Christie’s announce the auction of Old Master & Early British Drawings and Watercolours for 3 July

. June 23, 2012

Christie’s announce the sale of Old Master & Early British Drawings and Watercolours which will take place on 3 July 2012, during London’s Master Drawings week. Featuring a selection of works by Old Masters that have been recently discovered, this auction offers the opportunity to acquire drawings and watercolours which have not been seen in public for up to 100 years. Comprising 168 lots, the sale is expected to realise in excess of £3 million. Headlining an important group of newly discovered drawings by Rembrandt (1606-1669) and his school is A blind beggar with a boy and a dog (estimate: £50,000 – 80,000, illustrated above). This group of six previously unpublished drawings was discovered in the attic of a Scottish country house in 2012 and has not been seen for over 100 years.

The group also contains works after Willem Drost and by Samuel van Hoogstraten (1627-1678). An intricate drawing by Ferdinand Bol (1616-1680), Jacob and Rachel, bears all the trademarks of Bol’s style depicting figures in historic dress and also shows the strong influence Rembrandt’s work had on Bol (estimate: £20,000-30,000). This exceptional group is expected to realise a combined total in the region of £100,000.

Further highlights include a rare survival: a cartoon by Michelangelo Anselmi (1491-1554) for his frescoes in the Cathedral of Parma. The frescoes have since been overpainted but this cartoon section of Putti dancing with hoops hints at the elaborate design that once filled the vaults of the Duomo and is the only surviving segment of the cartoons. It is expected to realise between £150,000 and £250,000. Also on offer is a previously unpublished drawing by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770) estimated at £100,000 – 150,000. This large-scale drawing includes preparatory studies for the figure of Mars and for a prostrate captive, both of whom appear in the fresco of Apollo and the Continents above the main staircase of the Residenz at Würzburg, considered to be Tiepolo’s greatest masterpiece. Between 1750 and 1753, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and his sons Domenico and Lorenzo executed a monumental decorative scheme in this palace of the Prince-Bishops of Würzburg, which had been completed only a few years previously.

Coming to auction for the first time is an exquisite work on vellum by Jean-Etienne Liotard (1702-1789); Pensive Woman on a Sofa is based on a lost drawing of which only a counterproof is known, now in the Louvre. One of Liotard’s most compelling compositions executed on an intricate scale it is estimated at £400,000 – 600,000. The drawing was executed by the artist during his travels in the Greek islands and Turkey between 1738 and 1742. The subject sits in a pose which echoes Dürer’s Melencolia, with a crumpled letter discarded beside her, symbolizing the end of a relationship. Another pensive figure is seen in an imposing work by Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840), A Seated Man with a Telescope on White Chalk Cliffs, in which a tiny figure of a man is shown in a vast landscape looking into the infinite distance (estimate: £200,000-300,000).

Category: Fine Art

Comments are closed.