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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Family portraits star as art amassed by an earl goes under the hammer

27 May 2024

“It was no surprise that a single-owner sale of noble provenance and with royal connections was such a success”, said Thomas Jenner-Fust.

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Eye on an Object: 17th century portrait of Mother Louse from new venture

27 May 2024

Thousands of items are available to buy from dealers online. Here we pick out one that caught our eye this week.

Lucian Freud portrait

Sotheby’s announces details of latest summer show

24 May 2024

Sotheby’s is hosting an exhibition in London this summer featuring 12 works loaned from museums. All the works are by artists who were born overseas but passed through or settled in the UK permanently.

The Straw Yard by JMW Turner

Dreweatts to offer Turner’s only known oil sketch from Liber Studiorum project

21 May 2024

Two works by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) have emerged from a private collection and will be offered at Newbury saleroom Dreweatts on June 12.

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News in brief including a large George Stubbs equine painting at Christie's

20 May 2024

A round-up of art and antiques news from the previous seven days, including news of George Stubbs' 'Mares and Foals' being offered at auction with a £7m-10m estimate.

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Chardin still-life among highlights at French auctions this season

20 May 2024

Stand-out lots from upcoming sales including Chardin still-life, Napoleonic marshal's baton and fine art collection acquired over decades

George Stubbs' Mares and Foals

Monumental Stubbs picture comes to Christie’s Old Masters summer auction

14 May 2024

One of the largest pictures that George Stubbs (1724-1806) ever painted is coming to auction with a £7m-10m estimate.

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Delve into the darker side of Old Master paintings at auction

13 May 2024

Current collecting taste means that Old Master paintings exploring the darker side of the human character can often find more admirers than more typical subject matter of Georgian gentleman or European landscapes. Works of the grotesque are particularly popular.

Caravaggio picture

Caravaggio rediscovered in a small Madrid auction house to go on display in The Prado

07 May 2024

An artwork attributed to a pupil of José de Ribera and offered with an estimate of just €1500 (£1300) is actually by Caravaggio.

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Canaletto works (with a bit of help)

06 May 2024

Venetian painter sometimes used studio assistants

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Lowell Libson and Jonny Yarker – a very public partnership

29 April 2024

In 2018, British watercolours and drawings specialist Lowell Libson made the unusual move of adding a name, that of Jonny Yarker, to that of his self-titled business.

Alexandre Raoul Morel snuffbox

French royal snuffbox found in vendor’s bathroom cabinet stars in single-owner sale

26 April 2024

A French gold and diamond Royal presentation portrait snuffbox was among the lots drawing strong interest at a large single-owner sale at Gloucestershire saleroom Chorley’s.

Bartolomeo Manfredi painting

Getty Museum buys Caravaggisti party scene from private collector

24 April 2024

The J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has acquired a lively 17th century genre painting by Italian artist Bartolomeo Manfredi (1582-1622).

Possible Constable picture

Constable link tempts bidders to German auction

22 April 2024

An old label on the back of a Medway view that emerged in Germany gave a tantalising suggestion that the British artist John Constable was involved.

Le melon entamé by Jean-Siméon Chardin

Rare oval Chardin still life comes to auction in Paris this summer

16 April 2024

A still life by the 18th century French artist Jean-Siméon Chardin with a notable provenance is to go under the hammer at Christie’s in Paris this summer.

Benjamin Franklin portrait

Rediscovered Benjamin Franklin portrait emerges in Italy and comes to US auction

15 April 2024

A previously unrecorded portrait of Benjamin Franklin comes for sale at Freeman’s Hindman with a guide of $50,000-80,000 this month.

Lavinia Fontana portrait

Art dealer rediscovers 16th century portrait miniature by Lavinia Fontana in Texas

15 April 2024

A ‘lost’ late 16th century portrait miniature by Italian painter Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614) has been rediscovered by an art dealer.

The Fall of King Nebuchadnezzar

Bidding battle for Old Testament painting despite condition issues

08 April 2024

A monumental painting of an Old Testament subject, which came to auction in a gloomy state, drew a remarkable bidding battle at a West Sussex sale.

Joshua Reynolds’ portrait

Art collection of film director comes up for auction in London

08 April 2024

The personal art collection of film director and intellectual Pierre Rouve (1915-98), kept in his Chelsea house until he died, will be offered at auction.

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Hey Presto – speedy painter’s work offered in the US

08 April 2024

A recent Brunk’s (23% buyer’s premium) auction in Asheville, North Carolina, included a group of six small oil-on-copper mythological scenes by Neapolitan painter Luca Giordano (1634-1705).

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