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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Swiss painter admired by van Gogh now sought after by collectors

20 July 2020

In a letter to his brother, written in 1883, Vincent van Gogh expressed his admiration for the Swiss painter Albert Anker.

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Another Batoni emerges from the wilderness

20 July 2020

Among the most important clients of the 18th century artist Pompeo Batoni was Domenico Orsini, Duke of Gravina, who went on to become Cardinal Domenico Amedeo Orsini d’Arago.

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Rubens among highlights of Christie’s July evening auction

15 July 2020

Christie’s will offer a work attributed to Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) during its ‘Classic month’ series of sales in London.

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How Old Master estimates work when it comes to loosely ascribed paintings

13 July 2020

Pitching a work at the right level is crucial to demand and price when it comes to selling unattributed or loosely ascribed Old Masters at auction.

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The web shop window: 18th century oil painting of Parliament

06 July 2020

Thousands of items are available to buy from dealers online. Here we pick out one that caught our eye this week.

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Art consultant's collection offered in New York includes Vinchon's fantastic falls at Tivoli

06 July 2020

On July 23 Stair of Hudson, New York, will be offering paintings, works on paper and sculpture from the collection of art consultant and adviser Matthew Rutenberg (1956-2019).

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Collection with a ruff appeal in Massachusetts

06 July 2020

Massachusetts auction house Skinner will be offering over 200 pieces from the collection of George H Way in its sale of European Furniture and Decorative Arts to be held from July 20-28.

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Coecke van Aelst sends right note to Old Masters market

29 June 2020

Vienna saleroom Dorotheum (28/25/22/18% buyer’s premium) was hoping to send a positive signal for the art market from its latest Old Master sale.

Greek bronze Corinthian helmet

Overall total at Christie’s Classic Week falls as sales pushed back until the autumn

25 June 2020

The postponement of three top-end paintings and objects sales meant that the overall total generated by Christie’s latest ‘Classic Week’ in New York was well down on previous years.

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Legal wrangle into disputed Frans Hals painting continues as investment firm wins right to appeal

17 June 2020

The legal dispute over a Frans Hals (1582-1666) painting sold via Sotheby’s by Old Master picture dealer Mark Weiss and Fairlight Art Ventures is set to reach the Court of Appeal.

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Auction action outside Paris with Old Masters and tribal art bringing demand

15 June 2020

Outside Paris auctions have also started up as lockdown eases.

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Old Masters bidders display appetite for works unattributed or with condition issues

15 June 2020

The lockdown may have reduced the number of UK auctions taking place but buyers have been looking more eagerly for opportunities at those events that have been staged.

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Punchinello comeback and pastels debut help to boost Paris drawings auction

15 June 2020

Christie’s (25/20/13.5% buyer’s premium) has held its first live sales in Paris since lockdown.

Thomas Patch painting

Old Master dealers consign works directly to Sotheby’s for dedicated online auctions

12 June 2020

Sotheby’s is staging two online auctions of works consigned directly from 39 different Old Master dealers.

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Rare Rembrandt self-portrait comes to auction at Sotheby’s

08 June 2020

A self-portrait by Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69) – one of just three in private hands – is coming to auction at Sotheby’s next month.

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Pick of the week: The bones of a fine Old Master drawing

08 June 2020

A black chalk drawing of a skeleton drew an extraordinary competition at a German auction house Lempertz at the end of last month. Estimated at €3000-3500, it attracted at least 15 bidders and was eventually knocked down at €420,000 (£381,820) to a French dealer.

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German collector wins battle for portrait of Johannes Draconites in Bavaria

08 June 2020

A portrait of a 16th century Protestant theologian and reformer surfaced at a sale at Ginhart (23% buyer’s premium) in Tegernsee, some 35 miles south of the Bavarian capital Munich.

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Buyer tracks down a Lely lookalike

25 May 2020

This portrait that emerged at the March 18 auction at Halls (20% buyer’s premium) of Shrewsbury appears to be closely based on Sir Peter Lely’s (1618-80) portrait of Mary II as a young girl that now resides in the Royal Collection.

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National Gallery acquires trio of 18th century pictures from late art patron via tax scheme

22 May 2020

The National Gallery has taken ownership of three pictures by 18th century greats Jean-Etienne Liotard, Thomas Gainsborough and Sir Thomas Lawrence.

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Versailles auction to feature portrait of royal architect

18 May 2020

This late-18th century French school portrait of Michel Louis Melan, architect to Louis XVI, will be offered for sale in Osenat’s auction titled La Royauté à Versailles to be held in the town on May 24.

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