The Isabel Goldsmith Collection – Selected Pre-Raphaelite & Symbolist Art

Representing over 40 years of collecting, The Isabel Goldsmith Collection: Selected Pre-Raphaelite and Symbolist Art will be offered online between 30 June and 14 July, as part of the Summer edition of Classic Week in London.

Comprising 87 lots, the collection explores the themes of sleep, dreams, the soul and the afterlife, spiritualism, beauty, and literary and classical subjects. The selection of works by the Pre-Raphaelites and their followers include the star lot of the sale, The return of Orpheus by Sidney Harold Meteyard (estimate: £200,000-300,000), and examples by Edward Burne-Jones, John Roddam Spencer-Stanhope, Simeon Solomon, Evelyn De Morgan, and Henry Ryland.

The Symbolist Art offered includes works by Levy-Dhurmer, Fernand Khnopff, and George Frederic Watts; the sale also features a group of Scandinavian landscapes. With estimates ranging from £600 to £300,000, the collection is expected to realise in excess of £1 million. The pre-sale view will be open to the public from 9 to 14 July.

Peter Brown, Senior Director, International Specialist, Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite, and British Impressionist Art, 19th-Century European Art, Christie’s commented: “Isabel Goldsmith has long impressed me with the curiosity and delight with which she encounters works of art. Hers is a singular vision: many of these Pre-Raphaelite and Symbolist pictures carry a mystical or spiritual dimension.

This is an intriguing sale, full of the unexpected, which delights the eye and presents the market with rare opportunities to acquire notable works by Burne-Jones, De Morgan, Watts, Khnopff, Stevens, and Levy-Dhurmer. Watts’ ‘The Open Door’ (estimate: £10,000-15,000) is sold to benefit Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village.”

The Pre-Raphaelites And Their Followers

The sale is led by Sidney Harold Meteyard’s The Return of Orpheus (estimate: £200,000-300,000, illustrated on page one including the in-situ archive photograph from 1992). Further highlights include, from left to right: Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones’ Luna (estimate: £70,000-100,000), Simeon Solomon’s Death awakening Sleep (estimate: 10,000-15,000); Evelyn De Morgan’s The Field of the Slain (estimate: £30,000-50,000); Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones’ Study for the head of Medusa for ‘The Finding of Medusa’, 1876 (estimate: £15,000-25,000).

Symbolist Art

The Isabel Goldsmith Collection - Selected Pre-Raphaelite & Symbolist Art

Highlights include Fernand Khnopff’s La Médusa endormie, circa 1896 (estimate: £80,000-120,000) and, from left to right: Alfred Stevens’ Ophélie (Ophelia),1887 (estimate: £60,000-100,000); Lucien Levy-Dhurmer, La bourrasque, 1897 (estimate: £100,000-150,000); and Evelyn De Morgan’s The Search-Light (estimate: £70,000-100,000).


Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had auction sales in the first half of 2019 that totalled £2.2 billion / $2.8 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectables, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.