Sotheby’s announces a major Turner for this Summer’s Old Masters sale in London. A work from the same year as Richard Feigen’s Rome, from Mount Aventine which was sold for $47m in three years ago:Continue Reading
Souren Melikian thinks the Old Master market has lost its luster. The sales are getting thinner and the auction houses are padding them with drawings. He even sees the Getty’s Turner purchase as a sign of weakness in the market. After all, they were willing to pay more there just wasn’t another bidder:
The likelihood of another Turner of remotely comparable importance tumbling into the market in the near future is slim. While Wednesday’s picture cannot really compare with the greatest Turners in which the visible world is reduced to luminous impressions, now in the two London museums, a few professionals seemed disappointed that it had not gone for even more.Continue Reading
Sotheby’s expert on watercolors, Henry Wemyss, died recently. The Telegraph gives an account of his career, especially his role in selling 90% of the Turner watercolors and Constable drawings at auction. It also sketches the close world of British watercolors:
He read Art History at Manchester University, and in 1979 joined Sotheby’s watercolour department on the recommendation of his Manchester tutor, Professor Dodwell. James Miller, head of watercolours at Sotheby’s, offered him the job over a convivial lunch at the Garrick Club.
Wemyss was mentored by Jack Naimaster, the elder statesman of the watercolour trade, by then a consultant to Sotheby’s and who later left Wemyss his books in his will. Continue Reading