The week’s sales began Wednesday, with a somewhat subdued auction of Old Masters works at Christie’s. Most of the auction’s highly priced works, among them a rare, early Caravaggio, as well as a Canaletto diptych, failed to sell, and the highest sale of the evening was eventually split between Salomon Van Ruysdael’s Skaters on the Frozen River Lek, and a Jean Antoine Théodore Giroust portrait, both of which sold for the final price of $1,445,000. The auction house’s Renaissance sale was markedly stronger by comparison, where the final sales tally reached $15,776,875, almost solely on the back of Bronzino’s Portrait of a Young Man with a Book, which sold for the final price of $9,125,000.
Willem Van De Velde The Elder, Dutch Harbor In A Calm With Small Vessels Inshore And Beached Among Fishermen, A Kaag At Anchor, A States Yacht And Men O’war Offshore: A “penschilderij,” via Sotheby’s
Sotheby’s January 29th auction of Master Paintings was one of the week’s highlights, with the premier portion of the sale achieving a strong $57,142,500 in final sales. The sale was led by the record-setting auction of Willem van de Velde the Elder’s Dutch Harbor, beating out all previous estimates to sell for the final price of $5,429,000. A John Constable composition featuring Salisbury Cathedral was also an unexpected leader, bringing in $5,205,000 over its $3 million high. Also taking place later in the day at Sotheby’s was a specially curated sale of Renaissance works, compiled by dealer and scholar Fabrizio Moretti. The sale earned a final price of $6,466,000, lead by a Lorenzo Veneziano icon depicting Saint Catherine of Alexandria, which sold for $1,325,000.
The auctions will move across the Atlantic early next week, for a sale of Impressionist and Modern Art Works in London.
— D. Creahan
Christie’s Old Masters Sale [Christie’s]
Christie’s Renaissance Sale [Christie’s]
Sotheby’s Old Masters Sale [Sotheby’s]
Sotheby’s Renaissance Sale [Sotheby’s]
“Old Masters Week at Christie’s New York features rare painting by Caravaggio” [Art Daily]