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Important Old Masters & Sculpture
Sotheby's New York
January 31, 2013

Sale 8952



Lot 1-103. January 31, 2013, 10 A.M.

Turner watercolor

Lot 101, "Heidelberg with a Rainbow," by Joseph Mallord William Turner, watercolor over pencil heightened with bodycolor, scratching out and stopping out, 13 5/8 by 20 2/4 inches


By Carter B. Horsley

The January 31 2013 Old Masters auction at Sotheby's New York is highlighted by a fabulous watercolor by Turner, and very fine works by Bassano, Vasarin, Fragonard, and Boucher and good paintings by the Master of the Holy Kinship, the Master of the Legend of Saint Barbara, the Master of the Tempere Francescane, Pietro Della Vecchia, Bartolomeo Vivarini, and Pompeo Batoni.

Lot 101 is a great watercolor by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) that is entitled "Heidelberg with a Rainbow."  A watercolor over pencil heightened with bodycolor, scratching out and stopping out, it measures 13 5/8 by 20 3/4 inches.  It was on loan to the National Gallery of Scotland from 1980 to 2001. It was sold for $2,809,399, a world record for a watercolor by the artist at Sotheby's in London June 14, 2001 and is now estimated at $4,000,000 to $6,000,000.  It sold for $4,562,500, including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article, a world auction record for a watercolor by the artist.
  


Turner detail

Detail of Lot 101

The catalogue provides the following commentary:

"Commissioned by Thomas Prior in 1840, Heidelberg with a Rainbow is one of the greatest watercolors ever executed by Turner, and stands out as one of the crowning achievements of the artist's mature style....Heidelberg with a Rainbow shows the German city from the north nk of the river Neckar looking across to the castle the eighteeneth century stone bridge and the fifteenth century Hilige Geist Kirche (Church of the Holy Ghost).  ....'Of all the grandly romantic spots, by nature, art and interesting circumstances....Heydelberg is the first.' Thus wrote Turner's friend Sir Thomas Lawrence....Turner visited Heidelberg on at least four occasions.....the present watercolor is closest in subject and design to a later finished watercolor of the same ieew, now in the Manchester City Art Gallery.

Van Cleve

Lot 66, "The Infant Christ and Saint John the Baptist as Children Embracing in a Landscape, Surrounded by a Classical Archway," by Joos van Cleve, oil on panel, 41 by 29 1/8 inches

Lot 66 is a fine oil on panel by Joos Van Cleve (date unknown -1540) of "The Infant Christ and Saint John the Baptist as Children Embracing in a Landscape, Surrounded by a Classical Archway."  It measures 41 by 29 1/8 inches.  It has an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000.  The composition is based on a lost work by Leonardo that is known through numerous copies and variants. It failed to sell.

Vivarini

Lot 2, "The Madonna and Child Before a Red Curtain," by Bartolomeo Vivarini, tempera on panel transferred to canas, laid down on panel, gold ground, 32 3/4 by 25 3/4 inches

Lot 2 is an excellent and large "Madonna and Child Before a Red Curtain" by Bartolomeo Vivarini (1450-1491).  A tempera on panel transferred to canvas laid down on panel, gold ground, it measures 32 3/4 by 25 3/4 inches.  It was acquired by Theodore M. Davis (1897-1915) of Newport, R. I., who bequeathed it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which consigned it inexplicably  to the auction.  It has a very modest estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.  It sold for $80,500.  The lovely work has very extensive literature.

Another excellent painting given by Mr. Blumenthal to the Metropolitan and now being deaccessioned is Lot 5, "The Madonna and Child with Saints Matthew and Francis," a tempera on panel with a shaped top, gold ground, 32 3/4 by 18 3/4 inches.  The lot has an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000.  It sold for $158,500.

Memling

Lot 9, "Portrait of a Young Woman," attributed to Hans Memling, oil on panel, 9 1/8 by 7 1/4 inches

Lot 9 is a small oil on panel that is now attributed to Hans Memling but had been given fully to the master by M. J. Friedlander in 1928 and 1971.  It was given to the Metropolitan Museum, which is now deacessioning it by Mary Stillman Harkness in 1950.  It has an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000.  It sold for $482,500.  The catalogue notes that the work was probably cut down "as all of Memling's sitters have at least one hand showing in the composition, while this picture does not."

