Christie’s has it’s own blockbuster for the July Old Master sales in London, a Guardi view of Venice that has only ever been sold once. That was 125 years ago. Here’s Christie’s announcement:
Christie’s Old Masters Evening Sale, 6 July 2017, will be led by Francesco Guardi’s masterpiece The Rialto Bridge with the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi (estimate on request), which is expected to fetch more than £25 million. This magnificent picture is one of the celebrated pair of views of the Grand Canal at the Rialto, which are widely regarded as the most accomplished works of Guardi’s early maturity.
The painting has a remarkable provenance having been offered for sale only once before. It was acquired in 1768 by Chaloner Arcedeckne (circa 1743–1804) during his Grand Tour and remained in the family until 1891. It was then sold privately via Christie’s, along with its pendant, for £3,850, to the great collector Sir Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Bt., later 1st Lord, and 1st Earl of Iveagh (1847–1927), in whose family it has since remained.
The painting also has a rich exhibition history and featured most recently at the Canaletto and his Rivals exhibition at the National Gallery, London, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington in 2010-11.