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Sotheby's New York Old Masters Week will be held from 29 January to 2 February 2013
Pompeo Girolamo Batoni, Susanna and the Elders. Signed lower left on wall P.B. 1751. Oil on canvas. Est. $6/9 million. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s annual Old Masters Week auctions in New York will be held from 29 January to 2 February 2013, offering a wide range of works spanning the 14th to 19th centuries and featuring masters of the category including Goya, El Greco, Rubens, Turner, Tiepolo, Memling and Guardi, among others. The exhibition will be on view in our York Avenue headquarters beginning 25 January 2013. Our Important Old Master Paintings and Sculpture sale on 31 January and 1 February 2013 will be highlighted by Susanna and the Elders (est. $6/9 million), a major work by Pompeo Girolamo Batoni from 1751, which was commissioned by Count Ernst Guido von Harrach of Vienna, one of the most important collectors of the day known for acquiring works by the best modern masters working in Rome. Separate release available. Also included is an unrecorded, recently-discovered Hans Memling devotional panel, Christ Blessing (est. $1/1.5 million). The panel, which has been in the same New England collection for over 150 years, was completely unknown to scholars and collectors alike before it was discovered earlier this year. Through extensive research, Sotheby’s and leading Memling experts have confirmed the panel to be by the Flemish master. Memling was one of the most influential and important artists working in Flanders in the late 15th century and was a leading painter of the Northern Renaissance.

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes’ Portrait of Mariano Goya, The Artist’s Grandson (est. $6/8 million), was 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. 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, and the impressive canvas 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.

A strong group of Italian Baroque paintings from a Distinguished Private Collection include one of Pietro Testa’s last works, Aeneas on the Bank of the River Styx (est. $3/5 million), which is drawn from Virgil’s great epic, Aeneid. This large-scale painting highlights one of the central issues in our understanding of the artist – to what degree he was a classicist following closely in the tradition of Poussin or a wild-eyed genius pursuing his own path. The picture is inexplicably linked to his own tumultuous life and tragic suicide in March 1650, when he drowned himself in the Tiber. From the same collection is Portrait of Fra Bonaventura Bisi (est. $1/1.5 million) by Guercino, which dates from the late 17th century and depicts Bisi, a Franciscan friar from the monestary of San Francesco, Bologna, who was a good friend of the artist.

The 1760 Bacchantes and Satyrs (est. $2/3 million) by prolific painter, draughstman and etcher François Boucher is a mythological painting from the artist’s maturity and was owned by his great friend and patron Christian IV, Herzog von Pfalz-Zwiebrücken. It has not been on exhibition since 1761. Among the other highlights is St. Ursula Protecting the Eleven Thousand Virgins with her Cloak (est. $1.5/2 million) by The Master of the Legend of Saint Barbara. The still-life details in the foreground and the intricate red floral pattern within St. Ursula’s robe are beautifully rendered, and the attention to detail within each of the numerous faces of the angels and attendants is particularly striking.

The striking, modern, stark depiction of a nude woman seated by a stove is a rare work by the Dutch artist Paulus Bor. Seated Nude Bathing by a Stove (est. $700/1,000,000) is a combination of compositional simplicity with stunning realism and intensity. It demonstrates the artist’s ability to fuse elements of Haarlem classicism and Utrecht Caravaggism.

The sale also includes a wide range of property from major American museums, including sixteen paintings consigned by The Metropolitan Museum of Art sold for the Acquisitions Fund. In addition, there will be two dedicated auctions of Property from the Estate of Giancarlo Baroni on 29 and 30 January 2013, which will feature a wide range of outstanding paintings & drawings from the 15th through 19th centuries, highlighted by a major El Greco, The Entombment of Christ (est. $1/1.5 million), as well as a selection of fine frames.

The Old Master Drawings sale on 30 January 2013 offers works from the 16th to 18th centuries by French, Italian and Dutch artists. A major highlight of the auction is an important, early drawing by Rubens, Anatomical Studies of Three Male Figures (est. $700/900,000), perhaps the most powerful and dramatic of a group of fourteen anatomical drawings, which the artist is thought to have made with the intention of having them engraved as illustrations to an anatomy book. This significant and powerful drawing is an écorché study of figures in tortured poses for an anatomical study.

The Gambols of Ghosts According with their Affections Previous to the Final Judgment (est. $400/600,000) is one of nineteen watercolors by William Blake that were rediscovered in 2001 in a small bookshop in Glasgow and subsequently appeared at auction at Sotheby’s in 2006. The designs, which were preserved in a leather portfolio, were linked to a commission that Blake received in 1805 from Robert Cromek, to provide illustrations for a new edition of Robert Blair’s poem “The Grave,” an epic poem that was immensely popular during the 19th century. This powerful, eerie image illustrates an early passage of the poem in which Blair evokes images of the graveyard with the damned and the saved souls processing in two moving circles.

