With half a billion pounds worth of art sold over the past fortnights momentous Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary Art sales in London, the summer sale season culminates next week, stepping back in history to offer an array of the finest Old Master & British Paintings and Treasures.
As a new wave of collectors now descends on London to immerse itself in the finest treasures that the market has to offer, Sothebys
unveiled some exceptional pieces not seen for decades, or even centuries led by masterworks from the celebrated collections of Castle Howard, one of Britains greatest and most beautiful country houses, and also the legendary setting for Brideshead Revisited.
Spanning a range of periods and media, from Roman antiquities to Old Master paintings and 17th century Italian furniture, nine carefully selected works from the magnificent collections of Castle Howard will be offered at Sothebys on 8th July.
The full array of the works on offer are on public exhibition at Sothebys New Bond Street galleries in London from today (4th July) ahead of the auctions on 8th July.
Among the highlights are a magnificent view of Venice by Bernardo Bellotto, one of the 18th centurys most talented view painters; a powerful portrait of one Britains most famous monarchs, King Henry VIII; and a striking depiction of a young boy by Dutch artist Ferdinand Bol. All of these works were commissioned or bought by the Howard family over the course of 300 years.
Selected Works from the Collections of Castle Howard
Bernardo Bellotto (1722 1780) Venice, A View of The Grand Canal Looking South From The Palazzo Foscari and Palazzo Moro-Lin Towards The Church of Santa Maria Della Carità, With Numerous Gondolas and Barges Oil on canvas 59.7 x 89.5 cm Estimate: £2.5 3.5 million* / HK$28.8 40.3 million
One of the most critical eras in European cultural history was that of the Grand Tour. While the Grand Tour was undertaken almost de rigueur by 18th-century young men of social standing, for the 3rd and 4th Earls of Carlisle it was an experience that was ultimately to place them among the most important art patrons of their times. Sothebys Old Masters sale will include one of the great Venetian views acquired by the 4th Earl on his famous second Grand Tour in Italy in 1738-39. One of no fewer than 15 works commissioned or bought by the Earl from Bernardo Bellotto (1722 1780), Venice, A View of The Grand Canal Looking South From The Palazzo Foscari ranks, together with its companion paintings, among the earliest and most important examples of works by Bellotto purchased by a British patron. Painted when Bellotto was just 16 years old, at a time when he was working in the studio of his uncle Canaletto, this exceptional work bears witness to his remarkable precocity. It also constitutes a major contribution in our knowledge of the painters early career, showing that even while still in his teens Canalettos nephew had begun to develop his own distinctive approach to the vedutistas art.
Circle Of / Studio Of Hans Holbein The Younger (1725 1815) Portrait of Henry VIII Dated 1542 Oil on panel Estimate: £800,000 1,200,000 / HK$9.2 13.8 million
This powerful portrait of one of Englands most famous monarchs was painted in 1542 in the studio of Hans Holbein, one of the greatest Western portraitists of the 16th century. Driven by a love of women and the desire for a male heir, King Henry VIII is renowned for having had no fewer than six wives. The work is dated 1542, the year when the Kings fifth wife, Catherine Howard, niece of the Duke of Northumberland, the ancestor of the Earls of Carlisle, was beheaded on the grounds of alleged adultery.
Ferdinand Bol (Dordrecht 1616 1680 Amsterdam ) Portrait of a Boy Painted in 1652 Oil on canvas 170 x 150 cm Estimate: £2 3 million / HK$23 34.5 million
Unlike his father, who was best known as a collector of Italian antiquities and paintings, Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle (1748 1825) collected more broadly, embracing contemporary British pictures, as well as Dutch and Italian Old Masters. His acquisitions transformed the collection at Castle Howard into one of the most significant in Britain. A fine example of 17th century Dutch painting is to be found in Ferdinand Bols Portrait of a Boy. Bought from the Fagel family in 1801, this impressive work is surely the finest portrait by the artist, one of Rembrandts favourite and most talented pupils. It is without any doubt Bol's most original work, in which he finally steps out of the shadow cast by his teacher to establish his own independent style.
Selected Works from Sothebys Old Masters Sale
Lucas Cranach The Elder (1472 1553) La Bocca della Verità (The Jaws of Truth) Oil and tempera on red beechwood 111 x 100 cm Estimate: £6 8 million / HK$69 92 million
Painted in circa 152527, this rare masterpiece of German Renaissance painting can be counted amongst the most important works by Lucas Cranach the Elder remaining in private hands today and comes to auction for the first time in its history. The work depicts the rarely portrayed subject of the Bocca della Verità, the Mouth of Truth, and relates to an ancient stone mask of a river god in the porch of the Basilica of Santa Maria in Rome, in which anyone who did not speak the truth while placing their hand inside the open mouth of the river god would lose it.