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|| Thursday, March 30, 2023
|From Titian to van Dyck: Koller's Old Master auction features works by great names of Renaissance and Baroque art|
A portrait of a nobleman by Titian, circa 1550 (lot 3032, CHF 800 000/1 200 000), apparently served as a model for paintings by both Rubens ('Self-Portrait in the Circle of His Mantuan Friends', 1602, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne) and van Dyck ('Self-Portrait with Endymion Porter', 1635, Museo del Prado, Madrid).
ZURICH.- The Old Master Paintings auction on 26 March features works by an 'all-star' selection of artists, including a powerful painting of St Jerome in the wilderness by Anthony van Dyck (lot 3027, estimate upon request). This small-format work is remarkable for its virtuoso, free-flowing execution. Painted when the young van Dyck was still in Peter Paul Rubens's workshop, the work seems to correspond with one mentioned in the elder artist's estate, and so may have been a part of Rubens's personal collection.
A portrait of a nobleman by Titian, circa 1550 (lot 3032, CHF 800 000/1 200 000), apparently served as a model for paintings by both Rubens ('Self-Portrait in the Circle of His Mantuan Friends', 1602, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne) and van Dyck ('Self-Portrait with Endymion Porter', 1635, Museo del Prado, Madrid). The Flemish artists were likely inspired by the particular pose of the sitter, who was probably a friend of Titian. Van Goyen's river view with a walled city and windmill (lot 3057, CHF 120 000/160 000) is a mature work by the artist at the height of his talents, rendered in enchanting shades of ochre and umber.
A haunting depiction of St Benedict by Filippino Lippi (lot 3002, CHF 40 000/60 000) dates from the artist's youth, when he worked in partnership with Sandro Botticelli's workshop, and contains elements of the particular style that would make Lippi one of the most important artists of the Italian Renaissance. Luca Giordano is represented in the March sale by an intense portrait of a scholar in tattered clothing but with all the dignity of a nobleman in his regard - a coded show of support for a new form of science based on experimentation and reason (lot 3035, CHF 80 000/120 000).
Three paintings by Austrian artist Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller will be offered in the 19th Century Paintings auction on 26 March, including a magnificent candlelight portrait of two young ladies reading a love letter (lot 3141, CHF 150 000/250 000). Waldmüller's landscapes are gaining more and more importance in his oeuvre, and his view of the Watzmann peak in the Bavarian Alps is a fine example of this genre (lot 3143, CHF 70 000/90 000). Konstantin Ivanovich Gorbatoff's view of Capri (lot 3119, CHF 60 000/80 000) is a testament to the fascination for Italy held by this Russian emigrant and former professor of the St Petersburg Academy of Art. A fascination for another realm, the Near East, was the impetus for the portrait of an Arab seated in a bazaar by Carl Spitzweg (lot 3120, CHF 30 000/40 000).
The Fine Furniture, Porcelain & Silver auction on 25 March boasts a particularly fine selection of works from private collections, including a pair of German Rococo marquetry chests of drawers from the workshop of the renowned Gebrüder Spindler, which were formerly in Trebschen Castle in present-day Poland (lot 1087, CHF 150 000/250 000). After the stellar success of the Ducret Collection of porcelain in Koller's September auction, further pieces from Ducret's heirs will be offered on 25 March, including an important Meissen Höroldt tankard (lot 1059, CHF 18 000/22 000). From another collection comes a very rare large Meissen plate (D 42 cm) from the celebrated Swan Service of Count von Brühl (lot 1047, CHF 15 000/25 000). The silver section features a private collection of Baroque silver from Hamburg, including a magnificent covered tankard by Hans Lambrecht III weighing in at almost 4 kg (lot 1016, CHF 90 000/140 000), and a rare silver coin goblet by Hamburg maker Heinrich von Dort (lot 1018, CHF 80 000/140 000).
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