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Record for Any Paul Gauguin Print Sold at Auction Established Today at Sotheby's
A bidder makes an offer by telephone for a pair of woodcut prints entitled 'Star Map' by German artist Albrecht Duerer (1471-1528) during an auction at Sotheby's in central London, Britain, 30 March 2011. Duerer's 'Star Map' pair was sold for 361.250 GBP (409.837 euro) to an anonymous buyer. EPA/KERIM OKTEN.
LONDON.- This morning at Sotheby’s in London , ten prints by Paul Gauguin from the Collection of Stanley J. Seeger, sold for £1.54 million ($2.47 million), almost four times the pre-sale low estimate for the group. A new auction record for a print by Paul Gauguin was achieved when Crouching Tahitian Woman Seen From The Back sold for £577,250 ($924,466), over three times the estimate (£180,000-220,000). The traced monotype, or ‘printed drawing’, was fiercely contested by a number of determined bidders, finally selling to a private collector on the telephone after a five-minute battle.

Earlier in the sale, there was much excitement surrounding a pair of rare woodcuts by Albrecht Dürer – widely considered the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance. The earliest printed star charts, A Map of the Northern Sky and A Map of the Southern Sky, sold for £361,250 ($578,542) to Daniel Crouch Rare Books, over three times the low estimate. The price achieved established a new record for a woodcut by Dürer at auction.

These two celestial maps are the oldest printed star charts published in Europe. Dated circa 1515, they were produced in Nuremberg under the patronage of the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I, and were the product of an innovative collaboration between Dürer, the eminent Viennese mathematician, cartographer and astronomer Johannes Stabius and German astronomer Conrad Heinfogel. The woodcuts depict the northern and southern skies known to European astronomers at the time, and combine with great skill the accuracy of the stars with constellation figures as visualised by the Greeks and Romans. There are only ten other examples of the 1515 star charts extant in institutions worldwide, and the present set – estimated at £120,000-180,000 – is one of only three recorded with contemporary hand-colouring. Aided by Dürer's reputation, these star maps were highly influential and became a source of inspiration for successive mapmakers.

Distilling iconography influenced by Antiquity, Greek geometrical studies and Islamic scholarship, the woodcuts display Dürer's virtuosity and interest in science and mathematics. The maps show the stars of the forty-eight constellations based on Ptolemy's second century star catalogue, the Almagest. Early western maps of the skies showing both stars and constellation figures appeared circa 1440; however, the present maps were the first to chart a coordinate system with accurate placement of the stars. They attest to the role that Nuremberg played as a centre of printing as well as for the manufacture of scientific instruments.

The map of the northern hemisphere is richly decorated with the twelve signs of the Zodiac, to be read counter-clockwise. Four ancient authorities appear at each corner of the northern chart, each in their national dress, holding a celestial globe: Aratus representing the Greek, Ptolemy the Egyptian, Al-Sufi the Islamic and Marcus Manilius the Roman tradition of astronomy. The map of the southern hemisphere displays distinctly fewer stars and constellations. At the time, Europeans had not yet charted the southern sky; this is reflected in the pared down composition of the map, with its areas of vacant constellations.



Today's News

March 30, 2011

Sotheby's New York to Offer an Exceptional Tahitian Sculpture Carved by Paul Gauguin

Record for Any Paul Gauguin Print Sold at Auction Established Today at Sotheby's

Exhibition of Paintings and Works on Paper by Richard Prince at Gagosian Gallery in Paris

City of Cologne will Receive a Spectacular Gift from the Bequest of Irene Ludwig

Exhibition of New Work by Spanish Artist Angela de la Cruz at Lisson Gallery

Exhibition at Jacquemart-André Museum Evokes the Private World of the Caillebotte Brothers

Christie's to Sell Giant Pearl in Dubai, Expected to Sell for as Much as $250,000

Hundreds of British Arts Organizations Feel the Sting of Government's Funding Cuts

Living Legend of the International Avant-Garde, Yayoi Kusama, at Gagosian in Rome

A Celebration of the Skill of Emerging Victorian Artists at the National Gallery of Victoria

DC Moore Gallery Announces Acclaimed Painter George Tooker Dead at 90

Getty Museum to Return Looted Painting Previously Owned by Jacques Goudstikker

The Whitney Explores New Narratives through a Multi-Year Series of Collection Exhibitions

Property of a Palm Beach Private Collector Brings $8.4 Million at Sotheby's New York

Acte2Galerie Presents Photographer Albert Watson in Solo Show at ArtParis 2011

Zoom: Italian Design and the Photography of Aldo and Marirosa Ballo at the Vitra Museum

Madison Square Park Conservancy's Mad. Sq. Art Premieres Commissioned Film

The Collection Of Sir Daniel Donohue for Sale at Bonhams & Butterfields In Los Angeles

Rare Work that Sheds Fascinating Light on British Delegation to China in 1954 to Be Shown

Artspace.com Closes a $1.2 Million Round of Investment Financing and Launches Today

New York Based Painter Edward del Rosario Opens 4th Solo Show at Richard Heller Gallery

UC Berkeley Art Museum Receives Grant To Conserve Hans Hofmann Collection

Sotheby's to Offer The Greatest Collection of Domaine de la Romanée Conti and White Burgundy

Ornamentum Gallery Chosen as Premier Contemporary Jewelry Exhibitor at Design Miami/ Basel 2011

Getty Brings Together Over 40 Drawings, Predominantly Recent Acquisitions

Visual AIDS Presents: A Special Viewing of Eric Rhein: "Transmutation" and "Between The Lines"

The Katonah Art Center Encourages "Grownups" to Paint, Sculpt, or Play with Clay

Phillips de Pury & Company Announces the Highlights from Design April

The Creators of the Grammy Nominated Her Morning Elegance Launch the First Global Excision Art Project

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