The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Saturday, August 29, 2015


Painting attributed to El Greco smashes pre-sale estimate at Bonhams Old Masters Sale
Bidders on the phone and in a packed saleroom entered a tense battle for the striking work. Photo: Bonhams.
LONDON.- An oil painting of Saint Peter attributed to Domenikos Theotokopoulos, better known as El Greco, sold for £791,650 against a pre-sale estimate of £40,000 – 60,000 at Bonhams yesterday, 5th December 2012.

Bidders on the phone and in a packed saleroom entered a tense battle for the striking work, which made over ten times the pre-sale estimate. Other pieces in the sale, which realised a total of £2 million, also exceeded their estimates with a portrait of a gentleman by Dutch painter Jacob Adriaensz Backer selling for £103,250 against an estimate of £20,000 – 30,000.

Certain stylistic features in the Saint Peter painting, such as the painter’s three-dimensional and naturalistic handling of the figure are comparable to works that El Greco painted in his late Roman and early Spanish period.

Andrew McKenzie, Director of Old Master Paintings said, “The painting was a totally new discovery on our part which was the result of our extensive research. Owing to the notorious difficulties in distinguishing between those authentic works that can be absolutely verified to be by El Greco and workshop variants, we attributed the painting to the artist in our catalogue description with an appropriately cautious estimate. However, the enthusiasm we received both prior to and during the sale was a resounding endorsement of this attribution and we are delighted with the outcome.”

In the words of José Gudiol, 'Faced with the problem of placing undocumented canvases in their right position in the chronological sequence of El Greco's work, and with no more to go on than what is revealed by their style, the art historian is always assailed by a certain amount of worrisome hesitation...his decision, despite the fact that has been reached after infinite consideration, has only the value of a working hypothesis. To form some idea of the difficulties this entails, we need only consider the disparity of the opinions uttered and published regarding the dates of these undocumented works.' He thus concludes that 'The task of distinguishing between a truly authentic work and a workshop copy sometimes - not always, fortunately - goes beyond the bounds of human possibilities.' J. Gudiol, Domenikos Theotokopoulos El Greco 1541-1614 (London, 1973), p. 297.

Certain specific stylistic features of the present painting are nonetheless highly comparable to works that El Greco painted in particular in his late Roman and early Spanish period, when his rendering is very three-dimensional and naturalistic. Perhaps the most notable comparison can be made to the artist's Disrobing of Christ in Toledo Cathedral Sacristy. Executed between 1577-1579 this large altarpiece is one of El Greco's finest paintings and a work of the foremost importance in the history of European art. Most striking is the similarity between the treatment of the nose, ear and forehead with several of the heads depicted above Christ, but especially the bearded figure who lies at a similar angle, third from the right (see the detail in José Gudiol's volume, op. cit., fig. 70, p. 84). Further comparison can be drawn from the figure in the same composition who is crouching lower right (op. cit., fig. 73, p. 89). The same treatment of the eyebrows and beard may also be discerned in the artist's 1577 Assumption, in three of the figures to the lower right of the composition (Chicago Art Institute, see op. cit., fig. 56, p. 72). A further work that bears close comparison is the head of the full-length Saint John the Baptist in Santo Domingo el Antiguo, Toledo, a work which was also executed in the period 1577-79.

Bonhams | Domenikos Theotokopoulos | El Greco | Andrew McKenzie |




Today's News

December 7, 2012

11th annual Art Basel Miami Beach features 257 leading international galleries

Cavemen better at drawing animal movement: study by open access journal PLoS ONE

Restoration of Jacopo da Pontormo altarpiece reveals unrecorded drawing clearly visible at the top

Berlin marks 100 years since Nefertiti find with major exhibition 'In The Light of Amarna'

Italian police recover 2,000-year-old Egyptian sphinx stolen from Etruscan necropolis of Montem Rossulum

Painting attributed to El Greco smashes pre-sale estimate at Bonhams Old Masters Sale

After a 4.8 million dollar makeover, London's Charles Dickens Museum reopens

1933 King Kong three sheet brings $388,375 to set house record at Heritage Auctions

Glassblowing comes to the iPhone: VMFA and The Martin Agency launch app inspired by Dale Chihuly's artwork

Swiss contemporary art generates enthusiasm among collectors at Sotheby's

The New Art Dealers Alliance returns to Miami Beach for the 10th edition of NADA Miami Beach

Bernar Venet invited by Bugatti to create a work of art on view at the Rubell Family Collection

Aqua's 8th installment packs another powerful punch during Art Basel Miami week

Tamara Beckwith, co-owner of the Little Black Gallery, joins Channel 4's Four Rooms

Sweden's Nationalmuseum announces acquisition of photographic portraits by Hans Gedda

RISD Museum bids farewell and warm wishes to Curator Judith Tannenbaum

The Helmut Newton Foundation opens exhibition of works by François-Marie Banier and Helmut Newton

World's most important porcelain tea service sells at Bonhams for £541,250

Just discovered Scharl Portrait of Einstein up for sale for first time

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- The finest opal ever unearthed will be publicly displayed for the first time in Australia

2.- Archaeologists report Kukulkan Pyramid at Chichen Itza built over an underground river

3.- United States returns long-lost Pablo Picasso painting "The Hairdresser" to France

4.- A year after discovery, no answers to a possible resting place of Alexander the Great

5.- National Art School Gallery presents major exhibition of work by Australian artist Rosemary Laing

6.- New Princess Diana wedding photographs up for auction at RR Auctions in Boston

7.- Gregory Crewdson's uncanny images of deceptively serene suburban life on view at the San Diego Museum of Art

8.- Foreigners, 10 men and 10 women, named to head some of Italy's greatest museums

9.- Tate Liverpool to show one of the most iconic works ever made by Henri Matisse

10.- Royals warn against paparazzi pictures of Prince George; Urged media to boycott their pictures

Related Stories



Bonhams Period Art & Design Sale in San Francisco achieves strong results across categories

Beatles rock Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia Sale; Exceptional prices achieved for Beatles items

Henrietta Leon Girshman's Carnet de Salon leads Bonhams Russian Literature Auction

Bonhams walks on Moon as illuminating space auction reaches the stars

Dictionaries define success at Bonhams

Painting of epic battle between British and American warships in 1813 for sale at Bonhams

Last King of France's ice buckets re-discovered and red-hot at Bonhams sale

Beauty and the beast: Roman goddesses and court dwarves at Bonhams sale

Discovery in New England brings to light an obscure California-made motorcycle once thought 'extinct'

Dazzling prices in £6m Bonhams Fine Jewellery Sale with over £1m for Van Cleef & Arpels brooch



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Social Network Manager and Translator: Norma Cristina Pérez Ayala Cano
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemariasound.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site