The Old Masters Evening Sale totalled £16,463,500 and set 8 auction records for works by Jean-Etienne Liotard, Marten van Cleve the Elder, Niccolò di ser Sozzo, Pacino di Bonaguida, Barthel Beham, Louis-Gabriel Blanchet, Dominic Serres and a still life by Jan Brueghel the Elder. Jean-Etienne Liotard’s A Dutch Girl at Breakfast realised £4,405,000 and Jan Brueghel the Elder’s Still Life of flowers in a stoneware vase, sold for £3,845,000.
This July’s Evening Sale of Old Masters is led by two masterpieces of 17th-century still life painting and a group of works from the 18th century of the very highest calibre. Both Jan Brueghel the Elder’s Still life of flowers in a stoneware vase and Pieter Claesz.’s Still life of lemons and a Roemer are arguably the finest such examples of each artist’s work to come the market in a generation.
The same is true of Jean-Etienne Liotard’s exquisite A Dutch girl at breakfast which comes to the market for the first time since the artist’s lifetime. Likewise four paintings depicting the British siege of Havana, commissioned from Dominic Serres by the 3rd Earl of Albemarle, are offered here for the first time, by Albemarle’s descendants. Painted in 1752, Claude-Joseph Vernet’s Le Soir and Clair de Lune are amongst the Frenchman’s most lyrical works and come from the same important collection as Giovanni Paolo Panini’s View of the Forum Romanum, painted one year later in 1752, also in Rome. Finally, Rubens’s spirited interpretation of a ceiling fresco designed by Francesco Primaticcio has not been seen in public since 1823 and comes from the descendants of the greatest 20th-century collector of works by this most influential of painters.