An additional highlight is the rare and elaborate watercolor, Roses and Other Flowers in an Open-Weave Basket (est. $120/180,000) by Jan Van Huysum. Although there are relatively few drawings by Van Huysum extant, none of the other leading painters from the great age of Dutch still-life seem to have drawn as much as he did, and this perfectly preserved watercolor stands as a rare monument to the distinctive aspect of a quintessentially Dutch art form, the flower-piece. Only one comparable sheet has been sold at auction in the past 20 years. Allegory of the Elevation of Cardinal Deacon Oddone Colonna to the Papal Chair as Pope Martin V (est. $100/150,000) is a rare finished study by Luti for his ceiling painting, installed by the end of August 1700 in the Audience Chamber in Palazzo Colonna, Rome. The subject is the elevation to the Papacy of Cardinal Oddone Colonna (1346 – 1431), who was elected Pope Martin V in 1417.

Last Week News

January 3, 2013

Recently found effigy pot could indicate individual buried in funerary complex in Oaxaca

The Veendorp Collection: Life's work of a caring collector on view at Groninger Museum

Prolific artist and designer Leonard Beaumont rediscovered at Sheffield's Graves Gallery

French comics artist Tardi rejects top state honour; Does not want to fall under any political influence

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts to build works on paper gallery in historic landmark building

New Zealand earthquake city Christchurch puts faith in cardboard cathedral by Shigeru Ban

Florida celebrates its Spanish heritage with a series of events throughout 2013

Noted art dealer Patrick Orbe joins Morphy Auctions as fine art consultant to the company

Postal Museum launches 100 Years of Parcels, Packages, and Packets, Oh My!

The Hyde Collection receives $200,000 from Luce Foundation for O'Keeffe exhibition

Toomey Tourell Fine Art opens exhibition by Rhode Island based artist Allison Paschke

'Do-not-publish' Diana photo up for auction at RR Auctions of Amherst, New Hampshire

Royal Mail and BBC Worldwide to celebrate 50 years of science fiction series Doctor Who

New art gallery makes its debut with an exciting selection of contemporary artists

Romer Young Gallery to present Amanda Curreri: The Aunque

Polk Museum of Art to feature two new major exhibitions

Artists employ similar processes of repeated patterns to investigate infinite outcomes

January 2, 2013

Exhibition brings over 100 paintings by Toulouse-Lautrec to the National Gallery of Australia

Arte Povera: The great awakening of a new art movement in Italy on view at Kunstmuseum Basel

Photo Booth Art: The Aesthetics behind the Curtain, from the Surrealists to Rainer and Warhol at Kunst Haus Wien

Dried squash holds headless French king's blood: study in the journal Forensic Science International

Royal Academy of Arts presents Mariko Mori's first major exhibition in London since 1998

Tate Modern to present the UK's first major exhibition of Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi

Exhibition celebrates the postcard craze that revolutioned communication at turn of the 20th century

Philippines set to quit Marcos wealth chase, more than half the supposed $10 billion fortune still missing

Simon Evans & Öyvind Fahlström "First we make the rules, then we break the rules" at Kunsthalle Dusseldorf

Mexico City's government trying to transform one of the world's largest cities by beautifying public spaces

Exhibition at Kunsthalle in Vienna highlights artist Leigh Bowery's life and work

Artifacts recently unearthed appear to pinpoint the location of key Hatfield-McCoy battle

"The Life of Japanese Paintings": Exhibition on view at the Langen Foundation in Neuss

George Eastman House's Dryden Theatre undergoing major renovation

First New York solo exhibition with artist Marina Zurkow to open at bitforms gallery

Plan for NYC Ferris wheel rolls on, despite Sandy

World famous milliner offers an unrivaled look at hat design

French music hall treasures go on sale

January 1, 2013

Scottish National Gallery keeps with a century-old tradition of showing Turner watercolours

"Cristóbal Balenciaga: Collector of Fashions" opens at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

The Museum of Modern Art will present Claes Oldenburg: The Street and the Store

New presentation approach aims to make the Kröller-Müller Museum more accessible

Raucous Nigeria's (the most populous country in Africa) blossoming art scene tweaks the powerful

Edward Cella Art + Architecture's second solo exhibition of drawings by Cathy Daley opens

The best Swiss press photography of 2011 on view at the Musée national suisse

Rift between oldest synagogue, Jewish congregation over a set of Torah finial bells from Colonial times

Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona announces its exhibition program for 2013

"Climate of Uncertainty" exhibition opens Jan. 10 at DePaul Art Museum in Chicago

Morten Straede's "Among the blacks & Tree of smoke/Aleppo" on view at Galleri Lars Olsen

Whitford Fine Art to offer extraordinary 'artist-designed' silk squares at the Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antiques Show

Edward Boccia: Figurative Expressionist to open at The Saint Louis University Museum of Art

Recent drawings and sculptures by Julie Allen opens at McKenzie Fine Art

Celebrated NYC artist/designer/musician Ed Potokar unveils stunning creations in new exhibition

Solo exhibition of paintings by Santosh More at Jehangir Art Gallery & Kala Ghoda Festival

Mega Model Train Display at the Morris Museum

After a 3 month residency in the studio at the Gallery, WW presents solo show of new works by Jonathan Gabb

