Hungarian-born tycoon Robert de Balkany made his fortune by introducing American-style shopping centres to France among other countries and lived life to the full with a passion for yachting and polo. He also spent more than 50 years as an enthusiastic collector who filled his houses including his Paris town house with English and Italian paintings, furniture and silver of royal provenance. Ahead of a September sale featuring 800 works of art from his collection, we take a look at some of the works in the splendour of one of his former homes, the Hôtel de Feuquières at Rue de Varenne, Paris. Click ahead to see a selection of the highlights. LAUNCH SLIDESHOW
A look inside the unique lifestyle of one of the world’s most extraordinary and passionate collectors. Robert de Balkany surrounded himself with works of art from the outstanding artists of their time, putting together one of the most important collections of decorative arts and Old Master Paintings ever to appear at auction in France.
Commissioned by the legendary New York collector, William H. Vanderbilt, Ready for the Fancy Dress Ball is one of the great achievements of the Belgian artist Alfred Stevens's career. Set in the Chinese Boudoir of Stevens’s own home on the Rue des Martyrs, Paris, this work is a tour de force and a highlight of Sotheby's European Art sale on 22 November in New York.