Lot 10 is a small oil on oak panel by Hans Memling of "Christ Blessing."  It measures 13 1/2 by 10 1/2 inches.  It has an estimate of $1,000,000 to $1,500,000.  It sold for $4,114,500.  The catalogue states that the painting's discovery "is a remarkable event for the field of early Netherlandish painting," adding that it has remained in the same family for than 150 years "unknown to scolars and collectors alike.  It also noted that Memling painting two versions, both of similar size, one in the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena and the other at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston.

Saint Barbara

Lot 65, "Saint Ursula protecting the Eleven Thousand Virgins with her Cloak," by The Master of the Legend of Saint Barbara, oil on panel, 15 by 10  5/8 inches

Lot 65 is a very fine small oil on panel by the famous Master of the Legend of Saint Barbara.  It is the back-cover illustration of the catalogue.  Entitled "Saint Ursula protecting the Eleven Thousand Virgins with her cloak," it measures 15 by 10 5/8 inches.  Friendlander identified the artist as the creator of an altarpiece depicting Saint barabara of which a large panel is now at the Musees Royaux des Beaux Arts de Belgique in Brussells.  The master was apparently a follower of Rogier van der Weyden.  Ursula of Brittany was the daughter of the Chrstian King Dionotus of Dumnonia and she was put to death by arrows and her 11,000 attendants were beheaded when she refused to marry a pagan Hunnish prince.  Friendlander listed only 12 works by the master.  The lot has an estimate of $1,500,000 to $2,500,000.  It sold for $3,050,500.

Franescane

Lot 16, "The Madonna and Child," by The Master of The Tempere Francescane," tempera on panel, gold ground, 12 by 8 1/4 inches

One of the loveliest and most sumptuous of the early works in the auction is Lot 16, "The Madonna and Child" by The Master of the Tempere Francescane" (circa 1330-1345).  A tempera on panel with gold ground, it measures 12 by 8 1/4 inches.  The work was painted in Naples and the catalogue entry notes that "this little known but highly distinctive artist takes his name from an unusual series of four works of tempera painted on linen, today in a private collection in Milan, which were commissioned by the Franciscan community in Napes. It has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000.  It failed to sell.


Veneto

Lot 23, "The Garden of a villa in the Veneto," by School of the Veneto, circa 1560, oil on panel, 57 1/4by 14 1/2 inches

Lot 23 is an excellent architectural composition by the School of Veneto, circa 1560, depicting a villa's garden.  An oil on panel, it measures 57 1/4 by 14 1/2 inches.  It is property of a descendent of Denys Sutton, for many years the editor of Apollo.  It has a modest estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.  It failed to sell.

Vasari

Lot 24, "The Bird Catchers," by Giorgio Vasari and Joannes Stradanus, oil on canvas, 82 1/4 by 39 inches

Another excellent work from the collection of Denys Sutton is Lot 24, "The Bird Catchers," by Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) and his pupil, Joannes Stradanus.  An oil on canvas, it measures 82 1/4 by 39 inches.  It has an estimate of $600,000 to $800,000.  It failed to sell.  The catalogue notes that it is apparently a pendant to the "Fisherman," a work now in a private collection.

Caracci

Lot 51, "Head of an Old Woman looking down to the right," by the Carracci Family Workshop, probably the young Annibale Carracci, oil on paper which has been extensivelyt inscribed, laid down on panel, 15 5/8 by 10 3/4 inches

One of the wonderful works is Lot 51, "Head of an Old Woman looking down to the right," by the Carracci Family Workshop, probably the young Annibale Carracci (1560-1609).  The portrait is painted over an earlier written page of accounting and the transparency gives the work a marvelous "ghost" quality.  The lot has an estimate of $400,000 to $500,000.  It failed to sell.

