LONDON - Powerful, modern, highly emotionally charged and in some cases even shocking, aptly describes the selection of some twenty Old Masters and seven sculptures that will be on display at Sotheby’s London this July.
The works are presented in an innovative private selling exhibition entitled Contemplation of the Divine that will be on view in our New Bond Street Galleries from 5-16 July. The show comprises a selection of arresting images, both paintings and sculpture, that are predominantly Spanish, Italian and Early Netherlandish and range in period from the Early Renaissance through until the late Baroque.

The contemporary art of their day, these striking works express the full range of human emotion from the exquisitely serene Sassoferrato Madonna and Child to the harrowing image of the Ecce Homo by Antonio Palomino, or the uncompromising sculpture of Christ Victorious by Bernardo de Rincón. The signature piece of the show is the great altarpiece of Christ on the Cross with the Virgin, Mary Magdalene and Saint John the Evangelist at his Feet by Francisco de Zurbarán, one of only two Crucifixions by the artist remaining in private hands today. Painted in the aftermath of a plague that devastated much of Spain, it displays an emotional intensity that echoes the hopes and fears of its contemporary audience and which through its reflection on humankind’s destiny remains just as resonant and moving to us today.

El Greco's Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy
Bernardo del Rincón's CHRIST VICTORIOUS
LUIS CARMONA's Saint Francis

In an increasingly unpredictable and fast moving world there is something incredibly grounding and real about these images which capture and express raw human emotions with supreme intensity – emotions that remain unchanged since these great works were produced centuries ago.