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Highlights from Sotheby's Old Master Paintings and Drawings Sales travel to Hong Kong
A man gestures in front of Pompeo Girolamo Batoni's painting " Susanna and the Elders " during the Sotheby's auction press preview in Hong Kong Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. The work is estimated at US$6-9 million and will be auctioned in New York on Jan. 31, 2013. AP Photo/Vincent Yu.
HONG KONG.- In response to the growing interests of Asian collectors in Old Master paintings and drawings, this November, for the first time ever, Sotheby’s will bring to Hong Kong an exceptional group of Old Master highlights from its upcoming London (5 December) and New York (31 January 2013) sales.

The selection of works on view in Hong Kong is highlighted by an exceptional Renaissance masterwork to be offered in London – Raphael’s (1483-1520) Head Of A Young Apostle, c.1519-20 (est: £10 - 15 million / HK$125 - 188 million*) (an extremely refined study in black chalk for one of the key figures in the Transfiguration, described by scholars as one of the greatest of all Renaissance paintings. This rare work, alongside two highly important illuminated manuscripts, comes from the Devonshire Collection, housed at Chatsworth in Derbyshire.

Apart from a selection of Old Master masterworks, attending visitors will also have the opportunity to preview important diamonds and stunning contemporary diamond jewellery from SOTHEBY’S DIAMONDS and S. J. Phillips Ltd., as well as selected auction highlights from Boundless: Contemporary Art auction to be held on 3 December.

Evening Sale of Old Master & British Paintings Including Three Renaissance Masterworks from Chatsworth – 5 December 2012, London
The New York exhibition also features three Renaissance masterworks from the Devonshire Collection at Chatsworth - one of the greatest drawings by Raphael remaining in private hands, and two 15th-century illuminated manuscripts which rank among the finest examples of their kind ever to come to auction. Executed in black chalk, Raphael’s Head of a Young Apostle, c.1519-20, (est. $16.25/24.38 million) is a highly important drawing within the artist’s oeuvre: an extremely refined study for one of the key figures in the Transfiguration, one of the greatest of all Renaissance paintings, which now hangs in the Vatican Museum in Rome.

The two 15th-century illuminated manuscripts rank among the finest examples of their kind ever to come to auction. The manuscripts to be sold were made for two of the greatest libraries of the 15th century and are flawlessly preserved, with dazzling royal and ducal provenances. The first, the Mystère de la Vengeance (est. $6.5/9.75 million) was acquired by the 6th Duke of Devonshire at the celebrated Roxburghe sale of 1812, when it sold for £493.10s. - then the highest price ever paid for any illuminated manuscript. The second illuminated manuscript is an account of the fictional and swashbuckling Deeds of Sir Gillion de Trazegnies in the Middle East (est. $4.88/8.13 million) and was once among the most treasured works in the library of great Renaissance patron of the arts François I, King of France, 1515-47.

Jan Havicksz. Steen’s The Prayer Before the Meal, (est. $8/11.2 million) is a remarkable work of an unusual subject within the artist’s oeuvre. In a mood of quiet, unadorned piety a simple family say grace before the simple meal laid before them. In few other works did Steen achieve such understanding of texture and detail. It is the earliest surviving treatment of at least four, compositionally different variants of this unusual subject by Steen - indicative of how sought after it was among his patrons. Extensively exhibited at the Royal Academy, London; The National Gallery, Washington; the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam - it comes from the collection at Sudeley Castle.

Rome, A View of the River Tiber at the Porto Della Legna Looking Towards Castel Sant’Angelo, with Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Distance (est. $1.92/2.88 million) by Gaspar van Wittel, called Vanvitelli, will also be on exhibition in New York. One of six known variants of the view, this is – intriguingly - the only one to include the palazzo Borghese, suggesting perhaps that this may have been a Borghese commission. A 16th Century Florentine School Portrait of Giovanni Gaddi (1493-1542), Head and Shoulders, Wearing a Black Cap (est. $960,000/1.28 million) was most likely painted in Florence in the first years of the 16th century. Formerly attributed to Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, this exceptional portrait by a singular hand is remarkably – and tantalisingly - yet to find a plausible attribution. Such a portrait could not have been conceived without knowledge of contemporary portraits by Raphael; yet its marmoreal, three-dimensional smoothness and plasticity owes something to Michaelangelo’s Doni Tondo – painted in Florence around the time of the portrait’s likely date of execution, circa 1505-1508.

