1 February 2018 will see an exceptional selection of 14th to 19th-century European paintings offered by Sotheby’s in the Master Paintings Evening Sale.
Last year saw Sotheby’s offer some of the most unique, rare and exquisite works that the art and collectable world has to offer. This year seems to be no exception. The luxury auctioneers are kicking off the new year on a very high note. The Master Paintings Evening Sale will be offering Italian, Spanish, Dutch & Flemish paintings spanning from the 14th to the 19th century. The sale will be proceeded by an exhibition that opens to the public on 26 January 2018.
A highlight of the sale is an exceptionally rare portrait of Cristoforo Segni, Maggiordomo to Pope Innocent X. This striking piece was painted and signed by Velazquez and Cremonese painter Pietro Martire Neri Martire. The portrait was painted during Velazques’s second trip to Rome around 1650. In 2015 the painting was featured in a dedicated exhibition to Velazques at the Grand Palais in Paris after having remained hidden in the present collection since the mid-20th century The masterpiece is expected to fetch around US$3-4 million.
One of the most anticipated offerings is lot 27, Saint Margaret (estimate US$2-3 million). This monumental painting is an exceptional piece by leading Italian Renaissance master Titian and his workshop. Saint Margaret is one of only two versions of the subject by the renowned artist. Lot 27 was first recorded in the royal collection King Charles I between 1600 and 1649. The masterpiece was first displayed alongside the King’s most highly valued works of art at Whitehall Palace.
Another piece that has drummed up an enormous amount of international interest and excitement is Lot 10. The masterpiece, currently part of a private European collection, is the work of renowned German Renaissance artist Lucas Cranach the Elder. The subject, one of the artist’s favourites, is a striking oil on panel of the infamous Lucretia. His long-standing fascination with Lucretia resulted in over 35 versions of the subject that has been attributed to either him or his circle. This specific, truly unique, interpretation of Lucretia was painted during the artist’s early years, following his arrival in Wittenburg in 1504. During this time the artist was in the employ of the Electors of Saxony. Lot 10, painted between 1510 and 1513, sets itself apart as one of the most sensual and beautiful versions of the subject. This piece is an exceptional example of the type of erotic historical painting that was produced for private patrons in, ironically, the ideological and geographical epicentre of the Reformation.
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