The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, July 7, 2022


Sale of rare da Vinci drawing triggers legal battle in France
In this file photo taken on December 13, 2016 A member of Paris auctioneer Tajan displays a previously undiscovered drawing by Leonardo da Vinci at the auction house in Paris. The rare sketch is valued at around 16 million USD. PHILIPPE LOPEZ / AFP.

by Eleonore Dermy



PARIS (AFP).- A small pen-and-ink drawing attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, which lay buried unrecognised in a box for decades, was at the centre of an acrimonious battle between its owner and France's culture ministry in a case that opened in a Paris court on Wednesday.

The court began hearing if the drawing of a martyred Saint Sebastian lashed to a tree is allowed to leave France for eventual purchase by a foreign buyer, as desired by the owner, named only a Jean B, but contested by the French state.

The piece was among several drawings and engravings that Jean B, now 86, received as a gift from his father for passing his medical school exams in 1959.

Being more of a rock enthusiast than an art lover at the time, the young doctor put it aside and promptly forget about it for over half a century.

Stumbling across the box of drawings again during a move in 2016 he decided to give them to the Tajan auction house to have them valued.

The head of Tajan's Old Masters department, Thaddee Prate, quickly identified the hand of a master, without specifying who, and valued it at between 20,000 and 30,000 euros ($17,000-$25,000).

If Jean B thought he was lucky then, he was about to become far more fortunate.

Another expert, Patrick de Bayser, concluded that the two-sided drawing -- the other side is inscribed with scientific studies of candle light -- was by none other than da Vinci, an opinion backed by a third specialist, Carmen Bambach of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

"The attribution of the Saint Sebastian drawing to Leonardo is absolutely solid," she told The New York Times, noting that it was complementary to other drawings of Saint Sebastian by the artist.
- A 'national treasure' -

In an instant, the work's estimated value rocketed, reaching between eight and 12 million euros.

But it's not every day that a new da Vinci turns up, and the French government soon stepped in, designating the drawing a "national treasure" and giving itself 30 months to acquire it on behalf of the Louvre museum in Paris, home of the Mona Lisa.

An offer from the state duly followed -- 10 million euros -- but with a new valuation estimating the drawing at 15 million euros, Jean B refused and the culture ministry threw in the towel.

But the affair did not end there.

Jean B promptly applied for an export permit to be able to sell the drawing to a foreign buyer but the culture ministry refused, claiming that the drawing may in fact have been stolen.

In the case that opened Wednesday, the retired doctor asked a Paris court to order the culture minister and a senior official in charge of art collections to allow the drawing to leave France by granting an export licence.

The case was adjourned until October 27.

After the Salvator Mundi

Jean B's lawyer Olivier Baratelli termed the government's handling of the painting's discovery as "catastrophic".

"A culture ministry worthy of its name would have ensured the French state acquire such a drawing," he argued.

Meanwhile Jean B has also fallen out with Tajan.

Saying he learned through the press of their plans to put the drawing up for auction without his consent he revoked their sale mandate.

Baratelli claimed that Tajan had been "intoxicated" by the prospect of a hefty commission after the sale of "Salvator Mundi", also attributed to da Vinci, which set a record for the most expensive painting ever sold at auction in 2017 when it was acquired by the Saudi royal family for $450 million at Christie's.

Tajan, for its part, has sued the drawing's owner for two million euros for breach of contract, asking that he compensate the auction house for all the work it has carried out on his behalf.


© Agence France-Presse










Today's News

July 8, 2021

The Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art presents Changing Tides: Gifts from Gordon W. Bailey

MAM Shanghai presents the first exhibition of Zaha Hadid Architects in mainland China

Ten objects by Joseph Beuys exhibited at different locations in Munich

Sale of rare da Vinci drawing triggers legal battle in France

Major exhibition of Joan Miró's work opens at the Museum of Art Pudong in Shanghai

Exhibition at Xavier Hufkens explores how artists use systems and structures to free expression

'Will I be alive tomorrow?': Afghan woman photographer under threat

Exhibition presents a comprehensive picture of the role of art during The Thirty Years' War

Dilip Kumar, Bollywood's 'tragedy king', dies aged 98

UK's first new cultural space since coronavirus pandemic opens in Edinburgh

Christie's Paris to offer the Monsieur et Madame Jean-Marc Forneri Collection

A blossoming of trust: miart and Milano Art Week will be back in September

Smithsonian names Ngaire Blankenberg Director of the National Museum of African Art

With venues reopening across New York, life is a cabaret once again

Exhibition reveals young people's insights into life at home during lockdown

Freedom 50: New outdoor exhibition on view in Birmingham's Centenary Square

One of Birmingham's most iconic buildings now welcoming visitors

Pinakothek der Moderne opens 'Taiwan Acts! Architecture in Social Dialogue'

First UK solo exhibition by art collective Fehras Publishing Practices opens at The Mosaic Rooms

The Art Institute presents Mimi Cherono Ng'ok: Closer to the Earth, Closer to my Own Body

Kristina D. Palmer takes on role of chief development officer at the Columbia Museum of Art

How are game developers faring on the stock market?

Unusual Museum Collections From Around The World

5 Ways to Maintain your YouTube Channel like a Pro

Best sports bra for exercise

Why is vacuum casting beneficial?

45 Common Adjectives That Start with C

Email Safe Fonts vs. Custom Fonts: Which is Better to Choose?




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
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. 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 Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful