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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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.

Rembrandt Van Rijn, Self-portrait, wearing a ruff and black hat, 1632, est £12-16 million ($15-20 million) -3.jpg

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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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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