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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Liotard portrait of British ambassador offered by Derek Johns

19 April 2019

St James’s art dealer Derek Johns is offering a portrait of Sir Everard Fawkener, a former British ambassador to Constantinople, by Swiss artist Jean-Etienne Liotard (1702-89).

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Paris gallery hosts ‘Toulouse Caravaggio’ alongside contemporary art installation

19 April 2019

The ‘Toulouse Caravaggio’ is currently on show at Paris Contemporary art dealership Galerie Kamel Mennour opposite a work more than 400 years its junior.

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Dorotheum in Vienna play it safe with Saint Bartholomew attribution

19 April 2019

In the 1980s, the 3ft 7in x 2ft 9in (1.1m x 85cm) canvas of Saint Bartholomew being offered by Dorotheum in Vienna on April 30 was tentatively ascribed to Caravaggio. The treatment of light and shadow and the extreme naturalism in the portrayal certainly indicate a proximity to the revolutionary artist.

The ‘Toulouse Caravaggio’

Catalogue released as ‘Toulouse Caravaggio’ goes on show at Paris contemporary art gallery

17 April 2019

The catalogue for the painting billed as the ‘Toulouse Caravaggio (1571-1610)’ has been published ahead of its auction in June.

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Two seven-figure French discoveries

08 April 2019

A Mannerist bronze after Giambologna and a rediscovered oil sketch by Peter Paul Rubens posted seven-figure sums during the series of sales coinciding with the Salon du Dessin fair in Paris.

Rubens oil sketch of St Margaret

Rubens oil sketch for church ceiling in Antwerp takes €1.3m at auction

03 April 2019

Discovered in a house in northern France, a rare oil sketch by Peter Paul Rubens created for an important commission in Antwerp has sold for €1.3m (£1.12m).

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Sotheby’s and Old Master dealer reach out of court settlement over disputed Frans Hals painting

02 April 2019

Old Master picture dealer Mark Weiss has agreed an out-of-court settlement with Sotheby’s in the case of a $10m painting the auction house believed to be a forgery.

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Early BADA 2019 sales augur well for London fair

25 March 2019

A pair of early George III carved walnut Gainsborough chairs, c.1765, were among the early highlight sales at BADA 2019. Offered from the stand of Richard Courtney in excellent original condition, they sold for a price in the region of £70,000.

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Constable cloud studies inspire Lindy Guinness exhibition at London gallery Browse & Darby

23 March 2019

Paintings by Lindy Guinness reinterpreting the cloud studies of John Constable (1776-1837) go on show at Browse & Darby next week.

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Rediscovered Joseph Wright of Derby painting sold to major institution in roundup of further TEFAF sales

22 March 2019

An unpublished work by Joseph Wright of Derby’s is among the further sales reported from this year’s TEFAF Maastricht.

Jan van der Heyden picture

Nazi-looted painting seized by Adolf Hitler’s photographer finally handed back to heirs of original Jewish owners by German cathedral

21 March 2019

A cathedral in Germany has returned a painting that was seized by the Nazis in 1941 to the heirs of its original Jewish owners. The work had entered the collection of Adolf Hitler’s photographer Heinrich Hoffmann and was found among the numerous works he kept in a castle in Bavaria at the end of the Second World War.

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Buyers go to great lengths to acquire portraits with a personal connection to the sitter

18 March 2019

Some areas of the secondary pictures market march to their own beat, appearing to defy the usual forces that determine value. Ancestral paintings are such a category.

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Miniature John Constable drawings deliver a big result at Chiswick Auctions

11 March 2019

Two previously unpublished ink sketches by John Constable (1776 -1837) excelled at Chiswick Auctions’ latest British & European Fine Art sale.

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Wright of Derby portrait of Captain Bayly bought by Virginia's Colonial Williamsburg collection at Sotheby's

11 March 2019

Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia has acquired a Joseph Wright of Derby (1734-97) portrait of an Irish veteran of the French and Indian War. The foundation bought it at Sotheby’s Old Master day sale in London in December when it sold for £40,000 plus premium.

Peter Paul Rubens oil sketch

Rubens oil sketch discovered in northern France offered in Lille auction

04 March 2019

A rare oil sketch by Peter Paul Rubens created for an important commission in Antwerp has been discovered in a house in northern France and will come up for auction in Lille on March 31.

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Promotional feature: Picture perfect for Maastricht – exhibitor interview with Mark Weiss

04 March 2019

Old Master art dealer Mark Weiss began exhibiting at TEFAF Maastricht in 1988. But for all the important 16th and 17th century portraits Weiss has sold at the Dutch fair since then, few are likely to have made a local connection quite like his gallery’s star object for 2019.

Flemish painting

Rare Flemish Old Master sells for more than $2m at auction in Philadelphia as Freeman's confirm premises move

01 March 2019

A total of 18 phones competed for a rare devotional painting offered by a New York institution at Freeman’s in Philadelphia this week.

The ‘Toulouse Caravaggio’

The ‘Toulouse Caravaggio’ – painting found in French attic valued at £100m to be offered without reserve at auction

28 February 2019

A marketing drive has begun for the sale of a painting touted as the ‘Toulouse Caravaggio (1571-1610)’. The picture was unveiled in London today ahead of its auction in France in June.

‘Venus and Cupid’ by Lucas Cranach the Elder

Trio of high-value Old Master paintings enter museums

25 February 2019

Three major Old Master acquisitions by museums have been announced over the last fortnight. They include two works that headlined London’s latest auction series in this category.

Anthony van Dyck portrait

Hungarian government helps Budapest museum purchase £5m Anthony van Dyck portrait of English princess at Christie’s auction

21 February 2019

The Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest has announced that it bought the Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) portrait of Princess Mary, daughter of Charles I, that sold for £5m at Christie’s in December.

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