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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Take a look at the bigger picture

18 May 2020

Auctions may be down in number but pre-lockdown sales provided some positive market signs

Greek bronze Corinthian helmet

Christie’s to stage ‘Classic Week’ as series of online auctions

14 May 2020

Christie’s has announced that its ‘Classic Week’ of sales in New York will now take place as a series of online auctions.

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Canaletto influence lifts William James' Venetian scene

11 May 2020

Work thought to be by studio assistant is regarded as accessible alternative to famous master

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Covent Garden during the time of Cromwell among lots to be offered at Sotheby's online auction

27 April 2020

Following the success of the dedicated online sale of works from the collection of Old Masters dealer Rafael Valls, which more than tripled the high estimate to gross £1.6m (see Art Market in this issue), Sotheby’s will conduct its mid-season sale of Old Masters as an online event.

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Sotheby’s online-only sale of works from Rafael Valls yields benefits to both auctioneer and dealer

27 April 2020

The London auction house holds its first online-only sale dedicated to a single dealer

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The Dutch kids are all right: child portraits continue to bring demand

27 April 2020

Unlike in other parts of Europe where portraits of children were a rare phenomenon, the Dutch Republic experienced a rapid increase in this genre of painting between 1500-1700.

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Old Masters migrate to online

20 April 2020

Aguttes’ drawings auction was one of the only sales not to be postponed after the coronavirus alert.

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Drawing on expertise of Fitzwilliam director

23 March 2020

Two Italian Mannerist chalk drawings emerged as the top sellers in a section of Old Master drawings and prints at Cirencester saleroom Dominic Winter.

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Trio of high-value paintings stolen in raid on Oxford college collection

16 March 2020

Three Old Master paintings, including Annibale Carracci’s A Boy Drinking, have been stolen from a museum in Oxford.

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Previews of drawing sales planned in Paris despite postponement of Salon du Dessin

16 March 2020

The Paris drawings fair 'Salon du Dessin' has been postponed until the end of May because of the coronavirus alert, but some specialist auctions that are scheduled to coincide with the event are still going ahead at the time of writing.

Salon du Dessin in Paris

Salon du Dessin postponed as organisers reverse decision to go ahead

13 March 2020

The prestigious Paris drawings fair ‘Salon du Dessin’ has been postponed until the end of May as the outbreak of coronavirus in Europe continues to have a major effect on the fairs calendar.

Salon du Dessin in Paris

Organisers say Salon du Dessin will go ahead despite new public events restrictions in France

10 March 2020

The Paris drawings fair ‘Salon du Dessin’ is to go ahead as planned later this month, despite the new restrictions on public gatherings in France.

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Pair of Old Masters sets new picture high for Woolley & Wallis

09 March 2020

A spectacular competition came at Woolley & Wallis’ latest picture sale as 12 bidders pursued a pair of Italian Old Masters which the auction house had spotted tucked away in a dark corner of the vendor’s top landing.

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Dutch marine painting outstrips estimate in New York

09 March 2020

The big result in Doyle's (25/20/12.5% buyer’s premium) latest Old Master Paintings and Drawings sale in New York was the portrait of Pauline Bonaparte Napoleon’s sister by Marie-Victoire Lemoine pictured in ATG No 2429 that sold for $310,000 (£238,700), an auction high for the artist.

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No dispute over its quality

09 March 2020

Included in a recent sale of American and European paintings and works of art sale at Skinner (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) in Boston was this 7¼x 12¾in (19 x 32.5cm) oil on copper painting, 'The Dispute'.

Hendrik van Minderhout's view of Ostend

Dealer Rafael Valls offers 100 Old Masters in Sotheby’s online sale

05 March 2020

London art dealer Rafael Valls has consigned a group of works to Sotheby’s which will be offered in an online sale next month.

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Flemish artist takes the long view

02 March 2020

It is safe to say that the canvas 'Panorama of the River Scheldt with the Silhouette of Antwerp', executed by the Flemish artist Mathieu Ignace van Bree (1773-1839) in the late 18th century, will not be the most expensive painting sold in Germany this year.

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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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