In January 2014, Sotheby’s will present The Courts of Europe: Renaissance to Rococo, a highly curated sale and prominent highlight of the week, featuring distinguished paintings, drawings, and sculpture that demonstrate the princely taste of these artistic centers. Between the 15th and 18th centuries, the courts of Europe were paramount in political and cultural life, driving the taste and style of the day and greatly influencing the arts through their patronage. From the papal and princely courts of Renaissance Italy to the French and Russian palaces of the 18th century, they were the lavish centers of artistic life and development, patronizing many of the great old master artists and artisans including Van Eyck, Bernini, Rubens, Raphael, and Goya.
This sale will feature examples from multiple countries and genres, including paintings, drawings, and sculpture by artists that were employed by European rulers from 1500 to 1800, and will be curated to focus on the most important artistic centers and their artists. Highlights include a captivating Portrait of a Gyrfalcon, painted for one of the Lombard Courts in the mid-16th century, and a Portrait of Edward VI by the Workshop of Guillim Scrots.