Sotheby’s London sale of Western Manuscripts on Tuesday 7th July 2009 has a combined total sale estimate of £3 million and will include the sale of Medieval Illuminated Miniatures from the Collection of the Late Eric Korner. The highlight of the various-owner sale is a stunningly illustrated manuscript dating to the mid-15th century which has surfaced for the first time in half a century, and which contains three illustrations thought to be the earliest representations of Joan of Arc (lot 26, est. £1-1.5 million). The remarkable manuscript documents the life of one of the most important and powerful emperors in Europe in the late middle ages, Sigismund of Luxemburg (1368-1437), king of Hungary, Germany, Bohemia, Lombardy, and the Holy Roman Emperor. Among the numerous records of battles, attempted poisonings and political intrigue, it includes the earliest depictions of Joan of Arc, who had contact with Sigismund in 1429, immediately before leading the French army against the English which resulted in her capture, trial and martyrdom in 1431.
The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s most significant example of Tuscan High Renaissance art will again be on view in the IMA galleries after being held in storage for more than 40 years due to its fragile condition. After a complex conservation treatment begun in fall 2007, the altarpiece Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saint Justus of Volterra and Saint Margaret of Antioch by Sebastiano Mainardi (1466–1513), will again be available for public viewing in the IMA’s Clowes Courtyard beginning June 23, 2009.
Modern & Contemporary Art, Swiss Art, Fine Furniture and Jewelry all register strong prices
The June sales at Koller Zurich were characterized by spirited bidding for attractive works, in all
collecting categories: paintings and furniture, as well as jewelry and gemstones. “During these auctions,
buyers showed time and again their willingness to bid over the upper estimate for the works they
wanted,” said Cyril Koller, director of Koller Auctions. “The art market is sound, and the relative rarity
of high-quality works on the current market makes the ones that do come up all the more attractive.”
For years dirty varnish and overpainting obscured the true quality, to the point where doubts were cast on its creator. But after new research into its provenance and a thorough clean-up at the National Gallery, this stunning painting of Cupid riding a tamed lion has been confirmed as a Titian – and one that will remain in public ownership.
It was announced today that the Titian painting The Triumph of Love has been acquired by the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford through the acceptance in lieu scheme, whereby great works can be left to the nation to offset taxes such as inheritance tax or estate duty. Because the amount of tax due was less than the painting’s value, money was also donated by the Ashmolean and the Art Fund charity.
Scoperta a Roma una rara acquaforte di Paul Rubens. E’ uno studio del pittore fiammingo liberamente ispirato al dipinto di Leonardo da Vinci “L’ultima cena”, di cui si erano perse le tracce dal 1836.
La scoperta è stata fatta da uno psicologo romano che ha fatto valutare una stampa anonima: grazie alla perizia del professor Andrea De Liberis e del professor Alfredo Pasolino si è scoperta, quindi, essere una preziosa e rarissima acquaforte.
Artists have used bronze for casting sculptures since the early civilizations. Lost-wax casting, the most widely used method, was employed by the Egyptians and the Greeks, and later revived by Renaissance sculptors. Foundry to Finish: The Making of a Bronze Sculpture, on view beginning June 23, 2009 at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, will give viewers a rare look at this process, using step-by-step models and Xradiographs.
The 13 step-by-step replicas displayed in Foundry to Finish reproduce one of the great masterpieces by Dutch sculptor Adriaen de Vries (1556–1626), the Getty’s Juggling Man (1615), and illustrate the artist’s sculpting and casting process. X-rays reveal the interior of the sculpture and provide clues about de Vries’ construction and casting methods.
Ancient Afghanistan—located at the crossroads of major trade routes, where it attracted invading armies and nomadic migrations—was home to some of the most complex, rich, and original civilizations on the continent of Asia. Opening at The Metropolitan Museum of Art this summer, the traveling exhibition Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul, celebrates the country’s unique role, as both the recipient of diverse cultural elements and the creator of distinctive styles of art from the Bronze Age into the Kushan period. The presentation also commemorates the heroic rescue of Afghanistan’s national treasures long thought to have been destroyed. The exhibition features a rich selection of artworks from four archaeological sites. All works belong to the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul. Highlights include gold vessels from the Bronze Age Tepe Fullol hoard; superb works and architectural elements from the Hellenistic city of Aï Khanum; sculptural masterpieces in ivory, plaster medallions, bronzes, and Roman glass from Begram; and extraordinary turquoise-encrusted gold jewelry and ornaments from the nomadic tombs at Tillya Tepe.
Sotheby’s is selling Homme à l’épée, painted on 25 July 1969, with a suggested price tag of between £6m and £8m at its annual summer sale of Impressionist and modern art.
Christie’s will sell a work of the same title, painted the following day, for between £5m and £7m at its summer sale.
World-renowned Hermitage Amsterdam museum opens to public June 20!
Inaugural Exhibition, At the Russian Court, to Present More Than 1,800 Treasures From St. Petersburg, Russia
Amsterdam, Netherlands —On Saturday June 20th, 2009, beginning at 10 a.m., a major new European cultural destination, the greatly expanded Hermitage Amsterdam, will welcome visitors to its elegantly restored 17th-century building in the historic heart of Amsterdam. Founded to bring the richness and grandeur of Russia’s artistic heritage to one of the West’s most charming capitals, this independent cultural institution inaugurates its spacious new home — ten times the size of the previous building — with the exhibition At the Russian Court, a dazzling display of more than 1,800 treasures from the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Geneva, 10 June, 2009 – Antiquorum, the world’s leading watch auctioneer, is pleased to announce its upcoming “Important Collector’s Wristwatches, Pocket Watches and Clocks” sale on June 27th, 2009 at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong. The auction, featuring 479 lots, brings together a remarkable selection of the finest timepieces by world-renowned watchmakers.
Highlights of this summer auction include two very rare Patek Philippe watches respectively Ref. 3974, an 18K yellow gold minute-repeating gentleman’s wristwatch with black dial, perpetual calendar, leap year indications and moon phases, estimated between 2,000,000 and 2,700,000 HKD (300,000 and 400,000 Sfr), as well as a Ref. 3450, an 18K yellow gold wristwatch, made in 1982, with perpetual calendar, moon phases and a red dot for the leap year indication, estimated between 1,350,000 and 1,700,000 HKD (200,000 and 250,000 Sfr).