carlo Dolci (1616-87) will return to Osterley Park and House in Middlesex where it once hung.

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Truth behind mystery Venetian view investigated by Fake or Fortune? revealed by art dealer Charles Beddington

15 August 2019

A painting thought to be by well-known Venetian painters Francesco Guardi (1712-93) or Michele Marieschi (1710-43) has emerged as an English copy, worth a fraction of its supposed value.

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Fresh ‘Constable sketch’ emerges from Holland Park home

12 August 2019

A sketch attributed to John Constable (1776-1837) uncovered in a Holland Park home is to be offered at auction in Maidenhead – the latest in a string of Constable sketch discoveries.

Portrait of Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Portrait of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge raises £51,000 at Gloucestershire auction

05 August 2019

It was a case of sitter rather than artist determining the value of an otherwise unassuming portrait that came up at Wotton Auction Rooms’ latest sale.

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Son of a slave paints saintly image

05 August 2019

While the vast majority of works at Old Master sales are by European artists, an unusual offering at Bonhams’ sale on July 3 was a Latin American work by a painter with Afro-Caribbean ancestry.

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Teniers ham dinner brings home the bacon

05 August 2019

Christie’s highest price for an Old Master this summer came in the stand-alone Masterpieces from a Rothschild Collection sale on July 4.

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Supply gain as London's Old Master series goes on the rise

05 August 2019

It may be a well-rehearsed refrain, but the Old Master market is much more subject to vagaries of supply than demand. Almost without fail, when high-quality fresh material is offered, bidders will come. Just getting it in the first place is the hard part.

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Call for fundraising to keep £10m Turner painting in the UK

02 August 2019

A JMW Turner landscape valued at £10m will be exported overseas unless funding can be raised to keep it in the UK.

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Fake or Fortune? Gainsborough mystery revealed as Philip Mould’s TV show returns to screens

26 July 2019

Art programme ‘Fake or Fortune?’ returned to TV screens last night for its eighth series with a mystery surrounding a possible Thomas Gainsborough painting.

'Walton Bridges' by JMW Turner

Turner’s Walton Bridges heads to Norwich Castle after being saved for the nation

19 July 2019

JMW Turner’s oil painting ‘Walton Bridges’ which sold at Sotheby’s in July last year has been bought for the nation after funding was secured by Norfolk Museums Service.

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Chiswick Auctions attracts more Constable consignments including £70,000 pencil landscape

15 July 2019

Just four months after identifying two tiny compositional drawings as the work of John Constable (1776- 1837) and selling them for close to £90,000, west London saleroom Chiswick Auctions struck gold again with a third ‘rediscovered’ landscape.

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Flemish flowers take highest price at Drouot so far in 2019

15 July 2019

At a €2.7m (£2.45m) hammer price, a 17th century Flemish flower painting was the toast of the Old Master picture results in Paris this year. It was also the highest price recorded at the Drouot auction centre so far for 2019.

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Sold for 914 times top estimate: £5m ‘Botticelli’ stuns saleroom

08 July 2019

Spectators at an auction in Zürich were left flabbergasted when a Quattrocento panel painting with a SFr5000-7000 estimate catalogued as ‘in the style of Sandro Botticelli (c.1445-1510)’ was knocked down at SFr6.4m (£5.16m) after an intense 10-minute bidding battle.

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