Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Master Paintings Evening Sale At Sotheby’s New York January 30

Sotheby’s will offer works by some of the most celebrated names in  European  art  history  in  its Master  Paintings  Evening  Sale  on  30  January 2019.  Headlined  by  an  impressive  group  of  17th-century Dutch  masterpieces  from  a  distinguished  private  collection,  the  auction  also  features  standout  works  by masters including  Orazio  Gentileschi,  Pieter  Brueghel  the Younger and Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder.   

 Open to the public on 25 January, the sale will be presented alongside Sotheby’s Masters Week exhibitions of Master Paintings & Sculpture Day Sale, Old Master Drawings, 19th-Century European Art and The Gilded Age Revisited: Property of a Distinguished American Collection.  


At the core of this January’s sale is a group of seven paintings  of  impressive  quality  from  a  distinguished  private collection.

 Joachim anthonisz Wtewael, A Banquet of the Gods, signed lower left: J(?) V WÆL FECIT, oil on copper, set into an early seventeenth century oak panel, 6⅛ by 8⅛ in.; 15.5 by 20.5 cm. Estimate $5/7 million. Courtesy Sotheby's.
Leading this group is a remarkably well-preserved Banquet of the  Gods by Joachim Anthonisz.   Wtewael.  Its   elegant   forms,   classical   subject,  and  refined  technique  exemplify  the  Dutch  Mannerist  movement,  which  included  the  most  important  artists  in  the  Netherlands  from  1580  to  1620.  Praised  by  his  contemporaries  for  his  versatility and prowess, Wtewael was capable of working across mediums on any scale, though it is his small paintings, such as the present work, that are his most prized. The fine brushstrokes and the glittering  colors  in  this  copper  exploit  the  smooth,  reflective  surface  of  the  metal  support,  and  fully  reveal  Wtewael’s  extraordinary  skill.  

 This  painting  further  shines  a  light  on  this  artist’s  imaginative  and  inventive  storytelling,  for  within  this  small  composition,  nearly  50  elegantly  posed  figures painted in a kaleidoscope of color have been cleverly assembled for a heavenly banquet set within a glade and upon an elaborate arrangement of clouds.

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Jan van de Cappelle A   shipping scene  on a calm sea, with a number of vessels and figures, and a jetty on the left Estimate $4/6 million
This luminous  scene  is  a  particularly  evocative  and  successful  example  of  the  calm,  expansive  3seascapes that distinguished Jan van de Cappelle as one of the leading marine painters of the Dutch Golden  Age.  Bathed  in  a  soft,  warm  light,  this  remarkably  well-preserved  large  panel,  which  likely  dates to the 1650s, radiates a mesmerizing effect that transports viewers to the peaceful waters of the Netherlandish coast.

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Jacobus Vrel,Street Scene with Two Figures Walking Away (right) Estimate $1.5/2 million

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Jacobus Vrel Street Scene with Figures In Conversation  Estimate $1/1.5 million

An  enigmatic  and  mysterious master,  Jacobus Vrel  painted  quiet  street  scenes  that  speak  acrossthe  centuries in a way that  is strangely affecting.   Vrel’s works are incredibly  rare –  around  thirty  eight are known, consisting mostly of interior scenes, street views and one church interior, of which nearly half are signed while dated  examples  range  only  from  1654  to  1662.  The  artist’s painting technique –  a  straightforward  manner  without  glazes  or  other  refinements –  complements  his  unpretentious  subject  matter  and  suggests  that  he  was  quite  possibly  self-taught.  Though  many  locations  from  Friesland  to  the  Rhineland  have  been  sought  for  his  street  scenes,  they  are,  in  fact,  likely to be imaginary.


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Orazio Gentileschi
The Fall of the Rebel Angels
Estimate $2.5/3.5 million

Painted on a large piece of alabaster, this dynamic and dramatic Fall  of  the  Rebel  Angels  is  a  relatively  early  work  of  Orazio  Gentileschi. It  was  unknown  until  its  reappearance  in  2009,  when  it  was  quickly  recognized  by  scholars  as  an  important  addition  to  the  artist’s  corpus.  It  is  dateable  to  circa  1601/2,  at  the  moment  when  Gentileschi  begins  to  shift  away  from  his  mannerist  beginnings to a more naturalistic style, due in part to his burgeoning friendship with Caravaggio.

