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Swann Galleries' January 29 Old Master Drawings Auction tops $500,000
Giulio Romano, Study of a Grotesque Dragon, ink and wash. Sold for $22,800, including buyer's premium.

NEW YORK, NY.- Swann Galleries returned to the Old Master Drawings market after a five-year hiatus with a strong offering on January 29, including what is likely an original watercolor by Joseph M.W. Turner, previously identified as from the circle of Turner.

The watercolor, From Ehrenbreitstein, was quite likely painted by Turner on the spot during his tour of the Rhine in 1817. It was the sale’s top lot at $42,000*.

Other Turner drawings were also well received, with A Wreck near Pembroke Castle, ink and wash, attributed to Turner, bringing $21,600; a circle of Turner Swiss Lake Scene in watercolor and gouache, $5,040; and a watercolor after Turner of Lake Constance, $3,600.

Todd Weyman, Swann Galleries Vice President and Director of Prints & Drawings, said, “The overall great success of this auction, which surpassed the half million dollar mark, was punctuated by particularly strong selling Italian drawings.”

Among those Italian highlights were two that became the highest selling drawings by the artists auctioned during Master Drawings Week in New York this year: Guido Reni, Head of a Woman Looking to the Left, chalk drawing, circa 1639-40, which may be related to the head of Cleopatra in Sir Denis Mahon’s collection, $28,800; and Giulio Romano, Study of a Grotesque Dragon, ink and wash, formerly in the collection of the English artist Sir Joshua Reynolds, $22,800.

More Italian drawings of note were a collection of 60 chalk and pencil drawings after sculpture by Giovanni Domenico Campiglia and others, $36,000; Follower of Giovanni Battista Piranesi, An Antique Temple with a Coffered Dome, ink, wash, chalk and pencil, circa 1750, $9,600; Bernardino Gatti, called Il Sojaro, Study of Horizontal Legs, chalk and gouache, $9,000; Bernardino Lanino, The Virgin and Child with St. John the Baptist and St. Elizabeth, ink and wash on board, $9,000; and A Cardinal in Front of a Church, pen and ink, Venetian school, 16th century, $7,800.

A Circle of Joris Hoefnagel Still Life with Flowers, Insects and a Snail, watercolor and gouache on vellum, 1589, was the top Dutch item at $31,200.

From the French drawings portion of the sale were François Boucher, Two Satyrs, black and white chalk drawing, circa 1740s, $10,800; and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Etude d’un Corde à linge, pencil, 1832, $6,480.

German highlights included Circle of Hans van Aachen, The Lamentation, ink and wash, 1605, $11,400.

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