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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5 Questions: Old Master dealer Maurizio Canesso

26 July 2021

Maurizio Canesso founded Galerie Canesso in Paris in 1994 and specialises in Italian Renaissance and Baroque painting.

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Ramsey resemblance draws in the bidders

26 July 2021

Found in the garden room of a local property among a stack of other pictures, this unsigned oil on canvas had a distinct resemblance to portraits by Allan Ramsay (1713-84).

Thomas Lawrence's 'The Red Boy'

Lawrence’s ‘The Red Boy’ bought by The National Gallery in deal via Christie’s

24 July 2021

The National Gallery is to acquire a portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830) with the help of charitable donations and advice from Christie’s.

Nativity from Mexico

Capturing the arts and minds at Colnaghi's latest show

19 July 2021

Showcase of viceregal works produced by local artists under Spanish colonisation

Charles I inkstand

Rare silver inkstand makes its mark among latest London auctions

12 July 2021

The overall performance of the latest London sales of Old Master pictures and ‘important’ works of art was fairly mixed but the auction houses did at least welcome the return of some big-ticket items.

Leonardo drawing

One Leonardo sold, another caught up in a court battle

12 July 2021

Two Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) drawings created national news last week as Christie’s posted a record for a sketch by the great master in London while a court in Paris is to determine whether another can be legally exported from France.

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Christie’s sells Leonardo’s head of a bear drawing for £7.5m

08 July 2021

A sketch of the head of a bear by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) has sold for £7.5m at a Christie’s auction in London.

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Art Detective: can you help identify the sitter in this Mary Beale portrait?

05 July 2021

An occasional feature on mystery works the Art UK charity is seeking help to identify

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Fragonard’s Champagne moment is toast of Old Masters season in France

05 July 2021

Old Master paintings come up for sale throughout the year in France but the summer season traditionally mounts a number of dedicated auctions in the field.

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Strong demand at Christie’s for a work in Leonardo’s footsteps

05 July 2021

Some of the world’s most famous Old Master paintings have been highly regarded for many centuries, carrying a reputation that has led to them being replicated and copied by other artists – sometimes soon after their creation.

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Pick of the week: £220,000 for enigmatic faces of the Interregnum

28 June 2021

Believed to date from the mid-17th century, this double portrait is a fascinating painting on many accounts.

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Painting in German collection now confirmed as work by Italian artist Spada

28 June 2021

For over a century, a 5ft x 6ft 4in (1.52 x 1.93m) painting of Samson and Delilah had slumbered as the work of an unknown Italian artist in a German private collection.

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Duchess daughters reunited via dealer and saleroom

28 June 2021

These pastel portraits depicting Georgiana and Henrietta Cavendish, the two legitimate daughters of Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire, are soon to hang side by side for the first time in over a century.

Landscape by Andrea Locatelli

Unrecorded Locatelli landscape at Bonhams

21 June 2021

An unrecorded landscape by Andrea Locatelli (1693- c.1741) is among the lots on offer at Bonhams’ Old Masters sale in July.

Portrait of a man

Dutch depictions at the double at Roseberys

21 June 2021

Among a number of historic portraits at West Norwood saleroom Roseberys in the auction of Old Master & 19th Century Pictures on July 20 is this painting of a man wearing a fur collar, white lace ruff and a skull cap, below.

Turner's view of the Thames

JMW Turner Thames estuary back on public view for first time since 1945

21 June 2021

Among the highlights at Sotheby’s Old Masters evening sale on July 7 is one of a series of eight views of the Thames estuary exhibited by JMW Turner (1775-1851) at his gallery in Harley Street between 1807-09.

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Dealer show previews: Art week expands the horizons

21 June 2021

Discoveries take centre stage as event incorporates London dealers beyond its normal area

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Lawrence Louvre study stars online

21 June 2021

With fewer collectors and international dealers expected in London this summer, the capital’s high-end art fair 'Masterpiece' migrates online for its 2021 edition

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Guinea pig pops into von Tamm's still life at Cheffins

21 June 2021

It’s not often that a guinea pig features in an Old Master painting.

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Reynolds rated as original appears at Woolley & Wallis

21 June 2021

This painting of a girl leaning on a pedestal is one of the leading lots at Woolley & Wallis’ upcoming Old Master, British and European Paintings sale.

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