Part of Sotheby's Masters Week, our Master Paintings Evening Sale brought in an impressive total of $53.5 million. The highly anticipated sale of Orazio Gentileschi's Danaë sold to applause at $30.5 million – a world auction record for an Italian 17th century painting and over seven times the previous auction record for the artist. The monumental Baroque masterpiece was acquired by the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.
Commissioned in 1621 by the nobleman Giovanni Antonio Sauli for his palazzo in Genoa, this fantastic oil on canvas captures a scene from the myth of Danaë in which the daughter of King Acrisius of Argos is spirited away to a secret chamber to dissuade all male suitors from falling in love and impregnating the beauty. While mere mortals are deterred, Jupiter, God of the Sky and Thunder, is not — he catches a glimpse and promptly falls in love with the princess, materializing in her bedroom as a shower of gold coins. In Gentileschi’s rendering, Jupiter’s arrival is announced by Cupid who pulls back the curtains to reveal Danaë in all her exquisiteness. The Sauli series was amongst Gentileschi’s most important commissions and Danaë will join Lot and his Daughters, in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.
Another notable world auction record was achieved by Jacob Jordaens’ Saint Martin Healing the Possessed Man, one of the most exciting Flemish Baroque rediscoveries in decades. The work sold for $4,730,000 against an estimate of $4,000,000 - $6,000,000.
Details: Orazio Gentileschi’s magnificent Danaë will lead Sotheby’s Master Paintings Evening Sale in January 2016. This undisputed masterpiece is one of the most important Italian Baroque paintings to come to market since World War II; the use of color, sensuality and splendor portrayed in Danaë draws together the Caravaggesque naturalism and Gentileschi’s masterful skill as a Baroque painter.
The sale will also feature an extraordinary and richly painted canvas by Jacob Jordaens, one of the most exciting Flemish Baroque rediscoveries in decades. Jordaens painted St. Martin Healing a Possessed Man in 1630, the same year in which he signed and dated a finished altarpiece of the same subject, originally commissioned for the high altar of the church of St. Martin’s monastery at Tournai and now in the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels. Other highlights of the evening sale include paintings by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Dosso Dossi, Sandro Botticelli, and Eustache Le Sueur, amongst many other European masters of the 14th to 19th centuries.