December 31, 2012

Mexican archeologists uncover 800-year-old skeletons of 12 children and adults

First major exhibition in the UK of more than 80 works created in Jingdezhen opens

Large-scale sculpture comprised of 2000 white polygonal shaped rods on view at LACMA

Getty Museum initiative to examine Los Angeles' modern architectural heritage from April through July 2013

Tate announces "Charming for the Revolution: A Congress for Gender Talents and Wildness"

"The Radical Camera: New York's Photo League, 1936-1951" on view at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

The Metro Show forms alliance with Editions/Artist's Book Fair; Shows will be held from January 23-27

Masterworks showcased at Les Enluminures stand at The 2013 Winter Antiques Show

First solo show at Galerie Gabriel Rolt by Israeli/American artist Abner Preis opens

Images 36: Association of Illustrators announces best of British illustration on tour 2012-2013

Exhibition of work by contemporary silversmiths on view at the Design Museum in Ghent

Iraqi citizens get glimpse of golden era in new exhibition at the Iraqi National Assembly

Liberal arts colleges forced to evolve with market shedding their liberal arts identity

The Global Film Initiative announces Global Lens 2013 lineup

Seminal fiber artist Ted Hallman creates one-of-a-kind installation at the Michener Art Museum

Gory artist bleeds painting at Meller Merceux Gallery

Camilo Ontiveros: In the ring on view at the Museum of Latin American Art

TABOO: A multi-faceted program opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

December 30, 2012

Mexican archaeologists find 60 arrows estimated to be more than 4,000 years old in Sinaloa

"Uruk: 5000 Years of the Megacity" set to open in 2013 at the Pergamonmuseum in Berlin

The Andy Warhol Museum launches first limited edition of rare and historic images

Watch Nights mark Emancipation Proclamation 150th at the National Archives with a midnight display

Digital Public Library of America and Europeana launch joint migration exhibition

National Museum for Women in the Arts presents Fabulous! Portraits by Michele Mattei

Don't Smile: Exhibition on the humour of art on view at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein

Simon Lee Gallery Hong Kong announces an exhibition of paintings by Bernard Frize

Cash troubles threaten 'Gladiator' tomb in Rome despite a plea from Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe

Museum of Arts and Design presents first museum exhibition exploring the design of perfume

New work by artist Paul Cowan on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Second annual Palm Springs Fine Art Fair unites 50 plus galleries and art enthusiasts

Most successful 17th century delft maker showcased at 2013 winter antiques show at Aronson Antiquairs

U.Va.'s Old Cabell Hall mural expands to encompass a lifetime of learning

After a century, US Arabs look for pieces of past

Al Hoash announces third release in its series of publications on Palestinian art

Ketterer Kunst's top results of 2007, 2010 and 2011 excelled; Best annual balance for 2012

December 29, 2012

The New Orleans Museum Art explores the boundaries between the real and fabricated

National Gallery announces first major monographic exhibition, dedicated to the art of Federico Barocci

FBI removes many redactions in Marilyn Monroe file recently obtained by The Associated Press

Exhibition focuses on the self-portrait as a genre throughout the 20th and into the 21st century

Mexican historian and educator Artemio Benavides Hinojosa dies at the age of 79

Praying Hitler by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan in ex-Warsaw ghetto sparks emotion

Spink to offer fine and rare stamps and covers of China and Hong Kong in January sale

Los Angeles Modern Auctions' 20th anniversary season totals over $5 million

Artistic positions from five decades of photogaphy on view at Fotomuseum Winterthur

Pakistan's Rohtas Gallery for 30 years has defied dictatorships and fundamentalists

Paintings at the National College of Arts in the eastern city of Lahore outrage Islamic hard-liners in Pakistan

Art Rotterdam announces gallery selection 2013, all Dutch top galleries are present

Hundreds of interactive paper boats by Aether & Hemera sail into Canary Wharf

Not a hint of 'Bah, humbug' as Waverly auctions Dickens book collection for 17 times high estimate

Luciano Rigolini's "Concept Car" on view at Musée de l'Elysée

Sweater knit by Myanmar's Suu Kyi sells for $49K

Steven Holl Architects' Daeyang Gallery and House wins 2012 Annual Design Review Award

National Gallery of Canada seeks nationwide participation in creating artwork

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Boy and an amateur archaeologist unearth legendary Danish king's trove in Germany

2.- Exhibition at The Met illustrates what visitors encountered at The palace of Versailles

3.- Philadelphia Museum of Art opens "Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950"

4.- Exhibition at Michael Hoppen Gallery presents a cross-section of works from Thomas Mailaender's career

5.- New York's Chelsea Hotel celebrity door auction raises $400,000

6.- Stevie Ray Vaughan's first guitar drives Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction to nearly $2.9 million

7.- Lichtenstein's Nude with Blue Hair tops $2.4 million sale of Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples

8.- $6.7 million Fancy Intense Blue Diamond sets auction record at Sotheby's New York

9.- Mexico court blocks sales of controversial Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

10.- Dutch museums to conduct new research on the paintings of Pieter de Hooch

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