Di Domenico


Lot 4, "The Madonna and Child with six saints," by Matteo di Giovanni, tempera on panel, gold ground 21 3/4 by 15 3/4 inches

Another deaccession by the Metropolitan is Lot 4, "The Madonna and Child with six saints," by Matteo di Giovanni.  A lovely tempera on panel with gold ground, it measures 21 3/4 by 15 3/4 inches.  It was bequeathed to the museum in 1941 by George Blumenthal and has extensive literature.  It has an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.  It sold for $86,500.

Massys


Lot 13, "Virgin in Prayer," by Quentin Massys, oil on oak panel, 16 7/8 by 12 1/4 inches

Lot 13 is a very fine small oil on oak panel of the "Virgin in Prayer" by Quentin Massys (1466-1530).    The catalogue notes that this beautiful depiction of the Virgin In Prayer is an important addition to the oeuvre of Quentin Massys.  It has a very modest estimate of $300,000 to $400,000.  It sold for $1,022,500.


Bassano


Lot 25, "Portrait of a Gentleman half length, in full armor, holding a Partesan, a broad sword at his hip," by Jacopo Bassano, oil on canvas, 42 7/8 by 32 1/4 inches

Lot 25 is an excellent oil on canvas of a man in armor by Jacopo Bassano (1510-1592).  It measures 42 7/8 by 32 1/4 inches.  According to the catalogue, "a rare portrait by Jacopo da Ponte, called Bassano, this magnificent canvas is an important and recent addtion to the painter's oeuvre." It has an estimate of $700,000 to $900,000.  It failed to sell.


Vecchia


Lot 53, "Man Drawing a Sword," by Pietro della Vecchia, oil on canvas, 46 1/4 by 38  3/4 inches

Lot 53 is a stunning painting of a "Man Drawing a Sword" by Pietro della Vecchia (1602/3-1676).  An oil on canvas, it measures 46 1/4 by 38 3/4 inches.  Ther catalogue entry notes that "the popularity of his impressive composition is attested to by the number of surviving versions, examples which can be found in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, the Musee de Louvre, Paris, and the Gemaldegalerie, Dresden." It has an estimate of $150,000 to $250,000.  It sold for $182,500.

Viani

Lot 59, "The Circumcision," by Giovanni Maria Viani oil on copper, 28 1/4 by 22 3/4 inches

Lot 59 is a very nice oil on copper of "The Circumcision" by Giovanni Maria Viani (1636-1700).  It measures 28 1/4 by 22 3/4 inches.  The catalogue notes that it is "loosely based" on Ludovico Carracci's painting of the same subject  formerly in a church in Bologna that was destroyed in World War II.  It has an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000.  It sold for $182,500.

Domenchino

Lot 72, "River Landscape with a Boatman and Fishermen, an Elegant Couple walking by the Shore," by Domenichino, oil on canvas, 23 by 29 1/2 inches

Lot 72 is an excellent landscape work by Domenichino (1581-1641) entitled "River Landscape with a Boatman and Fishermen, an Elegant Couple Walking by the Shore."  The oil on canvas measures 23 by 29 1/2 inches.  It has an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000.  It failed to sell.


Batoni

Lot 73, "Susanna and the Elders," by Pompeo Batoni, oil on canvas, 39 by 53 1/2 inches

Lot 73 is a lush oil on canvas by Pompeo Batoni (1708-1787) entitled "Susanna and the Elders."  It measures 39 by 53 1/2 inches.  The catalogue entry remarked that "without peer or parallel, Pompeo Batoni was the dominant painter in Rome in the middle years of the 18th Century, noting that Benjamin West once observed that "Italian artists of the day thought of nothing, looked at nothing, but the work of Pompeio Battoni."    The lot has an ambitious estimate of $6,000,000 to $9,000,000.  It sold for $11,394,500.

Rubens

Lot 26, "Constantine Presenting the Labarum to his Troops," by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, oil on panel, 14 by 10 7/8 inches

Lot 26 is a good oil on panel by Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) of "Constantine Presenting the Labarum to His Troops."  It measures 14 by 10 7/8 inches.  It has an estimate of $700,000 to $900,000.  It sold for $902,500.  The lot has been widely exhibited and published.