Taddeo Gaddi Saint Anthony Abbot Estimate $800,000/1.2 million

This  finely  rendered  gold  ground  panel  of  Saint  Anthony  Abbot  is  by  Taddeo Gaddi, Giotto’s favorite and most successful pupil. A mature work  of  high  quality  and  confidence,  it  dates  to  circa 1345-1350  and  presumably once formed part of a polyptych in the Florentine Church of Santa Maria Vergine della Croce al Tempio, along with other panels found  today  in  the  Metropolitan  Museum  of  Art  and  the  Museo  Bandini in Fiesole. In this panel, Saint Anthony Abbot (circa 251-356), a  hermit  saint  and  the  founder  of  monasticism,  is  visible  in  three-quarter length as an aged man wearing a plain monk’s cloak and cowl with remnants of his staff and its tau-shaped handle, he faces to the viewer’s left, with a downward gaze. He is expressively rendered with exquisite  detail  and  sophistication  so  as  to  wholly  capture  the  noble  simplicity that defines his character.

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Jan Sanders van Hemessen Christ as Triumphant Redeemer Estimate $400/600,000

 This intensely striking Christ as Triumphant Redeemer is an important rediscovery  from  the  corpus  of  the  Flemish  master  Jan  Sanders  van  Hemessen. Until only recently, the picture had been nearly completely over-painted,   thus   masking   the   incredibly   well   preserved   original   composition  lying  underneath.  The  powerful  rendition  of  the  painted  figure, its monumentality  and  idiosyncratic  color  scheme,  along  with  5the  technical  prowess  of  Christ’s  portrayal  all  point  to  Hemessen’s  work  from  the  mid  1540’s,  thus  making this a mature and signifi cant picture of the High Renaissance of Flemish painting.


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Vittore Carpaccio
Madonna and Child
Estimate $300/500,000

This  charming  painting  of  the  Madonna  and  Child  by  the  great  Venetian  narrative  painter  Vittore  Carpaccio  has  been largely unseen for most of the last century, known to scholars  almost  exclusively  through  old  black  and  white  photographs.  The  painting  was  seen  firsthand  prior  to  1928, but otherwise, all art historians who have published the  painting  have  done  so  based  on  rudimentary  images.  Consequently,  the  picture  has  remained  much  discussed  in  the  literature,  and  only  with  its  reappearance  has  it  been  possible  to  assess  this  panel  as  an  autograph  workby  Carpaccio,  datable  to  the  1490s,  the  decade  during  which Carpaccio had begun to establish himself as one of the  greatest  and  most  original  painters  of  Renaissance  Venice.

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Ambrogio Lorenzetti Saint John the Baptist Estimate $400/600,000

This  exquisite  roundel  depicting  Saint  John  the  Baptist,  despite  being  a  recent  discovery,  is  unmistakably  the  work  of  Ambrogio  Lorenzetti,  one  of  the  most  influential painters  of  the  early  14th-century.  While  the  paintings  of  the artist’s brother, Pietro, adhered to  a  more  traditional  6style,  Ambrogio  continually  strove  for  innovation,  looking  beyond  his  native  Siena  for  inspiration.  In  the wake of Duccio di Buoninsegna, Ambrogio built upon the invention of the older artist, absorbing the   advancements   of   his  Florentine  contemporaries  in  naturalism  and  spatial  awareness  and  incorporate them into Sienese painting.