Important Old Master Paintings – 31 January 2013, New York
The highlights exhibition includes Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes’s Portrait of Mariano Goya, one of the last –if not the very last – of the artist’s portraits, painted during his final trip to Madrid between July and September 1827 (est. $6/8 million). Executed in the artist’s signature manner, the portrait depicts Goya’s beloved grandson and heir, Mariano, then aged twenty one. Following his dark and gruesome “Black Paintings,” this portrait of a dear family member represents a return to a softer and more psychologically touching approach to figure painting. The present masterpiece has been in the current owners’ collection since 1954 and has been out of the public eye for almost 60 years. This painting comes from the estate of Greek shipping magnate George Embiricos.

Heidelberg with a Rainbow (est. $4/6 million) was commissioned from Joseph Mallord William Turner in 1840 by the engraver Thomas Prior as a design for a print. Turner’s impressive Heidelberg with a Rainbow quickly became known through the wide circulation of prints of the picture, and the watercolor itself belonged to several of the most important 19th century collectors of the artist’s works, including Joseph Gillott and Sir Donald Currie. Heidelberg with a Rainbow stands out as one of the crowning achievements of the artist’s mature style, combining his unique use of sweeping passages of hazy color and light with his acute draftsmanship in the rendering of figures and architecture.



*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium.



Last Week News

November 23, 2012

Frida Kahlo's personal items come out of the closet for new exhibition at Casa Azul

Sotheby's inaugural Auction of Asian and Western Contemporary Art in Asia to be held on 3 December

Christie's London to offer works from the collection of businessman John Schaeffer

David Livingstone exhibition opens at National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh

Turkey's Culture Minister Ertugrul Gunay wants talks with France on 'stolen' antiques

Christie's announces African and Oceanic Art Sale to be held in Paris on 11 December

"Sam Francis: Works from the 1950s on paper and canvas" on view at Gallery Delaive

Christie's Latin American Sale in May 2013 to include a selection of works donated to the Americas Society

Bill Watterson published Calvin & Hobbes Sunday strip brings world record $203,150 at Heritage Auctions

Rhinoceros horn, furnishings, decorative finery in Michaan's Asian Auction

Boring work: Penn State University wormhole sleuth peeks into ancient beetle history

Gun from Australia's Kelly gang sells for $126,000 at Leski Auctions in Melbourne

Solo exhibition of work by New York artist Robert Sagerman on view at Brian Gross Fine Art

The Jewish Museum continues new exhibition series with Collection Tableaux

Reward offered for stolen California rock carvings

Trash from Everest recycled into sculpture

Letters and documents from The War of 1812 up for auction in Waddingtons.ca's Decorative Arts Auction

Rare Carlos Sabrino Cuban painting found at auction

Second chapter of iPad and iPhone app series "Great Photographers" features William Klein

The Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane presents a survey exhibition of key works by Lawrence Carroll

November 22, 2012

Bibliothèque nationale de France examines the life of the Rothschilds in the 19th century

Argentine experts from the Natural Sciences Museum of La Plata find giant penguin fossils in Antarctica

Study delivers new insights into Rembrandt's etching techniques, many printed after his death

Former secretary to Imelda Marcos charged in New York with art conspiracy

"John Bellany: A Passion for Life" retrospective opens at the Scottish National Gallery

Chinese Abstract painter Zao Wou-ki's twilight clouded by family feud over works

Researchers from Brigham Young University unlock ancient Maya secrets with modern soil science

Brooklyn Museum acquires Neoclassical portrait by Colonial Puerto Rican master José Campeche

Auction of rare books at Ketterer Kunst in Hamburg yields 540,000% return on Die Brücke artist catalog

Local collectors donate work by acclaimed sculptor David Smith to Columbus Museum of Art