Bor


Lot 33, "Seated Nude Bathing by a Stove," by Paulus Bor, oil on canvas, 27 1/4 by 21 5/8 inches

Lot 33 is a very haunting but serene oil on canvas of a "Seated Nude Bathing by a Stove" by Paulus Bor (circa 1601-1669).  It measures 27 1/4 by 21 5/8 inches.  It is the cover illustration of the auction catalogue.  It has an estimate of $700,000 to $1,000,000.  It failed to sell.

Leoni

Lot 45, "Portrait of a day, half-length, dressed in pink," by Ottavio Maria Leoni, oil on copper, 11 3/8 by 8 3/4 inches


Lot 45 is a very sweet and delicate portrait of a lady dressed in pink by Ottavio Maria Leoni (1587-1630).  An oil on copper, it measures 11 3/8 by 8 3/4 inches.  It has an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000.  It sold for $290,500.

Fragonard

Lot 84, "The Goddess Aurora Triumphing Over Night," by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, oil on canvas, 37 12 by 51 3/4 inches

Lot 83 is an excellent work by Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806) entitled "The Goddess Aurora Triumphing over Night."  An oil on canvas, it measures 37 1/2 by 51 3/4 inches. It has been widely exhibited and published.   It has a modest estimate of $1,800,000 to $2,500,000.  It sold for $3,834,500.

Boucher

Lot 91, "Sleeping Bacchantes surprised by Satyrs," by François Boucher, oil on canvas, 30 1/2 by 25 inches

Lot 91 is a fine work by François Boucher (1703-1770) entitled "Sleeping Bacchantes surprised by Satyrs."  An oil on canvas, it measures 30 1/2 by 25 inches.  The painting is a pendant for a work now in a private collection and on loan to the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge.  This lot has an estimate of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000.  It sold for $2,098,500.


Goya

Lot 103, "Portrait of Mariano Goya, the artist's grandson," by Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes," oilon canvas, 20 1/2 by 16 1/4 inches

Lot 103 is a lovely portrait of the artist's grandson by Franciso José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828).  An oil on canvas, it measures 20 1/2 by 16 1/4 inches.  It is property from the estate of George Embiricos.  It has an estimate of $6,000,000 to $8,000,000.  It failed to sell.

Session 2, Lots 104-318, January 31, 2 P.M.

Two Rubiales lovelies

Lot 125, "St. Margaret and St. Lucy," by Pedro de Rubiales, tempera on panels, 14 3/8 by 6 3/4 inches

The most beautiful paintings in the second session at pictures of St. Margaret and St. Lucy, Lot 125, by Pedro de Rubiales (1511-1582).  They are tempera on panels that measures 14 3/8 by 6 3/4 inches.  According to the catalogue Rubiales collaborated with Vasari  in Rome.  The lot, which is extremely beautiful and has the palette of Vasari, has a very modest estimate of $15,000 to$20,000.  It sold for $20,000.

Master of the Epiphany

Lot 127, "Madonna and Child" by the Master of the Fiesole Epiphany," tempera on panel, 29 by 17 3/8 inches

Lot 127 is a very nice "Madonna and Child" by the Master of the Fiesole Epiphany.  A tempera on panel, it measures 29 by 17 3/8 inches.  It has anestiamte of $70,000 to $90,000.  It sold for $110,500.

Pseudo Piero

Lot 104, "The Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist and an angel," by Pseudo Pier Francesco Fiorentino, tempera on panel, 24 3/4 by 19 inches

Lot 104 is a lovely and sweet "Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist and an angel" by Pseudo Pier Francesco Fiorentino (active 1460-1500).  A tempera on panel, it measures 24 3/4 by 19 inches.  It was bequeated to the Metrpolitan Museum of Art in 1965 by Adele Lehman, the widow of Arthur Lehman.  It is very similar to a work in the National Gallery of Budapest that is ascribed to a follower of Pesellino.  It has an modest estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.  It sold for $37,500.

