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Highlights from Sotheby's Old Masters Week in New York Exhibited in London
A woman looks at a circa 1560 painting by the Renaissance master Titian, entitled: 'A Sacra Conversazione: The Madonna and Child with Saints Luke and Catherine of Alexandria' at a central London's auction house, Friday, Dec. 3, 2010. The painting by the 16th century Venetian Master which had not been seen in public since the late 1970s according to the house will be part of Sotheby's Important Old Master Paintings & Sculpture in New York, scheduled for Jan. 27, 2011. AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis.

LONDON.- Highlights from Sotheby’s Old Masters Week sales in January 2011 in New York will be exhibited alongside our London auctions of old master paintings, sculpture and works of art from 4-8 December. Rare paintings and drawings by iconic artists including Titian, Rembrandt and Rubens will be on view in Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries, as well as works from the famed collections of Charles Ryskamp and J.E. Safra, before returning to New York for exhibition and sale.

Important Old Master Paintings & Sculpture –27 January 2011
The lead lot of the New York sale of Important Old Master Paintings will be on exhibition in London. A Sacra Conversazione: The Madonna and Child with Saints Luke and Catherine of Alexandria is one of only a handful of multi-figured compositions by Renaissance master Titian remaining in private hands, and the most important to appear at auction since 1991 (est. $15/20 million). Painted circa 1560, the canvas was executed when the artist was at the height of his powers, and demonstrates many of the hallmarks of his later works. Remarkably, A Sacra Conversazione has only changed hands five times, moving from one illustrious private European collection to another, and until very recently had not been seen in public since the late-1970s.

Important Old Master & 19th Century European Paintings from the Collection of J.E. Safra – 26 January 2011
Sotheby’s will offer old master and 19th century paintings from the extraordinary private collection of J. E. Safra in a single-owner evening sale on 26 January 2011 in New York. The auction offers a wide range of styles and genres including Dutch, Italian and French pictures, and is highlighted by significant works from Luca Carlevarijs, Jacopo Amigoni, Giovanni Paolo Panini and Jan Miel.

Highlights on view in London include Luca Carlevarijs’s Piazzetta, Venice, a masterpiece by the founder of Venetian view painting and the teacher of Canaletto (est. $2/3 million). Unlike in Rome, there was no prior tradition of view painting in Venice prior to Carlevarijs in the 17th century. For the first time, an artist was depicting the daily life that took place in the city’s grand public spaces as a subject in its own right. Also on view is Jacopo Amigoni’s Venus and Adonis, a magnificent and monumental canvas that represents one of the most exciting mythological works by the artist to appear on the market in recent years (est. $1.5/2.5 million).

Old Master Drawings – 26 January 2011
An exceptionally rare and seminal drawing by Rembrandt van Rijn from the New York sale of Old Master Drawings will be on view in London. Judas Returning the Thirty Pieces of Silver is a small but powerful composition study that represents a crucial step in the tortuous process by which the young Rembrandt arrived at the final composition of his radical early masterpiece of the same name (est. $600/800,000). Begun in 1628 when the artist was just 22 years old, the finished painting was one of his earliest ambitious historical works, and the first to show anything of the distinctive approach to composition, lighting and narrative that characterizes his iconic style. The study has not been seen by scholars for over a half century, and is the first important historical drawing by Rembrandt to come on the market in decades.

Also on view from the New York auction is a recently discovered drawing by Sir Peter Paul Rubens. Venus Nursing the Cupids is a beautiful, tender rendering that has emerged unexpectedly from a private collection in France (est. $600/800,000). The image is one that has tantalized experts in the field for generations: an engraving of the same subject by Cornelis Galle credits the original design to Rubens, but the existence of the “original design” has constantly eluded scholars. Until now, the identity and even the medium of the source for Galle’s print remained unclear.

Property from the Collection of Charles Ryskamp Sold for the Primary Benefit of Princeton University – 25 January 2011
Select drawings from Sotheby’s New York sale of property from the collection of museum director Charles Ryskamp will be on exhibition in our London galleries. Mr. Ryskamp served as Director of The Pierpont Morgan Library, now The Morgan Library & Museum, and the Frick Collection for a combined total of nearly 30 years, helping to make both institutions among the most prestigious museums in New York City. He began buying drawings at auction at age 13, and his collection has since been the subject of exhibitions at The Morgan Library & Museum and the Yale Center for British Art. Works from the sale are being sold for the primary benefit of Princeton University, where Mr. Ryskamp began his academic career.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium

Sotheby's | J.E. Safra | Old Masters Week Sales | London |

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December 4, 2010

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