This Important Old Master Paintings auction at Sotheby's January 22, 2004 is highlighted by many interesting Italian Renaissance paintings, some fine Mannerist works, a fabulous but small portrait by Salomon de Bray, some excellent Dutch and Flemish landscapes, and some superb European Medieval and Renaissance sculptures.
The most striking work is Lot 62, a very beautiful "Study of a Young Woman in Profile," by Salomon De Bray (1597-1664). This oval oil on panel measures 10 ½ by 8 inches and is dated 1636. The catalogue entry for this lot provides the following commentary:
"Salomon De Bray and his son Jan were the leading history painters in Haarlem in the mid-17th Century, and were foremost among the Dutch classicist painters. Salomon painted history pieces of subjects throughout his career, and his style evolved towards the more formal, classical manner of his paintings from the later 1640s and 50s, but his earlier work is less easy to categorize. Depicting heads in profile, as he has done here, was a favored trait of the classicist paintings, who certainly knew that by following a form that originated with Roman coinage, they were inviting comparisons with the Antique. On the other hand, the vigorous, painterly brushwork of this exquisite little picture has nothing to do with such a tradition, and is much more modern. The way that De Bray painted it reveals a clear awareness of Rembrandt's work of the first half of the 1630s, such as his profile portrait of Saskia van Uylenburgh in Kassel, Gemäldegalerie, done a year or two earlier, or the profile portrait of Amalia van Solms of 1632, in Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André. The strong, dramatic lighting, the handling of light on the sitter's face and the way it illuminates her blonde curls is strongly reminiscent of Rembrandt's work in the mid-1630s. It also recalls the work of Jan Lievens, and the type of fanciful depiction of this young woman with a fur collar not a formal portrait, but not an invention either has the character of a trony. In few if any other works does De Bray achieve such a purity of vision and unhesitancy of execution."
This small work is exceptionally lively and dazzlingly beautiful and Rembrandt surely would have been mightily impressed with it. It has an estimate of $750,000 to $950,000. It sold for $1,520,000 including the buyer's premium as do all the results mentioned in this article.
would have liked Lot 62, Frans Hals would have been attracted
to Lot 110, "Kannekijker A Youth with a Jug," a small
oil on panel by Judith Leyster (1609-1660) and indeed, the catalogue
notes, "some of Leyster's paintings have probably had their
signatures erased to pass them off as wokrs by Frans Hals indeed
several of them currently bear his monogram." This work is
unsigned and the catalogue observes that only 12 of the 44 "autograph"
works in the artist's catalogue raisonné by Frima Fox Hofrichter
are signed. Dr. Hofrichter has confirmed this work as by Leyster
and has dated it to 1631-3, according to the catalogue, and she
"also noted that the painting is related to one of a group
of five paintings known from photographs in the archives of the
Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorisches Documentatie, The Hague, which
depict half length portraits of adolescents, each engaged in an
activity clearly associated with one of the five senses."
"The paintings in the Hague photograph, however, while traditionally
associated with the name of Leyster, are manifestly of inferior
quality of the present work and are certainly not by the same
hand," the catalogue maintained. "The youth is portrayed
here as a Kannekijker literally 'jug looker' peering into his
jug to see if he has any thing left to drink. This was a popular
genre subject, especially in Haarlem, where it was painted by
Leyter's teacher, Frans Hals, for example in a picture of circa
1626-8 in Rotterdam, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen," the catalogue
The panel measures 12 ¼ by 8 ½ inches. It sold at Sotheby's April 11, 1991 for $105,000. It has an estimate in this auction of $100,000 to $150,000. It failed to sell.
will surely be tempted by Lot 18A, "The Nativity with the
Adoration of the Shepherds," attributed to Giorgio Vasari
(1511-1574). An oil on slate, it measures 20 by 17 ½ inches.
Vasari is best known for his biographies of famous Italian Renaissance
painters, but he himself was a very fine artist whose works, which
are Mannerist and influenced by Michelangelo, are quite rare.
