Fine Art

Fine art is a staple of the dealing and auctioneering industry, featuring works ranging from Medieval art to traditional Old Masters, and right through to cutting-edge Contemporary art.

While oil paintings represent a large part of the sector, other mediums adopted by artists across the ages include drawings, watercolours, prints and photographs.

Some French things are still popular in New York

13 May 2003

THERE was a collective sigh of relief in the New York salerooms last week when, after a long period of uncertainty following the war in Iraq and turmoil in the stockmarkets, both Sotheby’s and Christie’s held impressive Part I Impressionist and Modern sales. Any fears that anti-French feeling would spill over in the salerooms proved unfounded after French artists took the top honours at both houses.

Compensation for those who have been grounded

13 May 2003

MAGRITTE'S Oiseau du Ciel, pictured right, commissioned by Belgium’s Sabena airline in 1965, was sold at auction in Brussels on May 5 for a triple-estimate €3.4m (£2.3m).

Bidders frustrated as Spanish State pre-empts Goyas

13 May 2003

THERE were suppressed cries of irritation from the public at the May 8 sale held in Madrid by Alcalá Subastas as the Spanish State pre-empted all the important lots of the evening, including two newly-discovered paintings by Goya.

Blazing stars…

09 May 2003

Illustrated right is one of 15 chromolitho plates after pastel originals by Étienne Léopold Trouvelot that make up a scarce, complete set of The Trouvelot Astronomical Drawings, the work of a keen observer and talented artist who spent the years 1872-74 using the 15in refractor at Harvard Observatory.

Barcelona trip is an extra draw for Miró admirers

08 May 2003

FAMOUS since the 16th century for its boys’ school, the small Rutland market town of Uppingham can also brag about being the home of the Goldmark Gallery. With a secondhand book department, this very amiable and innovative gallery always has much to delight, particularly in the field of 20th century prints.

Hoskins sells at £17,500

08 May 2003

Not such a pretty face, perhaps, but the artist was certainly worth a thousand dollars or more.

From £280 to £20,000… a print for every pocket

08 May 2003

ALTHOUGH the London Original Print Fair has finished its four-day run on April 27, there remain a number of enticing events for print aficionados.

Private Scottish investors push up picture prices

08 May 2003

ALTERNATIVE investment might be too strong a word for it, but the current desperate state of returns in the stock market and other investment areas does seem to be having a positive effect at art sales, at least in Scotland.

Power’s Speed sets new record

24 April 2003

Dismissed by some as the equivalent of Clarice Cliff, the brilliantly coloured, Vorticist-influenced linocuts produced by the Grosvenor School during the inter-war years continue to be the most hotly contested commodity at UK print auctions, particularly when they emerge from long-established private collections.

HBP’s bunnies in the snow raise £32,000

17 April 2003

Two early watercolour drawings of rabbits in snowy settings were offered as part of a Bonhams sale of April 1. That seen right shows one rabbit making a snowball while another leans on a fence, while in the illustration reproduced below right, the two rabbits are building a snowman.

Record for Constable in battle for Victory

08 April 2003

“AS extreme as always with focused bidding on the key lots,” was Victorian specialist Grant Ford’s frank description of the selective response to Sotheby’s (20/12% buyer’s premium) mid-season British Sale at Bond Street.

Spanish state expected to buy unknown Goyas

01 April 2003

A rare discovery of two completely unknown paintings by Goya has aroused considerable interest in Madrid. Discovered during a visit to a family in Madrid, the two paintings of Tobias and the Angel and The Holy Family were identified by the picture expert of Alcalá Subastas, Richard de Willermin.

Burke & Baker, Irishmen on the Northwest Frontier

26 March 2003

AN album containing 101 photographs of military, topographical, architectural and sporting subjects in India, Kashmir and Afghanistan was the principal attraction for some in a March 12 sale at Hay-on-Wye held by Y Gelli.

Ireland’s Gothic vandalism

26 March 2003

Gothic Art in Ireland 1169-1550: Enduring Vitality, by Colum Hourihane, Yale University Press. ISBN 0300094353 £45.00 hb (publication date April 17).

Beard tax: on your head be it

11 March 2003

Russian coins seem to fall into a category all their own. Like papal coins and medals they have a worldwide appeal. Perhaps this is because since 1917 there has been a diaspora of Russians.

With regards to Rodin

05 March 2003

ST JAMES’S sculpture dealer Robert Bowman will be on duty at Maastricht again this year, and at the top fair he will be showing the top names of 19th and 20th century bronzes, such as Rodin and Degas.

What’s doing well in art

24 February 2003

Contemporary art continues to outperform many of the more traditional categories of art and antiques, according to a new report by insurers Zurich.

Multi-million pound deal struck in row over Blake watercolours folio

14 February 2003

A secondhand bookshop in Glasgow and two Yorkshire dealers are celebrating a windfall of several million pounds after settling their dispute over the ownership of a lost cache of William Blake watercolours. The folio of 19 illustrations for Robert Blair’s poem, The Grave, one of the most exciting “finds” in art market history, have been sold through London art dealer Libby Howie, acting on behalf of an anonymous collector, for an estimated £4.9m.

Churchill Portrait

12 February 2003

The Spring Fine Art & Antiques Fair at Olympia, which will be held in London from February 25 to March 2, has received a record amount of publicity thanks to this Graham Sutherland (1903-1980) portrait of Churchill, right.

Contemporary art surges ahead as Impressionists and Moderns falter

10 February 2003

It was a definite case of first the bad news, then the good news at the February round of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary sales in London. While Impressionist and Modern works failed to sparkle, there was a significant surge in interest for the Contemporary.

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