Salviati

Lot 105, "Portrait of a Man, Half-length, Standing in front of a Curtain," by Francesco Salviati, oil on canvas, 37 3/4 by 29 1/2 inches

Lot 105 is a very fine half-length portrait of a man by Francesco Salviati (1510-1563).  An oil on canvas, it measures 37 3/4 by 29 1/2 inches.  It was once in the collection of William Payne Whitney whis widow, Helen Julia Hay Whitney, bequeathed it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1945.  It is very hard to justify the deaccessioning of this excellent portrait.  It has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.  It sold for $46,875.
Rubens girl

Lot 107, "Portrait of a Young Girl, Possibly Clara Serena Rubens," by follower of Peter Paul Rubens, oil on panel, 14 by 10 1/4 inches

Lot 107 is a very fine painting of a young girl that the catalogue states is "possibly Clara Serena Rubens."  The catalogue says it is by a follower of Peter Paul Rubens.  It was consigned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The catalogue notes that it resmelbes a work by Rubens in the collections of the Prince of Lichtenstein.  Given how luminous and beautiful it is, it has a very modest estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.  It sold for $626,500!

Two angel plaques

Lot 288, "The Infant Hercules with putti carrying musical instruments, a quiver and a laurel wreath," left, and "The Infant Hercules with putti carrying a helmet and alaurel  wreath, with flowers, a quiiver and an antique mask," right, by Martin Jozef Geeraerts, oil on canvas, a pair, 53 by 61 inches each

Lot 288, "The Infant Hercules with putti carrying musical instruments, a quiver and a laurel wreath," and "The Infant Hercules with putti carrying a helmet and alaurel  wreath, with flowers, a quiiver and an antique mask," are a pair of oils on canvas by Martin Jozef Geeraerts (1707-1791).  Each canvas measures 53 by 61 inches.  The lot has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000.  It sold for $104,500.

Session 3, Lots 314-412, February 1, 2013

Woman majolica

Lot 358, an Italian majolica "vaso" with a portrait of a lady, circa 1540, Derita, 14 5/16 inches high

Lot 358 is a very handsome Italian majolica vase with a portrait of a lady, circa 1540.  It is 14 5/16 inches high.  It has an estimate of $12,000 to $15,000.  It sold for $20,000.

Grisaille majolica

Lot 386, Limoges grisaille painted enamel charger, attributed to Pierre Raymond, dated 1561, 20 3/16 inches wide

Lot 386 is a very fine Limoges grisaille painted enamel charger that is attributed to Pierre Raymond (1513-1584).  It is dated 1561 and is 20 3/16 inches wide.  It hjas an estimate of $70,000 to $90,000.  It sold for $86,500.

Limoges dish

Lot 359, Italian majolica dish from the Grue family workshop, circa 1740, 9 1/2 inches in diameter

Lot 359 is a lovely Italian majolica dish from the Grue family workshiop, circa 1740.  It is 9 1/2 inches in diameter.  It has an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000.  It failed to sell.

See The City Review article on the Important Old Masters auction at Sotheby's New York Winter 2012

See The City Review article on the Important Old Masters auction at Sotheby's Winter 2011


See The City Review article on the Important Old Masters auction at Christie's Winter 2010

See The City Review article on the Important Old Masters auction at Sotheby's Winter 2010


See The City Review article on the Important Old Masters auction at Sotheby's Winter 2009

See The City Review article on the Important Old Masters auction at Christie's January 28, 2009

See The City Review article on the Old Master Paintings auction at Christie's April 15, 2008

See The City Review article on the Old Master Paintings auction at Christie's April 19, 2007

See The City Review article on the January 27, 2005 Important Old Masters Auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the January, 2004 Old Masters auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the January 24, 2003 Old Masters auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Winter 2001 Old Masters Paintings auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Winter 2001 Old Masters Paintings auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2001 Old Masters auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Old Masters auction at Christie's January 26, 2001

See The City Review article on the Important Old Master Paintings Auction at Sotheby's, Jan. 28, 2000

See The City Review article on the Recap of Old Master Paintings auction at Sotheby's May 28, 1999

See The City Review article on the Recap of Old Master Paintings auction at Christie's, May 25, 1999

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