The catalogue provides the following commentary on this lot:
"The present small painting on slate relates in composition to a fresco formerly in the Convent of Santa Margherita, Arezzo, but with some differences.The figures of the Madonna and the man kneeling behind her (Saint Joseph?) correspond closely. Vasari has added figures at the left as well as a group of small angels above. A drawing in the Uffizi as well as one formerly in the Michel Gaud collectionappear to be preparatory designs for that fresco. It seems possible that the present painting is that mentioned by Vasari in a document of 1554: 'I recall that I did a little painting on stone, of the birth of Christ, which I gave to milady Gostanza de Medici, wife of Count Hugo and daughter of milord Ottaviano de Medici.' The 'Gostanza' in question would appear to be Costanza, wife of Ugo della Gherardesca. She was the niece of Lucrezia Salviati (herself daughter of Lorenzo Magnifico and sister of Leo X."
The composition is off-center and the three angels appear in an illuminated cloud almost like a cartoon text bubble. The composition of the lower half of the painting, however, is quite admirable and the lot has a conservative estimate of $60,000 to $80,000. It sold for $72,000.
A less complicated
but more compelling work is Lot 15, "An Allegorical Figure,
Possibly a Personification of Architecture or Fortitude,"
by Michele Tosini, called Michele di Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio
This robust and impressive work appears to belong, according to
the catalogue, to "a group of female bust portraits, all
on panel and of similar size, painted by Michele di Ridolfo at
a time when he was much influenced by Giorgio Vasari. Other pictures
in the group include Lucretia and Leda
in the Galleria
Borhese, Rome; a Saint Mary Magdalen, formerly with
& Co. and now in a private collection, New York; and a Judith
formerly in the Heathcote sale, London, Christie's, 27 April
1928. This oil on panel measures 28 ¾ by 21 ½ inches
and has a modest estimate of $60,000 to $80,000. It sold for
Lot 15, in fact, has some of the hallmarks of the best works by Andrea Del Sarto (1486-1530), namely a strong, almost chalky palette, and subjects with robust figures and faces, unified compositions and a consistent degree of full-cheeked attractiveness combined with a resolute sense of composure.
Dr. John Sherman has confirmed the authenticity of Lot 46, "Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John in a Landscape," as a work by Andrea Del Sarto. The 38 ¾-by-30 5/8-inch oil on panel has an estimate of $400,000 $600,000 and was once in the collection of Frederick William Hervey, 5th Earl and 1st Marquess of Bristol, by 1838 and thence by descent at Ickworth House, Suffolk, until 1993. The lot sold for $400,000. The catalogue entry states that Dr. Sherman relates the picture to the "Sacrifice of Isaac" in the Cleveland Museum of Art, adding that "other opinions have supported a slightly later dating of composition, and brushy technique has lead some to suggest that it may have remained unfinished. In fact, the composition of the present painting has striking parallels with the Madonna and child in the Pitti. [The] dynamic pose of the infant Christ appears to have been a variation on a theme that del Sarto worked through in the second half of the 15230's, staring with the Madonna del Sacco (SS. Annunziata, Florence, dated 1525) through the Pala di Sarzana (Pitti, Florence, dateable to 1528) and further." The Infant Saint John is the most convincing figure in this work. The Infant Christ's pose is, indeed, quite unusual, and interesting, although his anatomy is perhaps too "fit" and his expression perhaps too mischievous. The Madonna's expression, on the other hand, is rather distracted and, for del Sarto, weak. In his best works, del Sarto's figures have a royal and extremely elegant presence, unsullied by the turmoil of earthy events.
the worries of the world are much more apparent in Lot 11, "Madonna
and Child in a Landscape," by Biagio d'Antonio (1446-1516),
a 17 ½-by-14 7/8-inch oil on panel. Here the Infant Christ's
visage appears to bear the weight of the world and the Madonna
is beatific in her devotion.
The catalogue entry provides the following commentary:
"This beautiful example of the Florentine Renaissance style clearly reveals the strong influence that Fra Filippo Lippi, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Sandro Botticelli had on Biagio d'Antonio's stylistic development. Bernard Berenson was the first to attribute this picture to Biagio d'Antonio after discovering a photograph of the work in the archives at the Villa 'I Tatti' when it was in the Volterra collection. Berenson described the artist as a 'follower of Verocchio and Ghirlandaio, frequently active in Faenza. A shadowy entity in life, his artistic personality, however, is consistent and clear.' The charming juxtaposition of the Madonna and child in the present work and the beautiful still life of flowers in the lower left of the corner are particularly rich. Biagio d'Antonio here clearly reveals his debt to Ghirlandaio both in the composition and the facial type. Biagio favoured bright, crystalline colors and a luminous palette to depict naturalistic details, techniques derived from Flemish and German paintings like those of Hugo van der Goes. He started his artistic training in Florence in 1460's where he became heavily influenced by the work of Peselino and Fra Filippo Lippi, mimicking their elegant, linear style of modeling. In 1482 he was summoned to work in the Sistine Chapel with the most distinguished artists of his day, where he executed the fresco of the Crossing of the Red Sea and collaborated with Cosimo Rosselli on the frescoing of the Last Supper. In 1483, he is documented back in Faenza, which is most likely where he painted the present Madonna and Child. It is during this later period that Biagio d'Antonio was particularly impressed with the work of Verocchio, Domenico Ghirlandaio and also Perugino."
