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.
Please note that the estimates for this lot should read £200,000-300,000 and not as listed in the printed catalogue.
Please note the following amendment to the provenance: Zelotti should read abbot Luigi Celotti. Please also note the following additional literature: M. Lucco in 'Bartolomeo Cincani detto Montagna', Treviso 2014, cat. no. 105, as possibly a copy after Benedetto Montagna. We are grateful to Dottor Antonio Mazzotta, post-doctoral fellow at the University of Milan, for endorsing the attribution to Bartolomeo Montagna following first-hand inspection.
Please note that following the death of the 19th Earl, the painting passed to his widow Marguerite (d. 1968), who sold it to Agnew's in 1955.
Please note that this work is displayed in an Italian, carved and gilded cassetta frame from circa 1600 which has been kindly lent to us by Arnold Wiggins & Sons. Should you wish to purchase this frame please contact the Old Master Paintings department.
Please note this painting has been requested for a forthcoming exhibition on the artist to be held at the Gemäldegalerie in Dresden in the Spring of 2017.
The last line of provenance should read "From where offered...", rather than "From where sold...", as stated in the printed catalogue.
We are grateful to Sara Catala for sharing her opinion that these paintings, together with other similar works that are considered by the Wildenstein Institute as early Roman period works by Hubert Robert and which will be published as such in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné on the artist, are the work of an as yet unidentified painter.