Christie's presents Masterworks from the Alana Collection

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Christie's presents Masterworks from the Alana Collection
Fra Giovanni da Fiesole, called Fra Angelico (Vicchio c. 1395-1455 Rome), Saint Dominic and the Stigmatization of Saint Francis, tempera and gold on panel, 6¼ x 3¾ in. (15.9 x 9.5 cm.) Estimate: $4,000,000-6,000,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2022.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announced Old Masters | New Perspectives: Masterworks from the Alana Collection, a selection of one of the most important collections of Italian Old Master paintings, sculptures, and Antiquities to ever be offered at auction in New York. The selection will debut alongside Christie’s 20/21 exhibition in London, presenting a fresh look at Old Masters by engaging the work in dialogue with 20th and 21st century artworks demonstrating an exceptional breadth of masterpieces throughout history.

Assembled with great expertise and passion over decades, the Alana Collection’s Gothic, Italian Renaissance, and Baroque paintings comprehensively tell the story of the history of Italian art, and have gained international renown following the acclaimed 2019-2020 exhibition at the Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris. Led by masterpieces by Fra Angelico, Orazio Gentileschi, El Greco among many other illustrious artists, the selection of works offered in this sale are distinguished not only by their exceptional artistic quality, but also by the manner in which as a group, they tell an important story, both about the culture that produced them and our own. The auction comprises over 50 outstanding works that will be sold in a single-owner live auction taking place at Rockefeller Plaza on June 9, 2022, after completing a global tour alongside Impressionist, Modern, and Post-War highlights to London, Hong Kong, New York, and Los Angeles. Proceeds from the sale will benefit a charitable organization that focuses on arts and education. In total, the sale of these works is expected to fetch $30 million – 50 million.

The great zeal, connoisseurship and sophistication that drove the formation of the Alana Collection’s Old Master Paintings, Sculptures and Antiquities call to mind the spirit of such notable collectors from the late-19th and 20th centuries as Norton Simon, John G. Johnson, Robert Lehman, Barbara Piasecka Johnson, and Jayne Wrightsman. Highlighting the collection is a powerful yet touching depiction of The Madonna and Child, by Orazio Gentileschi (estimate: $4,000,000-6,000,000). An exquisite example of Gentileschi’s refined style, this work on panel was painted with lapus lazuili and other expensive materials, indicating that it was created for one of the artist’s most important patrons. The mother and child were clearly painted from posed models, following the innovative practices of Caravaggio, yet Gentileschi imbued the painting with his own, poetic idiom, grounded in the more formal, Baroque pictorial conventions of his day. Another highlight in the collection is Fra Angelico’s Saint Dominic and the Stigmatization of Saint Francis (estimate: $4,000,000-6,000,000). An exceptionally-rare work by the early Florentine Renaissance artist, this small panel was recently featured in an exhibition dedicated to the artist held at the Museo del Prado, Madrid. Originally part of a diptych, its second panel is the Madonna and Child with four angels in the Detroit Art Institute. Equally remarkable is El Greco’s Portrait of a young man, said to be Saint Luis Gonzaga (estimate $3,000,000-5,000,000), one of the few portraits by the artist left in private hands. The sitter has been identified as Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591), who served as page to the Infante Diego, who would have been around 14 at the time this was painted around 1582. The assembly of revelers gathered around a table in Bartolomeo Manfredi’s A drinking and musical party provides a fascinating glimpse into daily life in early-seventeenth century Rome. Painted by arguably the most important and innovative of Caravaggio’s early followers, this work was last seen in 2017 in the Beyond Caravaggio exhibition at the National Gallery, London.

François de Poortere, Christie’s Head of Old Master Paintings, comments, “We are honored to be entrusted with treasures from the Alana collection for auction this spring. These paintings, sculptures and works of art tell the history of Italian art from Antiquity, through the Renaissance to the Baroque era and counts among the greatest assembled in the last century. Passion and connoisseurship drove the creation of this extraordinary collection which has and will stand the test of history.”

Bonnie Brennan, Christie’s President of Americas, comments, “It is an honor to partner with the Fine Art Group to present this once in a generation collection with some of the finest works of their kind to ever come on the public market. The profound quality and breadth of these works stand as a testament of the supreme care and vision that guided the formation of the Alana Collection. We are especially excited to debut these works alongside 20th and 21st century masterpieces, creating a dialogue across the entirety of history.”

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