The lot has a modest estimate of $80,000 to $120,000. It sold for $84,000.
but less melancholy work is Lot 44, "The Madonna and Child
Before a Landscape (`The Morgan Madonna'), by Bernardino di Betto
Pinturicchio (circa 1454-1513). The catalogue notes that Everett
Fahy confirms the attribution to Pinturicchio, a position once
taken, but later abandoned, by Bernard Berenson. The painting
gets its nickname from John Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) the famous
financier, who purchased it in 1909 as a Raphael from Elia Volpi.
His son, John Pierpont Morgan Jr., inherited the work and removed
it from the West Room (study) of the Morgan home, which is now
a museum on East 36th Street, and put it in his bedroom at 231
Madison Avenue. It was removed from there and sold March 24 at
Parke-Bernet as "School of Raphael" for $2,500 to Fred
Liod. Subsequently it appeared as the frontispiece in the May
21, 1972 auction at Weschler's in Washington, D.C. as "by
Raphael and his assistant, Pian di Meleto)" and was acquired
by Leslie Hindman, who sold it in Chicago in 1993 as "Italian
School 16th Century" where it was acquired by Mr. and Mrs.
Arthur Frankel, whose estates consigned it to this auction.
The lot has a modest estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It sold for $153,600.
has some earlier Italian paintings including Lot 45, "Coronation
of the Virgin, With Saints Catherine, Matthew, John the Baptist,
Peter, Paul, A Bishop Saint (Nicholas of Bari?) and A Martyred
Female Saint), a work attributed to the Master of the Misericordia,
active in the third quarter of the 14th Century.
This is a very fine and sumptuous work. A gold ground, tempera on panel, it measures 29 1/8 by 19 inches and has a conservative estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. It failed to sell.
The catalogue provides the following commentary:
"This hitherto unpublished Coronation of the Virgin is an important addition to the oeuvre of this Florentine Master. The artist, christened by Offner after a Madonna of Mercy in the Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence, was active in the third quarter of the 14th Century. His early works betray the influence of Taddeo Gaddi and of Bernardo Gaddi, the son of Taddeo and brother of Agnolo Gaddi. While this connection can remain only tentative given the lack of any secure work by Giovanni, it seems a reasonable supposition, as the Master's works appear to bridge the styles of Taddeo and Agnolo rather effectively. The present painting can be compared to another work by the Master of the Misericordia, depicting an Evangelist. In that painting, design elements on the book stand the Evangelist is writing on are identical to those on the upper part of the throne in the present work."
excellent early work is Lot 9, "Madonna and Child Enthroned
Flanked by Saints Peter and Paul and Angels." A gold and
tempera on panel that measures 12 7/8 by 11 ½ inches, it
is attributed to Sienese School, circa 1320.
The catalogue provides the following commentary:
"The present delicately painted panel is the central part of a triptych by an as yet anonymous Sienese artist working in the mid-trecento under the strong influence of Simone Martini and the Lorenzetti brothers. The wings of the tritypch are in the Musée de Tessé, Le Mans, and represent Saint Catherine of Alexandria and Saint Nicholas of Bari with the Annunciation above. The Le Mans pictures each measure 21 ¾ by 6 ¾ inches, thus corresponding perfectly in width with the present panel. It is probable that the present Madonna and Child had as a pinnacle a crucifixion (the usual configuration) which was removed in order to be sold separately. It is likely that this occurred before 1863, when the two wings were sold in the estate sale of the collector Evariste Fouret. The wings in Le Mans bear on the reverse the mark of the l'Anministrazione delle regie rendite indicating that they were seized from a religious confraternity that was suppressed by the Grand Duke of Tuscany Pietro Léopold in 1786 and taken to Florence to be inventoried and stamped.The quality of the present Madonna and Child shows the painter to be an artist of some finesse and quality.The artist has used mordant gilding which has survived remarkably well, creating an extremely sumptuous effect."
