January brings the Old Master sales back to New York. Sotheby’s is already chomping to get its collectors running:
Sotheby’s January 2015 Old Master Week in New York will feature a select group of highly important paintings assembled by noted collector J.E. Safra.
The choice offering of 17 paintings presents a wide range of styles and genres of the period including the Dutch Golden Age, as well as 18th century Italian and French. The vast majority of the works have been off the market for at least 20 years and together the group is estimated to bring $22/34 million. The paintings will go on public exhibition, alongside Sotheby’s Old Master Week sales, beginning 24 January.
Highlights include an exquisite example from Canaletto’s English period London, A View of the Old Horse Guards and Banqueting Hall, Whitehall seen from St. James’ Park (est. $4/6 million). The picture is a rare record of the Old Horse Guards (seen from across St James’s Park) which was demolished just months after Canaletto painted it (the prospect of its imminent demolition is what prompted Canalleto to paint and record it for posterity.) The building was then replaced with the large Palladian style grade I listed building that we know today. The work was painting during Canaletto’s English period: in May of 1746, Canaletto transferred his studio to London in pursuit of fresh challenges following two decades of prolific Venetian vedute painting. It previously belonged to Sir Edward Wilmot, surgeon to both Kings George II and, not least, George III. Great London views by Canaletto are rare on the market, and the auction record for one of them set more than 20 years ago, in 1992.