Sotheby’s announces a Rosetti for their British and Irish art sale. Meanwhile, Sotheby’s specialist Simon Troll connects the picture, which caused a rift between the artist and John Ruskin, to a new film opening in London this week.:
Sotheby’s will sell Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s watercolour version of Venus Verticordia in London on 10 December 2014. The Pre-Raphaelite artist’s obsession with luscious sensuality and female allure reached its zenith in his only major nude subject, and the picture led to the breaking of Rossetti’s friendship with John Ruskin, Victorian Britain’s leading art critic. Painted in 1868, Venus Verticordia is the epitome of Pre-Raphaelite glamour, a powerful and radical image of confident female sexuality from an age when women were supposed to be reserved and demure. Ruskin had become increasingly concerned by what he perceived to be sensuousness in Rossetti’s art. His prudishness and ambivalence towards the naked female form has been well-documented and features in the film Effie Gray, which opens this week.
Last sold at auction in 1886, the painting will be the centrepiece of Sotheby’s British & Irish Art sale, carrying an estimate of £1,000,000-1,500,000.