The lot, which is not in pristine condition, has a estimate of $50,000 to $70,000. It sold for $489,600.
Lot 13 is,
according to the catalogue, a "remarkably well preserved
triptych [that] is a rare example of an intact 14th-century portable
altarpiece. It is descriptively entitled "A Triptych: Central
Panel: The Madonna and Child with Saints Clare and Francis, and
a Clarisse Donor, the Annunciation above; Left Wing, The Nativity,
the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, The Last Supper with
a Papal Saint, Christ on the Way to Calvary; Right Wing: The
the Crucifixion, the Pietà, the Last Judgment." The
catalogue notes that the gold ground, tempera on panel altarpiece
is Paduan School, circa 1335. The central panel measures 30 ¼
by 17 ¾ inches and each wing measures 30 ¼ by 10
This small altarpiece is almost too sweet, too fresh. Stylistically, it is a bit hard to pin down and the catalogue quotes various experts who think it might be Paduan, or Ligurian, or Emilian, or Riminese.
It has an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000. It sold for $736,000.
"A Winter Scene with Many Figures Skating on a Frozen River,"
is an oil on panel by Hendrick Avercamp that measures 21 by 37
Hendrick Avercamp (1585-1634) was described in his mother's will as "stom en miserabel" (mute and miserable). His winter landscapes, however, resonate with the pleasures of brisk, sunny days in populated settings. "A Winter Scene with Many Figures Skating on a Frozen River" is a fine and widely exhibited example of his work. An oil on panel, it measures 21 by 37 ¼ inches and according to the catalogue was "painted at the dawn of the Dutch Golden Age, probably between 1619 and 1615." "Avercamp was the first painter," the catalogue continued, "to record serially the delights and pleasure's of a winter's day, and he did so in virtually every one of his paintings. This picture is a compelling visual record of extreme cold: the frozen grey overcast sky, and the ice which reflects it, admit no warming sunlight or relenting blue sky, and everything in the painting apart from the people is frozen hard as stone. Avercamp uses a variant of the Flemish tradition of aerial perspective by showing the distant figures, trees and houses through the frozen mist caused by the ice cold air; the effect is progressive, so that the buildings, windmill and trees on the horizon are barely visible, as if in a mirage. Hendrick Avercamp, the first and one of the greatest painters of winter landscapes, worked in relative isolation in the town of Kampen, then a Hanseatic port of dwindling importance on the eastern shores of the Zuider Zee."
The lovely painting, which has some pentiments in the form of underdrawing rendered visible by the translucency of the paint, has a somewhat ambitious estimate of $4,000,000 to $6,000,000. It sold for $8,688,000 to Richard Green Fine Art.
Considerably smaller but no less ravishing is Lot 32, "A Village Street with the Holy Family Arriving at an Inn." An oil on copper that measures 8 5/8 by 12 ¼ inches, was attributed in the 1979 catalogue raisonée to Jan Brueghel the Elder, but in 1991 Dr. Klaus Ertz revised his opinion and assigned it to Jan Breughel the Younger and dated it to the 1630s. It is signed "Brveghel 1608." "More recently," the catalogue entry noted, however, "having seen it cleaned, he thinks that it is a collaborative work by Jan Brueghel the Elder and his Studio, since parts of the picdture, in particular the distant landscape to the right, and the group of figures around Mary and Joseph to the left are of a refinement and brilliance that reveals the hand of the Elder Brueghel. If this is the case, and given that the foreground figures are highly typical of Jan Brueghel the Younger, this picture would therefore be a likely collaboration between Jan Brueghel the Elder and Younger, done just before the latter left for Italy about 1620, or started by Jan Brueghel the Younger after his return to Antwerp in 1625. Ertz prefers the theory that the picture does date from 1608, and is partly by Jan Brueghel the Elder himself, and that the weaker parts are by an artist in his studio, working under his direction. There is also, however, a number of pictures that reach the level of refinement of the present work that may equally be entirely by Jan Brueghel the Younger, either done just before his Italian sojourn, or more probably after his return from Antwerp in 1625."
collaborative work involving Jan Brueghel the Elder is Lot 29,
"Diane and Actaeon," a very handsome oil on copper that
measures 10 ½ by 14 3/8 inches. The lot has a modest estimate
of $275,000 to $325,000. It sold for $321,600.
