William Bouguereau, L’Amour et Psyché, 1899, est. $1.8/2.2 million

This spring, Sotheby’s will bring to the market a superb work by iconic French Academic painter William Bouguereau. ‘L’Amour et Psyché’, dated 1899, is estimated at $1.8/2.2 million and will be featured in the 23 April sale of 19th Century European Art. Sold from a Distinguished Private Collection, the painting has been off the market for almost half a century. Its last known public exhibition was at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900. Continue Reading »


Andy Warhol, Self Portrait, 1986, 108 x 108 in, Est. $10/15 million

An iconic and rare Self Portrait by Andy Warhol, executed in 1986 just prior to his unexpected death the following year, will be offered by Sotheby’s on the evening of 12 May 2010 in a sale of Contemporary Art. The painting is from Warhol’s final series of Self Portraits – widely acknowledged as the most important of his career. The monumental canvas, measuring 108 x 108 in., is one of only a handful executed by the artist and one of only two that are known to be privately held. Estimated to sell for $10/15 million, the painting will be shown in Hong Kong and London prior to its exhibition and sale in New York. Continue Reading »

Jeune femme à la fontaine by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (est. £800,000-1,200,000)

On Wednesday, June 2, 2010,  Sotheby’s London will offer for sale one of the finest figure paintings by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875) ever to have appeared on the market. Estimated at £800,000-1,200,000, “Jeune femme à la fontaine” enjoyed an exceptional early provenance before it was requisitioned during the Nazi period. It has now been restituted to the heirs of its erstwhile owners and will be one of the centrepieces of Sotheby’s forthcoming sale of 19th Century Paintings.

Jeune femme à la fontaine’s journey through history provides a story that is as compelling as those behind the restituted works by Gustav Klimt and Hendrick Goltzius recently sold at Sotheby’s. The first owner was Ernst Hoschedé (d. 1891), an important early patron of Claude Monet, from whom he commissioned decorative panels for his residence just south of Paris, the Château de Rottembourg in Montgeron. Following financial difficulties, the Hoschedé family moved into a house in Vétheuil with Monet, his wife Camille and his children. Hoschedé’s wife, Alice, eventually married Monet following their respective spouses’ deaths.

The second owner was Charles Alluaud (1861-1949), scion of the family that had directed the porcelain factory in Limoges since the eighteenth century. During his childhood, he and his brother, Eugène, had received painting instruction from Corot himself and it is likely that this relationship led to Alluaud’s acquisition of the present work.

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Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto, Pablo Picasso, 1903

Christie’s announce that they will offer an exceptionally important and highly celebrated masterpiece by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) in the evening auction of Impressionist and Modern Art in London on 23 June 2010.

Painted by the most influential artist of the 20th century, Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto, 1903 comes from the artist’s celebrated Blue Period, arguably the greatest period in Picasso’s career. The painting will be priced at £30 million to £40 million and all the proceeds will benefit The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, a charity founded by the celebrated composer in 1992.  Working for the public benefit, The Foundation focuses on the promotion of arts, culture and heritage in Britain.

The painting had been consigned for sale at Christie’s in New York in November 2006 but was withdrawn from the auction at the request of the vendor after an 11th hour ownership challenge based on a sale of the painting in the 1930s. This challenge has since been resolved by agreement and the claimants have withdrawn all claims to the painting, leaving the Foundation free to sell the work. Continue Reading »

Gold, enamel, faceted emeralds. Height 10 cm

A late 16th-century winged dragon pendant made from gold set with emeralds which was once in the Rothschild Collection and which will be brought to TEFAF by the Spanish dealer Luis Elvira and offered for sale for a price in the region of €100,000.

Literature: Y. Hackenbroch, Renaissance Jewellery, New York, 1972, fig 34, colour plate p.56

One of Paul Gauguin’s last major works is to be offered for sale by the leading international art dealer Dickinson for a price in the region of €18 million (US$26 million) at TEFAF Maastricht. Gauguin created this painting during a final burst of creativity following his retreat to a remote Pacific island as far away from civilisation as possible. The 23rd edition of the world’s most influential art and antiques fair will take place at the MECC (Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre) in the southern Netherlands from 12 through 21 March 2010.

The rare late Tahitian Gauguin will be one of the highlights of The European Fine Art Fair reinforcing its reputation for offering the very best works of art for sale. The picture was painted in 1902, a year before Gauguin’s death, while he was living on Hiva Oa in the remote Marquesas Islands 740 miles from Tahiti. Unhappy with what he saw as the increasingly European colonial atmosphere on the main Tahitian islands, he landed at Atuona, the capital of Hiva Oa, in September 1901.

Gauguin praised the Marquesas in a letter to his friend Daniel de Monfried. ‘I assure you from the point of view of painting it’s admirable,’ he told him. ‘Poetry emerges here of its own accord, and it can be evoked simply by allowing oneself to dream while painting. I ask for just two years of good health and not too many money worries, which now have excessive hold over my nervous temperament, in order to reach a certain maturity in my art.’
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Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John by Sandro Botticelli (c1493-5). Tempera on panel, 47.6 x 38.1cms

An exquisitely beautiful study of the young Saint John kneeling in prayer before the Madonna and the infant Christ by Sandro Botticelli is to be offered for sale by the leading international art dealers Dickinson for a price in the region of US$15 million (€11.1 million) at TEFAF Maastricht. Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John, sometimes known as the Rockefeller Madonna because it was once in the collection of the Rockefeller family, will be one of the highlights of the 23rd edition of the world’s most influential art and antiques fair at the MECC (Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre) in the southern Netherlands from March 12-21, 2010.

Background information on the painting

Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John was painted by Alessandro Felipepi di Mariano di Vanni, called Sandro Botticelli, about 1493-95. It depicts an adoring Saint John kneeling with his hands joined in prayer before Christ, and wearing, as is usual, a tunic of animal skins and holding his distinctive reed cross. The subject of the painting was popular in Renaissance Florence despite there being no scriptural basis for John having met the infant Christ before the latter’s baptism.

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