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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Highlights from central Europe including a British dealer bidding 85-times estimate for a portrait copy

17 January 2022

ATG picks out 16 recent stand-out items making waves in German, Austrian and Swiss salerooms

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17th century Dutch print of a beached whale emerges at Surrey auction

17 January 2022

In 1602 the Dutch painter and printmaker Jan Saenredam made an engraving of a whale that had been washed ashore near the town of Beverwijk.

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Ribera’s portrayal of repentance

10 January 2022

A 17th century Old Master painting of the repentant St Peter by the Spanish artist Jusepe de Ribera (1591-1652) was the highlight of a sale held by Gros & Delettrez (30% buyer’s premium) in Paris when it sold for €1.1m (£940,070).

‘Poppies’ by John William Godward

Five top paintings sold at auctions outside London this year

28 December 2021

Despite the lockdowns, the last 12 months has been a busy time for the art market with plenty of activity witnessed around the country. Here we pick out five of the top picture results at auctions outside London in 2021.

Guy Cooper

5 Questions: Old Master dealer Guy Cooper

13 December 2021

Guy Cooper set up his gallery earlier this year and holds an online exhibition of small Old Master pictures until December 24.

Priester family Vienna apartment

Restituted Priester collection reunited before sale takes £1.5m at Christie’s

11 December 2021

Part of an art collection once owned by a Jewish family who fled Nazi persecution has been sold at Christie’s.

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Age and name unknown – the $120,000 lady

29 November 2021

Portrait subject claimed as Elizabeth I will be subject to research after rediscovery in upstate New York

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Fresh nightmare after Bosch

29 November 2021

There can be no doubt that the 16th century painter of 'Limbus – Christ’s Descent into the Underworld' was inspired by the works of Hieronymus Bosch.

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Botticelli fascination in Heidelberg

29 November 2021

One of Sandro Botticelli’s most iconic paintings was his 'Madonna del Magnificat', painted in the 1481. The title is taken from the opening words of the Virgin’s song of exaltation, 'Magnificat anima mea dominum' (My soul doth glorify the Lord), which she is writing in the book before her.

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Agnews offers rediscovered Dürer drawing bought for $30 four years ago

22 November 2021

This unpublished drawing by Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) is being offered by art dealership Agnews as part of London Art Week (LAW).

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Sale highlights as Fine Arts Paris fair returns to action

22 November 2021

Fine Arts Paris, which returned for a physical staging at the Carrousel du Louvre after an online-only event last year, closed its doors on November 11 with the 55 exhibitors enjoying sales from museums and private collectors.

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5 Questions: Art dealer Will Elliott

22 November 2021

Will Elliott set up Elliott Fine Art in 2020 following roles in Sotheby’s Old Master department and at Colnaghi London where he was director.

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Talent-spotter Feigen in focus

22 November 2021

Group of works from the late US dealer’s collection demonstrates his wide range of interests.

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How to buy Mona Lisa for €210,000

22 November 2021

Leonardo Da Vinci’s work has long held a fascination, as a near-contemporaneous copy confirms

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Huge nativity scenes inspired by Old Masters dominate Colnaghi's gallery room for London Art Week

22 November 2021

As Christmas beckons it seems only appropriate that Old Masters are among the leading works at the latest winter edition of London Art Week (LAW).

Elizabeth Yorke

National Trust property secures 18th-century portrait destined for auction after anonymous donor steps in

18 November 2021

A portrait by renowned society artist Thomas Hudson (1701-79) has been secured for National Trust property Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire.

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Dealer offers newly discovered Peter Lely portrait

15 November 2021

A newly discovered portrait by Sir Peter Lely (1618-80) of a civil war soldier is up for sale with dealership Peter Harrison Fine Art.

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Charles II's mistress lovingly portrayed with cupid and doves

15 November 2021

An opportunity to buy a portrait of one of Charles II’s mistresses emerged at a recent Bellmans’ (22% buyer’s premium) sale in West Sussex.

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Pleasing result of international relations

15 November 2021

First sale put together by art world academic attracts encouraging overseas response

John Constable sketch of Salisbury Cathedral

Constable’s vision: oil sketch of Salisbury Cathedral emerges at Christie’s

11 November 2021

A John Constable (1776-1837) oil sketch of Salisbury Cathedral is among the lots headlining Christie’s Old Masters evening sale on December 7.

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