"The present skillfully painted picture is particularly rich in the kind of symbolic imagery that enjoyed tremendous popularity in the seventeenth century. Jan Brueghel painted the subject earlier in his career circa 1591 with the assistance of Jacob de Backer now in the collection of the National Museum Stockholm. Van Balen's skill in depicting nudes, nymphs and deities lent itself particularly well to Brueghel's interest in mythological allegories. These scenes allowed Van Balen pretext to display his attractive nudes in Brueghel's intimate paradisaical settings. The skillful handling of the flowers and animals in the foreground demonstrate why Brueghel earned the sobriquet 'Velvet [de velours] Brueghel", for his intricately detailed and delicate record of surfaces. Over half of Jan Brueghel the Elder's oeuvre is collaborative in nature and Van Balen acted as his partner on many of his finest compositions. Other examples of their collaborative work on mythological scenes include Diana and the Nymphs, painted together with Frans Snyders in the Munich Pinakothek and Venus in Vulcan's Forge formerly in the collection of the Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Berlin. Jan Brueghel worked with other such esteemed artists as Peter Paul Rubens, Sebastian Vrancx, Joos de Momper and David Teniers the Younger. His son Brueghel the Younger inherited many of his father's partners when he died quite suddenly in 1625. The most celebrated example of collaboration by Jan Brueghel the Elder is arguably the series of The Five Senses that he painted together with Rubens which are now in the Prado. Van Balen ran one of the largest and most successful studios in Antwerp for thirty years and had many pupils, including Anthony van Dyck in 1609, Frans Snyders and Justus Sustermans."
fine oil on copper is Lot 63, "A Festival of Monkeys (Monkeys
Dressed as Soldiers in an Encampment near a Town," by David
Teniers the Younger. This 13-by-16 ¼-inch work is dated
1633 and has been consigned by the collection of Saul and Gayfryd
Steinberg. It has an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000. It
Lot 91, "A Luteplayer Carousing with a Young Woman Holding a Roemer," is a 41 ½-by-34-inch oil on canvas by Hendrik Terbrugghen (1588-1629).
"This is one of the finest paintings by Terbrugghen left in private hands, and an outstanding example of his virtuosity. Terbrugghen was arguably the most inventive and independent of the Utrecht Caravaggisti, and this picture displays to the full his genius in combining dramatic Caravaggesque lighting with an arresting and original use of color, delivered with breathtaking verve. In contrast to the oblique references to sexual encounter found so often in Dutch painting, there is no ambiguity here.Both are low-life types true to the Caravaggesque tradition; she almost certainly a prostitute; he a ruffian. Several other versions of this picture are known, but the present work is the only one to be signed or dated, is the only version with pentimenti, and is certainly the prime version."
This lot has an ambitious estimate of $3,000,000 to $4,000,000 in as much as the two subjects are not overly attractive. It failed to sell.
The Chrysler Museum of Art of Norfolk, Virginia, is selling two lots to benefit its acquisitions fund, Lots 131 and 134. The former is an excellent "Landscape with the Penitent Saint Jerome," by a follower of Joachim Patinir, one of the first Renaissance artists to concentrate on landscapes. The oil on panel measures 14 1/2 by 19 1/2 inches. It was once in the collection of M. Pol de Mont, the former curator of the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Antwerp and eventually was sold by M. Knoedler and Co., to Walter P. Chrysler Jr., in 1969 as a Patinir. It has a modest estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. It sold for $18,000.
Lot 134, the other lot consigned by the Chrsyler Museum of Art, is "The Four Fathers of the Latin Church," that the catalogue attributes to the Studio of Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678). The huge oil on canvas, which measures 71 5/8 by 95 5/8 inches, is very much in the style of Peter Paul Rubens, especially the putti. Jordaens was very much influenced by Rubens, but his faces tend to be tortured. The catalogue notes that "the present painting repeats in composition, with slight differences, a work by Jordaens at Stonyhurst College, Blackburn, Lancaster. With its unusual composition and amusing lion in the lower left corner, this is a handsome painting and it has a conservative estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. It sold for $33,000.
