Georgina Adam reveals the names of some big Old Master buyers in recent purchases:
A secretive hedge-fund manager, Chris Rokos of Brevan Howard, is understood to be the generous saviour of Domenichino’s great baroque painting of “St John the Evangelist” (1620s), which is now on view at the National Gallery of London. The painting sold at Christie’s last December for more than £9.2m (est. £7m-£10m) to a US buyer but its export was deferred. At that point a new buyer – believed to be Rokos – came forward to buy the painting and lend it to the National Gallery. Rokos’s fortune was estimated at £90m last year by the Sunday Times Rich List; he did not return requests for comment.
Meanwhile, the Financial Times can reveal that the Prince of Liechtenstein is the buyer of an Old Master painting also initially barred from export. Cornelis van Haarlem’s “Saint Sebastian” was bought last year by the prince’s curator Johann Kraftner, who found it “hanging high up on a wall in a freezing castle in Scotland”, during a tour of British country houses with the London dealer Simon Dickinson. Its export licence was initially deferred but as no UK buyer could be found to buy the painting at £1.5m, it has now gone to the princely collections.
The Art Market: Old Masters (Financial Times)