Sotheby’s explains their success today:
A new auction record for Sir Anthony van Dyck – one of the most important artists to have worked in England – was set tonight at Sotheby’s in London when the artist’s Self Portrait sold to a bidder in the saleroom (Alfred Bader in partnership with Philip Mould) for £8,329,250/ US$13,521,704/ €9,207,960. The portrait was hotly pursued by nine bidders, who drove the price to almost three times the pre-sale high estimate (the painting had an estimate of £2-3 million) and established a new auction record for the artist by a considerable margin.
**The previous auction record for a work by van Dyck was £3,065,250 and this was set by his A Rearing Stallion in 2008.**
The masterpiece, which is van Dyck’s last portrait of himself, was painted in London in 1640 in the final months of his life. It is one of only three self portraits that he painted in England and of the remaining two, one is in the collection of the Duke of Westminster and the other – which shows him with his great friend Endymion Porter – today hangs in the Prado Museum in Madrid. This last self portrait captures him dashingly attired in a black and white slashed silk doublet.
Prior to tonight’s sale, the painting had last appeared on the market in 1712. It therefore came to the market this evening with exemplary provenance having been in the same family collection for almost 300 years. It was offered for sale tonight by the Earl of Jersey’s Trust.