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.


Lost Rubens could make as much as £20m

04 March 2002

Sotheby’s July 11 Old Master sale will include the re-discovered Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) oil on panel The Massacre of the Innocents, pictured right.

Il Parmigianino on a jpg

07 February 2002

Last summer Christie’s Old Master drawings expert Nicolas Schwed was sitting at his desk in Paris checking through his e-mails when he came across this 460-year-old face staring back at him from his computer screen.

Agnew’s fight £1.5m claim over Van Dyck attribution

05 February 2002

MAYFAIR art dealers Agnew’s are hotly contesting claims for a £1.5m refund over an Old Master which is at the centre of a dispute over who painted it.

£7m sales round off a bonne année

23 January 2002

PARIS: A prestige series of auctions held by Tajan at the Hôtel George V just before Christmas (December 17-19) yielded just under £7m hammer.

Old Masters

16 January 2002

The Tower of Babel was a popular subject with Flemish artists, and with the Louvain-born Lucas van Valkenborch (c.1530-97) in particular. He painted at least four versions, to be found in Munich, Mainz, the Louvre, and in the Beaussant-Lefèvre saleroom at Drouot on December 14, when an oil on panel Tower dated 1587, 28 x 35in (71 x 90cm), spiralled six times over estimate to Fr8.2m (£781,000), establishing an auction record for the artist.

Resurfaced Rembrandt set to be star of Maastricht at $40m

15 January 2002

BOUND to be a highlight at TEFAF Maastricht in March is Rembrandt’s painting of the goddess Minerva which will be offered by New York dealer Otto Naumann for $40m.

The glory of the master

11 January 2002

Rembrandt the Printmaker by Erik Hinterding, Ger Luijten and Martin Royalton, published by the British Museum Press in association with the Rijksmuseum ISBN 01714126268 £29.99 pb

Last Supper study to go to Fitzwilliam Museum thanks to art fund grants

18 December 2001

THE Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge is to be the new home for Federico Barocci’s £1.3m drawing Study for The Institution of the Eucharist.

Bernheimer to buy Colnaghi

13 December 2001

KONRAD Bernheimer, the Munich and London-based Old Master Paintings dealer has confirmed that he is to acquire Colnaghi, the Old Master paintings and drawings dealership. The gallery will continue to operate under the Colnaghi name from the existing gallery at 15 Old Bond Street, London.

The strange case of the dealer who went over the top

13 December 2001

Dealers often complain about the way that private bidders get over-excited at auctions and pay ridiculously inflated prices they wouldn’t dream of giving in a gallery. But for once it looks - or rather looked – as if a major player in the trade had suffered a serious attack of auction fever following Jermyn Street agent Guy Morrison’s terse admission that he was now the happy owner of £9.4m Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) portrait.

Reynolds sells for £9.4m

03 December 2001

A new world auction record for Sir Joshua Reynolds was achieved at Sotheby’s on November 29 when the oil on canvas Portrait of Omai sold for £9,400,500 (plus 20/15/10 per cent buyer’s premium).

Vermeer’s Camera: Uncovering the Truth Behind the Masterpieces

28 November 2001

Vermeer’s Camera: Uncovering the Truth Behind the Masterpieces by Philip Steadman, published by the Oxford University Press. ISBN 019215967 £17.99hb

Temporary export bar on important Barocci study

16 November 2001

ARTS Minister Tessa Blackstone has placed a temporary bar on the export of an important drawing, Study for the Institution of the Eucharist, by Federico Barocci (1528-1612).

Poussin’s strictly private appeal

22 October 2001

The rediscovery of a significant work by a major Old Master painter is always an event for the art trade, even if the work not obviously commercial. When Anthony Blunt wrote his monograph on Nicholas Poussin (1594-1665) this painting, right, of The Holy Family with St. John the Baptist, executed c.1627-28 when the young Poussin first worked in Rome, was only known from engravings.

Wells comes into Scottish spotlight

28 September 2001

Scottish painting is, as we know, one of the stronger sectors of the UK art market, but William Page Atkinson Wells (1872-1923) is not one of its better known names.

Rediscovered Poussin for sale

13 September 2001

A ‘LOST’ painting by the great 17th century French painter Nicolas Poussin has come to light and will be offered for sale by Galerie Koller in Zurich on October 5.

Bearing fruit, but is still life one of a pair?

30 July 2001

One of the great names of 17th-century Spanish still life painting is undoubtedly that of Juan van der Hamen, whose brief career as a court painter in Madrid spanned the decade of the 1620s.

Michelangelo’s thunder is stolen

26 July 2001

UK: After months of speculation as to whether Tim Clifford might be able to secure a private treaty purchase on behalf of the National Galleries of Scotland, Michelangelo’s (1475-1564) pen and ink Study of a Mourning Woman finally came under the hammer at Sotheby’s (20/15/10% buyer’s premium) July 11 Old Master drawings sale with an estimate of £5-7m.

Leonardo da Vinci's Horse and Rider reaches £7.4 million

16 July 2001

UK: A week of exhibitions and sales of Old Master drawings reached its zenith on July 10 when this miniature silverpoint sketch by Leonardo da Vinci appeared at Christie’s King Street.

A question of scale when it comes to ale

12 June 2001

If Hogarth had lived a little longer he might have bumped into the bibulous individual responsible for commissioning this c.1770 ale glass.With a capacity of nearly two pints, it is one of the largest of its kind on record. Drink the full measure, and the 14-ply spiral band in the opaque twist stem might begin to do just that, because ale in the 18th century was mighty strong compared to the milds and bitters of today.

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