Lincoln document on sale in Philly for $900,000

Rare Beatles autographs given during a late night card game to be sold at Campbells in December

German Santa car leads the parade of highlights at Bertoia's $2.1M Toybox Treasures auction

Jonathan Prince installs major sculpture at new Broad Art Museum

Captain Speedy goes to Ethiopia: Travel and Photography Sale at Bonhams includes rare images of empire

New sequence of Adam Silverman's highly acclaimed pots on view at Edward Cella Art + Architecture

India Art Fair announces its 5th Edition

Ayyam Gallery to expand into London and Jeddah

Government Auction brings out the luxury goods for Black Friday

El Anatsui sculptural tapestry hung in Bloch Lobby at Nelson-Atkins Museum

November 21, 2012

Pompidou pays tribute to one of the most complex and prolific artists of the 20th century

Archaeologial find debunks "Maya collapse" theory, Dzibanché inhabited until 13th century

Major exhibition of large-scale sculptures by Henry Moore opens at Gagosian in New York

Tel Aviv Museum hides art to protect it from rockets, moved nearly 200 works Friday

Sotheby's Latin American Art Sale totals $19.3 million, six artist records set

Stay tuned to Bonhams for the sale of the Richard Balsbaugh Collection of vintage radios

Sotheby's 19th Century European Paintings Sale in London totals $13.2 million

Qatar Museums Authority's Orientalist Museum opens "The Art of Travel" exhibition

Exquisite works of art from the ancient world, antiquities on offer at Christie's Sale of Antiquities

Saatchi Gallery in London opens its first exhibition of contemporary Russian art

Ancient rock carvings stolen in Sierra Nevada, at least four petroglyphs hacked

Charlie Chaplin hat and cane net more than $62,000 at Bonhams this past weekend

Glasgow Boys masterpiece by Sir James Guthrie acquired by the National Galleries of Scotland

Strong selection of fine writing instruments on the block at Bonhams this December

Sarah Morris' Mechanical Ballet on view at Musée national Fernand Léger, Biot

France bans access to 'end of world' refuge

First major exhibition devoted to Peter Blake in the UK since 2007 opens at Waddington Custot Galleries

TEFAF Maastricht debut for six galleries

Revised statue of John Paul II inaugurated in Rome

Flea market find: $200 sculpture sells for $22,500 at Freeman's

November 20, 2012

Museo del Prado presents one of the largest exhibitions on Anthony Van Dyck held to date

Baltimore Museum of Art reopens newly renovated contemporary wing; first phase of $24.5M renovation

New insight into John Constable's studio practice discovered at Bonhams

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston unveils new arts of Korea gallery and exhibition of rare Buddhist paintings

Sotheby's to sell 17th-century amber games board with reputed Stuart royal provanance

Figure drawings by Anthony Caro and Jules Olitski on view in exhibition at FreedmanArt

Arte Laguna Prize widens the opportunities for artists and launches 2 new art residencies

Eight new exhibitors to be featured in the 2012 Winter Antiques Show to be held in January

Alice's Adventures in Antarctica: Carroll's books on board Scott's "Discovery" expedition offered

The Renaissance Society names Solveig Øvstebø its first new Executive Director in nearly 40 years

Boltanski's installation at the Carpenter Center is a meditation on memory and the passing of time

Small and large scale works by Julie Sass on view at Galleri Lars Olsen in Copenhagen

MW [Moment Magnitude]: Groundbreaking exhibition on view at the Frye Art Museum

Property from the Estate of San Francisco socialite John Triana leads auction at Bonhams

San Ildefonso etched redware jar brings $32,500 in Heritage Auctions American Indian Art event

Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery expands notions of drawing in new exhibition

The Vinyl Factory announces the release of the debut album by Dinos Chapman, Luftbobler,

A selection of drawings and the debut of three interactive works by Björn Schülke at bitforms gallery

galerie antoine ertaskiran in Montreal showcases the work by Sayeh Sarfaraz

November 19, 2012

London's Wellcome Collection exhibition views death through artists' eyes

First exhibition in Australia dedicated to the Neo-Impressionists opens at the National Gallery of Victoria

