Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577-1640 Antwerp), Scipio Africanus welcomed outside the gates of Rome, after Giulio Romano, black chalk, pen and ink, brown wash, grey, cream, white and touches of green bodycolor with heightening in oil. Est: $500,000-700,000. © Christie’s Images Limited 2017.
Christie’s announced the sale of Old Master & British Drawings on January 24 followed by the return of a various owner sale of Old Master Prints on January 25, to take place in New York for the first time in over 15 years. Old Master Paintings will be offered in April 2017, during Classic Week at Christie’s New York.
The sale features a strong selection of Italian drawings including studies by Giacomo Cavedone, Parmigianino and Taddeo Zuccaro, together with several works inspired by Michelangelo by Battista Franco, Giulio Clovio and Cesare da Sesto’s early study after the Sistine ceiling. Works by Piazzetta, Giovanni Battista and Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, Piranesi and Francesco Guardi constitute the highlights of an outstanding selection of Venetian drawings.
Highlights from the British section include A male nude by Henry Fuseli, and works by Gainsborough and Burne-Jones. Charles de la Fosse’s preparatory study for the painting The Virgin’s Coronation with a selection of nineteenth-century works round out the sale.
The sale of Old Master Prints encompasses 220 prints from five centuries, offering an in-depth survey of the printed image in Europe, from Martin Schongauer’s (1450-1491) engravings created in the 1470s to a View of San Francisco by the French Charles Meryon (1821-1868), printed around 1855.
Classic prints by the most celebrated and widely collected artist-printmakers, including Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), Rembrandt (1606-1669), and Francisco de Goya (1746-1828), stand side by side with extreme rarities, such as an anonymous, hand-coloured woodcut of the Virgin nursing the Child, printed in Northern Italy around 1530; one of a few surviving devotional prints of the period.
The estimates vary as much as the dimensions of the works: the exquisite little engravings by Hans Sebald Beham (1500-1550) are the size of a postage stamp, while the monumental woodcut The Submersion of Pharaoh’s Army (estimate: $200,000-300,000) after a design by Titian leads the sale and fills an entire wall in its scale.