NEW YORK – Due to battles, reformations, burials, lootings and pests, few textiles from past centuries have survived. The clothing preserved through painting, therefore, plays a vital role in understanding historic garments. “Textiles and paintings are a perfect pairing, as one brings the other to life,” says Jill Lasersohn, a New York textile collector who is lending her sartorial archive and expertise to Sotheby’s Masters Week. After more than 25 years, Lasersohn has acquired nearly 3,000 items spanning the 15th to 19th centuries. “Costume in art is usually a second thought,” adds Lasersohn. “But when you look at Old Masters, the majority of the canvas is often consumed by fabric and very little flesh.” In collaboration with Sotheby’s Master Paintings specialist and Costumist Jonquil O’Reilly, Lasersohn paired rare needlework, lace, accessories and more from her collection with selected works from Sotheby's upcoming Master Paintings sale. These pairings will be on view in our presale exhibition opening 20 January. Click ahead to see the works and textiles with descriptions by O’Reilly, and visit our New York galleries on 22 January for a conversation between Lasersohn and O’Reilly about their collaboration. LAUNCH SLIDESHOW
As Sotheby's New York headquarters prepares for the excitement of Masters Week, take a first look at just a few of the highlights of Master Paintings & Sculpture Evening Sale, Old Master Drawings and Master Paintings & Sculpture Day Sale, which will be offered on 25–26 January. The Week's star lot, Orazio Gentileschi's Head of a Woman will be offered alongside works by Fragonard, Rubens and Turner, among many others. Pre-sale exhibitions for Masters Week will be open to the public from 20–25 January. Click ahead to preview 15 of the Week's highlights. LAUNCH SLIDESHOW
This season, Sotheby’s has invited actor and filmmaker James Franco to contribute to our ongoing Artist Response Series – commissioned pieces created in response to a work of art that captivates their imagination. Reacting to the vibrant sculptures in Sotheby's selling exhibition Glazed: The Legacy of the Della Robbia, Franco’s video is a contemporary reinterpretation of the Della Robbia’s pioneering technique that highlights the enduring power and influence of these Renaissance masters.
NEW YORK – Luxuriously glazed and vividly coloured terracotta sculpture by the Della Robbia family of Florence is a quintessentially Renaissance art form. Luca della Robbia’s invention and his family’s subsequent mastery of the technique was sought after by patrons of both secular and devotional sculpture. Glazed: The Legacy of The Della Robbia, a selling exhibition organised in collaboration with dealer Fabrizio Moretti for our New York galleries, comprises a variety of terracotta works by this illustrious artistic dynasty. Click ahead to preview seven colourful and elegant works that will appeal to collectors of art from all periods and categories. LAUNCH SLIDESHOW
This season at Sotheby’s, a Renaissance man encounters some notable men from the Renaissance. Actor, director, poet and painter James Franco has contributed a short film to our ongoing Artist Response Series – commissioned pieces created in response to a work of art that captivates and inspires. Reacting to the vibrant sculptures in Sotheby's selling exhibition Glazed: The Legacy of the Della Robbia, Franco’s video is a contemporary reinterpretation of the family’s pioneering technique and highlights the enduring power and influence of these Renaissance masters. Franco’s film is on view through 18 November alongside the sculptures in Sotheby’s second-floor galleries and can be seen below. We spoke with Franco about what drew him to these centuries-old works, the relationship between art and film and more.
An extraordinary collection of museum quality works of art are revealed in this video. Highlights include a magnificent 18th-century French pots-pourri garniture, an exceptional tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl and gold piqué rosewater ewer and basin, and a rare George II gold inkstand. These unique pieces of European Decorative Art will be available to acquire at Sotheby’s auction in Paris on 28 November.
The regal taste for furniture fashioned from precious metals is age-old, as demonstrated in the upcoming London sales, Collections and European Taste: Property from three distinguished Swiss collections. Tutankhamun was entombed with plated chairs and tables fit for the afterlife, and the art-form arguably reached its zenith in the lavish interiors of Louis XIV's palace at Versailles. Sadly, the vast majority of pieces from the great European courts were eventually melted down in order to finance wars or replenish treasury coffers. More permanent expressions of courtly wealth came in the form of carved wooden furniture and cast bronze mounts, coated with gold leaf and highly burnished to give the impression of solid gold. The contrast of textures would have dazzled contemporary audiences, shimmering in the candlelit interiors of the 17th and 18th century, and the tradition for gilded furniture and objects lasted well into the 19th century. Click ahead to see outstanding examples across both sales. LAUNCH SLIDESHOW
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