Another very inexpensively estimated work of high quality is Lot 137, "The Baptism of Christ," attributed to Domenico Tintoretto (1560-1635). The 46 3/4-by-34-inch oil on canvas is, according to the catalogue, related to a "Baptism of Christ" by Jacopo and Domenico Tintoretto in the Museum of Art in Cleveland, and to another "Baptism of Christ" that the catalogue maintains is "solely by the hand of Domenico in the Prado, Madrid." It was sold at Sotheby's New York May 30, 1979 as by Jacopo Tintoretto and was cited as a work by Jacopo Tintoretto by Bernard Berenson in his "Italian Pictures of the Renaissance, Venetian School" (1957). It has a conservative estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. It sold for $30,000.
The afternoon session of this auction has several fine Renaissance sculptures. Lot 151, for example, is a charming parcel-gilt alabaster figure of "Saint Roch with his dog" that the catalogue states is Hispano-Flemish and dates to the second half of the 16th Century. The 17 1/4-inch-high figure has a modest estimate of $6,000 to $9,000. It sold for $9,000.
Another charming alabaster statue is Lot 159, "The Virgin and Child," by the school of the Master of Rimini. The 5 5/8-inch-high statue is dated circa 1430. The catalogue notes that "The name 'Master of Rimini' was given to Georg Swarzenski in 1921 to the Cologne master Gusmin, who was active in Italy as a goldsmith." "It is now thought that the workshop was situated in Northern France or the Southern Netherlands," the catalogue entry added. The lot has an estimate of $40,000 to $50,000. It failed to sell.
Lot 160 is a spectacular bronze "Figure of a Man" by Willem van Tetrode (1525-1580). The 17 1/16-inch-high statue depicts a muscular man "falling gackwards in an almost balletic pose and with vigorously modelled and chased musculature," according to the catalogue. A similar work was recently shown at a Tetrode exhibition at the Frick Collection in New York and the Rijksmueum in Amsterdam. The figure is flayed. Tetrode, according to the catalogue, "was the first Northern sculptor to bring the Italian classical style to the Netherlands." He was employed by Benevuto Cellini in Florence as a marble carver between 1548 and 1551 and he carved the base for Cellini's Perseus in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence. The lot has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. It sold for $433,600.
Lot 163 is a magnificent "Madonna and Child" gilt and polychrome painted stucco relief from the workshop of Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378-1455). The 21 1/2-inch-high relief is dated to the first half of the 15th Century. "The present relief is nearly identical to a group of painted terracotta reliefs also attributed to Ghiberti's workshop, the catalogue noted, adding that "While the present variant is relatively uncommon, another composition, differing in the treatment of the Virgin's veil, was more widely produced and has been sold in these rooms (see sale January 13, 1992, Lot 195)." "Although he was trained as a painter, Lorenzo Ghiberti was one of the most celebrated sculptors of the early Renaissance. Ghiberti's sculptures are recognized for their graceful nature and economy of detail," it continued. Ghiberti is best known for his Gates of Paradise doors at the Baptistery in Florence. This extremely lovely work has a modest estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. It failed to sell.
Lot 180 is a very lovely "Madonna and Child with Saint John the Baptist," by Giovanni Antonio Guardi (1699-1760). An oil on canvas, it measures 29 by 22 1/4 inches. "Giantonio Guardi was best known as a figure painter. The older brother of Francesco Guardi he was one of the founding members of the Accademia in Venice in 1756. Only two signed paintings by Giantonio are known," the catalogue maintained. This lot has an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. It failed to sell.
Lot 218 is a nice fine oil on panel of the "Tower of Babel" by Marten van Valckenborch I (1534-1612). The catalogue notes that "The figures in the foreground of the present work are painted by another hand, possibly by Jan Brueghel the Elder or his workshop," adding that "they appear to be by the same hand as the staffage in another Tower of Babel, ascribed to Tobias Verhaecht, in the Koninklijk Museum voor Kunsten in Antwerp." Other versions of the Tower of Babel by van Valckenborch, the catalogue continued, are in the Gemäldegalerie in Dresden and in Gaesbeek Castle in Dresden. The lot has an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. It sold for $332,800.
One of the most dramatic works in the auction is Lot 230, "A River Landscape with an Approaching Storm, Figures Running in the Foreground," by Simon-Joseph-Alexandre-Clément Dennis, called Le Louche (1755-1813). An oil on canvas that measures 22 1/2 by 27 1/2 inches and is dated 1791. It has an estimate of $30,000 to $40,000. It sold for $45,000.
70 percent of the 299 offered lots sold in the two sessions for
a total of $31,1722,200. The pre-sale low estimate for the auction
was $26 million and the pre-sale high estimate was $37 million.