Christie’s merger of 19th Century European paintings with Old Master paintings leaves Sotheby’s 19th C European department all alone on the stage. Carol Vogel shines the spotlight on Polly Satori, the head of Sotheby’s 19th C European department–
“But we’re not a museum, we’re a business,” she added. “And in 2008 Sotheby’s sold $41 million worth of 19th-century paintings. It’s a good business. Ten of those works brought more than $1 million.”
On April 24, when the auction house holds its 19th-century sale, Ms. Satori anticipates the audience will be eager to visit its York Avenue galleries. One of the attractions will be “Washerwomen of the Breton Coast,” an 1870 landscape by the French realist Jules Breton. [ . . . ]
Much to Ms. Satori’s surprise, the painting recently turned up in a Paris apartment, where the owner had hung it in his dining room since the 1950s. (No records of where he bought it exist, Ms. Satori said, nor can he remember where it came from.) Now Sotheby’s is selling the painting, and experts there say it could fetch $400,000 to $500,000.
Inside Art (New York Times)