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.

Old Master landscape

What lots caught bidders’ eyes this week? Six auction highlights including a rare Old Master landscape and pair of royal Russian shoes

23 November 2018

ATG’s selection of hammer highlights that sold at auction in the last week, including a 16th century landscape by the artist known as ‘The Master of the Female Half-Lengths’, and a pair of children’s shoes with connections to Russian royalty.


Rembrandt fingerprints discovered on painting ahead of Sotheby’s Old Masters auction

21 November 2018

The fingerprints of Old Master artist Rembrandt van Rijn have been discovered on a 17th century oil sketch by auction house Sotheby’s.

Leonardo da Vinci drawing auction

Tajan to offer Leonardo drawing after ‘national treasure’ deadline expires

14 November 2018

French auction house Tajan has announced a date next year for the sale of the Leonardo da Vinci drawing that it discovered in 2016.


Hot early sales at Frieze Masters

08 October 2018

Dealers at Frieze Masters reported a strong start to the London event with a number of six- and seven-figure sales recorded in the fair’s first days.


Flemish artist’s Allegory of Winter offered at Vienna sale

08 October 2018

Winter is putting in an early appearance at Dorotheum in Vienna in the sale of Old Master paintings on October 23 in the shape of a 20in x 2ft 2in (52 x 66cm) oak panel Allegory of Winter, painted by Flemish artist Sebastiaen Vrancx (1573-1647).


Self portrait by Lucia Casalini Torelli tops trio of female faces at £400,000 Salisbury sale

24 September 2018

In the past, pictures by talented but obscure female artists were given short shrift on the secondary market. Now all that is changing.


Francis Cotes’ archer on target in Essex

24 September 2018

A standout portrait entry to Essex saleroom Sworders (23% buyer’s premium) was a 4ft 2in x 3ft 4in (1.26 x 1.01m) oil on canvas portrait attributed to Francis Cotes (1726-70).


Large scale painting by Frans Francken II emerges in Troyes

24 September 2018

A large panel painting by the Flemish artist Frans Francken II (1581-1642) is to appear at Ivoire Troyes’ Auction in France on September 29.

Charles II by Anthony van Dyck

Sotheby’s to offer two Royal portraits by Anthony van Dyck

12 September 2018

Two royal portraits by Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), including one of the future King Charles II, have been pitched at a combined £2.6m-3.8m as part of Sotheby’s Old Master auction in London on December 5.

Rugby School in Warwickshire

Art from Rugby School’s historic collection consigned to Christie’s

10 September 2018

Christie’s is staging a stand-alone sale of works from Rugby School in December. The 200 lots are expected to raise around £3m.

Louvre Abu Dhab

Unveiling of Salvator Mundi at Louvre Abu Dhabi delayed

04 September 2018

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism is postponing the unveiling of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ at The Louvre Abu Dhabi.


Italy’s decision to cancel export licence “undermines trust”, says dealer

03 September 2018

An art dealership that sold a portrait of Napoleon’s brother-in-law to The Frick Collection in New York has strongly criticised Italy’s decision to retrospectively rescind its export licence.


Rape of Lucretia painting reflecting life of artist Gentileschi to be auctioned for first time

28 August 2018

Italian baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653) is renowned for her biblical and mythological scenes but her legacy is dominated by her personal story – she was raped by fellow artist Agostino Tassi and took part in his prosecution.


Napoleon marches into the Biennale

27 August 2018

There is a decidedly French flavour to the loan exhibition at this year’s Biennale. Prominently displayed under the central dome of the Grand Palais will be a selection of works from the extensive Napoleonic collection of Pierre-Jean Chalençon.


Old Master from ‘snail’ house sets pulses racing

27 August 2018

This Old Master painting, above, of The Adoration of the Magi in the manner of Italian painter Vincenzo Carducci (c.1576-1638) led a recent Dorset sale.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi

Salvator Mundi: Christie’s refutes Oxford academic’s opinion challenging attribution to Leonardo

09 August 2018

Auctioneers Christie’s have refuted the view expressed by Oxford academic Dr Matthew Landrus that Salvator Mundi should be attributed to one of Leonardo’s assistants rather than the master himself.


’Giotto’ export an issue for Italy says High Court

06 August 2018

The owner of a rediscovered painting attributed to Giotto has lost a High Court battle over its export from the EU.

Madonna and Child

Owner of rediscovered Giotto valued at £10m loses High Court battle over export

27 July 2018

The owner of a rediscovered early Renaissance painting has been blocked from taking the work to Switzerland after a High Court judge rejected her claim over the granting of an export licence.


Rembrandt and Turner lead London's works on paper offerings

23 July 2018

Two high-quality works on paper made their presence felt at the top end of the Old Masters market during the latest series in London.

Sir Francis Drake wart and all portrait fetches £290,000 at auction

23 July 2018

An early Anglo-Dutch portrait of the swashbuckling English sea captain Sir Francis Drake topped Bonhams’ Old Master paintings sale on July 4 in New Bond Street. It sold for £290,000, just below its juicy £300,000-500,000 guide.