Photograph of the Royal Family at Balmoral goes on display in Diamond Jubilee exhibition

Drawing's fundamental role as a catalyst and vehicle for change in art explored at Tate Liverpool

"Letters from Los Angeles: Text in Southern California Art" opens at Jack Rutberg Fine Arts

American artist Spencer Finch presents a series of new works at Lisson Gallery in Milan

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Musée de Louvre announce major accord

Baltimore Museum of Art exhibition focuses on three decades of Matisse's dancers

1895 Cameo Morgan dollar highlights Heritage Auctions' U.S. Coins Signature Auction

Global cultural influences converge in new Jeffrey Gibson exhibition at Marc Straus

Jade hardstone carvings and Chinese ceramics, paintings and calligraphy on offer at Bonhams

Solo exhibition by artist and designer Mark Hearld opens at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Parrish Art Museum opens new building in Water Mill with Malcolm Morley exhibition

Jonathan Yeo's first portfolio of prints, featuring some of his most iconic sitters, on view at Eleven

Exhibition of installation, sculpture and collage by Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw at Allegra LaViola Gallery

Indianapolis Museum of Art open solo exhibition of commissioned works by local artist Lauren Zoll

Art goes on tour during Sweden's Nationalmuseum renovations

Cooper-Hewitt launches Object of the Day to expand collection access

Rare Parker Brothers A1 Special shotgun tops Bonhams fall arms sale in San Francisco

November 18, 2012

France's Musee d'Orsay opens major show of 19th century paintings at new museum in China

Topography: An exhibition of new work by Michal Rovner on view at The Pace Gallery

Ed Ruscha's richly diverse investigations of the book as a subject explored in new exhibition at Gagosian

Rosso Fiorentino's captivating Holy Family is the centerpiece of new exhibition at The Morgan

Collection of maps of China, Japan and Asia featured in Swann Galleries' December 6 auction

MoMA exhibition focuses on the transformation of Japan's capital into a center of the Avant-Garde

Donations arrive from all sectors of the art community to support hurricane recovery efforts for art galleries

Allentown Art Museum exhibits works by Abstract Expressionist painter Franz Kline

Autumn auctions at Koller Geneva: Design, Art Déco and Art Nouveau still strong

The ICA Boston presents the first major U.S. museum retrospective devoted to the art of the 1980s

New Possibilities: Abstract paintings from the seventies on view at The Piper Gallery

Exhibition of new work by Josiah McElheny opens at White Cube Mason's Yard

New series of minimalist sculptural configurations that play with colour by Amy Stephens at Poppy Sebire

Indian royal carriage comes to auction: Maharaja of Mysore's 1825 State Carriage to be sold

Milwaukee Art Museum acquires Taryn Simon photograph symbolic art thanks to community benefactor

David Kordansky Gallery opens first exhibition of new paintings by Jon Pestoni

New world records set for Weisse, Rosati and an Italian bronze at Clars November 2012 Fine Art Sale

The Circle Gallery presents the latest works of photographer, producer and painter, Dik Nicolai

Babe Ruth baseball and important collection of baseball cards to feature at Kaminski Auctions

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- 'World's oldest message in a bottle', tossed in sea 101 years ago, reaches granddaughter

2.- East-West/West-East: Qatar unveils desert sculpture by American artist Richard Serra

3.- Ming-era 'chicken cup' sells for $36.05 million breaking record for Chinese porcelain

4.- United States pastor Kevin Sutherland convicted over Damien Hirst fake paintings

5.- Major exhibition at Pinacothèque de Paris explores the myth of Cleopatra

6.- Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles opens with inaugural exhibition "Van Gogh Live!"

7.- Landmark exhibition opens in New York exploring the ancient kingdoms of Southeast Asia

8.- Palm-sized scroll that mentions Jesus's wife is ancient: Harvard Theological Review

9.- Hitler's wife Eva Braun may have had Jewish ancestry: British television documentary

10.- Bonhams to sell Madame de Pompadour's favourite porcelain which surfaced in Devon after 350 years



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