Christie’s Old Master & British Drawings sale on January 24 is comprised of 131 lots including works from distinguished private collections and institutions. Important works leading the sale are
Francisco de Goya’s Hunter with his dog in a landscape
PETER PAUL RUBENS (Siegen 1577-1640 Antwerp), Scipio Africanus welcomed outside the gates of Rome, after Giulio Romano, black chalk, pen and ink, brown wash, grey, cream, white and touches of green bodycolor with heightening in oil. Estimate: $500,000-700,000.
and a lavish design by Peter Paul Rubens inspired by a composition by Renaissance artist Giulio Romano.
The sale features a strong selection of Italian drawings including studies by Giacomo Cavedone, Parmigianino and Taddeo Zuccaro, together with several works inspired by Michelangelo by Battista Franco, Giulio Clovio and Cesare da Sesto’s early study after the Sistine ceiling. Works by Piazzetta, Giovanni Battista and Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, Piranesi and Francesco Guardi constitute the highlights of an outstanding selection of Venetian drawings.
Highlights from the British section include A male nude by Henry Fuseli, and works by Gainsborough and Burne-Jones. Charles de la Fosse’s preparatory study for the painting The Virgin’s Coronation with a selection of nineteenth-century works round out the sale.
The sale of Old Master Prints encompasses 220 prints from five centuries, offering an in-depth survey of the printed image in Europe, from Martin Schongauer’s (1450-1491) engravings created in the 1470s to
a View of San Francisco by the French Charles Meryon (1821-1868), printed around 1855.
Classic prints by the most celebrated and widely collected artist-printmakers, including Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), Rembrandt (1606-1669), and Francisco de Goya (1746-1828), stand side by side with extreme rarities, such as an anonymous, hand-coloured woodcut of the Virgin nursing the Child, printed in Northern Italy around 1530; one of a few surviving devotional prints of the period.
The estimates vary as much as the dimensions of the works: the exquisite little engravings by Hans Sebald Beham (1500-1550) are the size of a postage stamp, while the monumental woodcut
AFTER TIZIANO VECELLIO, CALLED TITIAN (CIRCA 1488-1576), The Submersion of Pharaoh’s Army in the Red Sea the complete woodcut printed from 12 blocks, circa 1514-15. Estimate: $200,000-300,000.
The Submersion of Pharaoh’s Army (estimate: $200,000-300,000) after a design by Titian leads the sale and fills an entire wall in its scale.