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Paolo Veneziano Wings  of  a  triptych:  interior:  Saints  Peter,  John  the  Baptist,  Paul and a Bishop Saint; exterior: Saint Christopher and the Christ Child, and Saint Anthony Abbot Estimate $300/400,000 

These small panels constitute a highly important discovery and addition to the oeuvre of Paolo Veneziano, the dominant artistic personality   of   14th-century   Venice,   who   was   almost   solely   responsible for the transition of Venetian art from its Byzantine roots  to  its  own  distinctive  Gothic  style.  Until  recently  over-painted,  over-gilded  and  joined  as  one  to  form  a  kind  of  icon,  these  works  have  now  been  returned  insofar  as  possible  to  their  original  appearance  as  part  of  the  wings of a portable triptych. Both sides of the panels exhibit the finesse and intensity of expression -exemplified here in Saint Christopher’s gaze towards the Christ Child - for which Paolo Veneziano is most prized, and defines him as the most important artist in Venice at this time.


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Pieter Claesz

Still life of lemons and olives, pewter plates, a roemer and a façon-de-Venise wine glass on a ledge Estimate $700/900,000

The  works  that  Pieter  Claesz  painted  between  1628  and  1630,  of  which  this  is  an  outstanding example,  came  to  define  the  classical  Haarlem  7ontbijtje (breakfast piece). Their elements are not only very limited, but also biased towards objects such  as  glassware  and  silver  plates  rather  than  foodstuffs,  and  their  purpose  is  to  balance  the  composition, rather than to represent a meal.

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Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder
A Still  Life  Of Flowers  In  A  Glass  Flask  On  A  Marble  Ledge,  Flanked By A Red Admiral Butterfly And A Lizard Estimate $2.5/3.5 million

The  sale  will  also  feature  a  magnificent  flower  painting  by  another  pioneer  in  the  genre,  Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder.  Bosschaertwas  wholly  responsible  for  the  sudden  outburst  of  flower  painting  in   the   Netherlands   at   the   start   of   the   17th   century   and   this   beautifully  preserved  oil  on  copperis  a  very  fine  example  of  his  early  works.  Signed  and  dated  to  1607,  this work  is  little  known, having never  been  publicly  exhibited,  and  only  resurfacing  to  the  market in 1965.  

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 Luis Meléndez
Still life with a plate of azaroles, fruit, mushrooms, cheese and receptacles Estimate $1.5/2 million

This  outstanding  work  by  one  of  the  greatest  still-life painters  of  the  eighteenth  century,  Luis  Meléndez,  is  a  variant  of  a  picture  today  in  the  Museo  del  Prado, Madrid, that formed part of the celebrated series of some 44 still lifes commissioned by the Prince of Asturias, the future Charles IV, for his History Cabinet in the Escorial. The painting continues the richstill-life tradition  of  the  Spanish  Golden  Age  developed  by  the  likes of  Juan  Sánchez  Cotán  and  Francisco de Zurbarán, yet at the same time is imbued with a sense of modernity through the highly realistic  treatment  of  the  objects  themselves  that  reflects  the  prevailing  spirit  of   the   Age   of   Enlightenment


Spanning   Old Master   paintings   and   drawings,   to   Impressionist,   Modern   and   Contemporary  art,  and  exquisite  prints,  the  collection  will  be  offered  across   multiple   sales   in   London,   Paris   and   New   York   in   2019.   

Francisco José de Goya Y Lucientes, Portrait of the actress Rita Luna. Oil on canvas, 16¾ by 13⅜ in.; 42.6 by 34.1 cm. Estimate $1/1.5 million. Courtesy Sotheby's.

 Featuring works by Italian, Spanish, and Dutch masters, the collection is  led  by  a  small  and  intimate  portrait  of  the  famous  18th-century Spanish actress, Rita Luna by Francisco José de Goya (lestimate $1/1.5 million). Dated to 1814-1818, it was discovered in a cupboard in the artist’s home by his grandson. Due to its small scale – an unusual characteristic  of  the  other  portraits  Goya  was  producing  at  the  time    the  portrait  is  said  to  have  been created for the artist’s own personal use.  

 Additional highlights include a rare easel-sized painting of The Annunciation by the great Lombard 17th  century  painter,  Daniele  Crespi  (estimate  $300/500,000)  and  a  devotional  picture  depicting  The  Madonna  and  Child  with  St.  John  the  Baptist  by  Genovese  artist,  Bernardo  Strozzi,  painted  circa 1620 (estimate $300/500,000).