Old Masters

Traditionally this sector is defined as works by master painters working in Europe from before 1800. It includes Renaissance artists and Dutch Golden Age painters for example. Today Old Master auctions in London and New York will include works by British artists as well as some 19th century works.


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Venetian abbey buys northern Renaissance devotional oil

19 October 2020

Turin dealership Caretto & Occhinegro Gallery has sold a previously unpublished oil by Jan Matsys (c.1510-75) to the Abbey of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice.

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Old Master oils: vive la différence

19 October 2020

Two Old Master oil on panel paintings by 17th century Dutch artists featuring very different subjects were best-sellers in large mixed-discipline sales held in Paris and Monaco.

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Venetian works by ‘follower of’ Canaletto make big sums in their own right

19 October 2020

A high-quality veduta of Venice by one of Canaletto’s followers was the runaway star at Chorley’s (22.5/15/12.5/10% buyer’s premium) two-day auction in Gloucestershire.

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Getty Museum buys 39 Dutch drawings from private collector

15 October 2020

A group of Dutch drawings put together by a collector over a number of years has been acquired by the J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

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Pick of the week: King George I in the running at £125,000

12 October 2020

Paintings by leading British sporting artists went under the hammer for the first time in over 100 years at Cheffins in Cambridge on October 1.

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Sumptuous Desportes still life brings £1.5m at Bordeaux sale

28 September 2020

A newly-discovered work by François Desportes (1661- 1743) sold for a sensational €1.65m (£1.5m) at auction in Bordeaux.

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Old Pretender in Scotland at last

28 September 2020

August is traditionally a busy month for Edinburgh saleroom Lyon & Turnbull (25/20% buyer’s premium) and this year was no exception – despite the exceptional circumstances.

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Art Detective: help distinguish between the works of Steele

28 September 2020

Art UK, a charity with a website showcasing artworks in UK public collections, runs the Art Detective forum where specialists and members of the public are invited to help fill in gaps in the knowledge of public art. Their latest question concerns the various artists called Edwin Steele.

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Fitzwilliam Museum acquires European masterpieces from the estate of banker George Pinto

26 September 2020

Cambridge University's Fitzwilliam Museum has acquired three paintings for the nation from the estate of George Pinto (1929- 2018).

‘Young Man Holding a Roundel’ by Sandro Botticelli

Sandro Botticelli portrait comes to Sotheby’s with $80m estimate

24 September 2020

Sotheby’s will offer a portrait by Sandro Botticelli (c.1445-1510) with an estimate in excess of $80m in New York next year.

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Speed dating: Bidders rapidly assess signs of age in hunt for undervalued material

14 September 2020

When it comes to Old Masters, sleeper spotters will trawl through auction catalogues looking to spot works of an earlier date than specified.

Capriccio by Sebastiano Ricci and Clemente Sper

Auction house Christie’s to sell Old Masters from collection of late Italian dealer

08 September 2020

Christie’s is staging an online auction of works formerly in the collection of the late Old Master dealer Piero Corsini.

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All about information sharing

31 August 2020

Wider spectrum of buyers means presenting catalogue entries in greater detail can pay off

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Old Master canine portrait makes over 100-times estimate at Tennants

31 August 2020

Two pictures with animal appeal generated decent bidding at a North Yorkshire auction.

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Bonhams sticks to early offering

24 August 2020

While Sotheby’s and Christie’s shifted their main Old Master offerings to the end of July, Bonhams (27.5/25/20/13.9% buyer’s premium) maintained its auction earlier in the month with a sale in New Bond Street on July 7-8.

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Even Old Masters have to wait

24 August 2020

Leading works held back until mixed-category July auctions in a drawn-out sales season.

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Ribeira rediscovered in house draws strong competition in Paris

10 August 2020

Early work by Spanish-born painter was identified by Old Master experts Cabinet Turquin

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Portrait of man in a beret from professor’s collection brings a surprise sum

10 August 2020

An unexpectedly high price was paid in a sale of Old Master paintings and drawings held this summer by auction house Aguttes (23/25% buyer’s premium plus VAT) in Neuilly-sur-Seine.

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Dutch winter scene among works offered at Richard Green’s exhibition

10 August 2020

This winter village landscape showing peasants on a frozen waterway is among the works on offer at Richard Green’s exhibition Cabinet Paintings.

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Individual highlights at London 'high season' sales but totals hit as vendors hang on to works

03 August 2020

The ‘high season’ of summer auctions in London held by Sotheby’s and Christie’s generated £205.8m including premium last week.

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