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Feigen died in January at the age of 90.

Amassed over the dealer’s 60-plus years in the art world, the paintings and works on paper at Sotheby’s range in date from the 14th to 20th centuries and have a combined estimate of $11.5m-17m (though a few estimates are subject to change).

The auction will take place in New York on October 18.

‘Collector in dealer’s clothes’

Born in Chicago, Feigen set up his first gallery in his home city in 1957 before later opening in New York where he became one of the world’s leading dealers in a range of sectors including Old Master paintings, British landscapes and German Expressionist art.

Known for his many discoveries, he exhibited at many of the top international art fairs and sold works to museums including the Louvre in Paris, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the National Gallery in London. He also assembled an extraordinary private collection. “I am a collector in dealer’s clothes,” he said.

Last year, Feigen was among the dealers who consigned works to Sotheby’s ‘The Dealer’s Eye’ sales – two online auctions that gave the trade an outlet at a time when fairs and exhibitions were harder to stage due to the coronavirus crisis. He also offered five Old Masters at Christie’s in 2019, while back in 2009 he sold JMW Turner’s The Temple of Jupiter Panellenius Restored at Sotheby’s New York which was knocked down at $11.5m (£8.46m).

The works at the current Sotheby’s sale include a number of Italian gold-ground paintings by the likes of Domencio Beccafumi and Lorenzo Monaco; two German Expressionist works by Max Beckmann, of whom Feigen was an ardent supporter; and British landscapes and portraits by Thomas Gainsborough, Sir Thomas Lawrence, George Romney and Sir David Wilkie.

Another British artist featuring in the Sotheby’s sale is Richard Parkes Bonington who the dealer also championed and brought to critical acclaim. In 2018 Feigen staged the first major exhibition in New York dedicated to the romantic master and one of the major works at that show – a view of three palazzi on Venice’s Grand Canal – is estimated at $2m-3m at Sotheby’s.  

Max Beckmann - Large Quarry

‘Large Quarry in Upper Bavaria’ by Max Beckmann – provisionally estimated at $1.8m-2.5m at Sotheby’s sale of works from the Richard L Feigen collection.

Sotheby’s also announced another major consignment being offered in New York last week – the Modern & Contemporary Art collection from divorcees Harry and Linda Macklowe.

The 65 lots, including works by Alberto Giacometti, Mark Rothko and Cy Twombly are estimated to raise in excess of $600m – the highest estimate ever placed on any collection at auction. The collection will appear in two tranches at Sotheby’s New York, on November 15 this year, and in May 2022.