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.


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.

‘Lost’ Michelangelo – appeal fund launched with £1/2m gift

19 March 2001

UK: A ‘LOST’ drawing by Michelangelo could be saved for the nation if a £7.5m appeal, launched this week, succeeds.

Sotheby’s expect new record for Turner watercolour

12 March 2001

UK: Sotheby’s are hoping one of the most important watercolours by J.M.W. Turner to come to the rostrum will smash all previous auction records for the artist when it comes under the hammer in London on June 14.

Doge of Venice

05 March 2001

ITALY: ANOTHER Renaissance magnate, the Doge of Venice, Antonio Grimani (1521-23). His (29mm diameter) portrait medal made Li2m (£670).

$280,000 Fragonard sketch

26 February 2001

US: OVERLOOKED in our recent report on the New York Old Master sales, this Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806) oil sketch for a much-admired, but now lost painting of The Visitation is worth putting on the record after it fetched an upper estimate $280,000 (£197,185) at the New York rooms of Doyle’s (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) on January 24.

Colnaghi’s take the wider view...

12 February 2001

US: THE January Old Master week in New York offered the opportunity to buy some exceptional drawings, but none was more exceptional than this panoramic view of Dordrecht, above, the work of Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691) offered by Christie’s (17.5/10 per cent buyer’s premium) at their January 24 Old Master Drawings sale.

Venice by Naya

29 January 2001

FRANCE: Venezia Fodaco dei Turghi, Carlo Naya’s moonlit view of the Grand Canal (c.1870), headed the Baron-Ribeyre photo sale on December 19. The albumen print, 161/2 x 21in (41 x 53cm), was dubbed in perfect condition and raced to a treble-estimate Fr55,000 (£5200).

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