Sotheby’s have just announced the upcoming sale in New York of the Fisch Davidson Collection. A collection amassed over a period of thirty years, and billed as ‘The greatest private collection of Baroque masterpieces assembled in modern times’, the paintings will be offered as a ten-lot single owners sale in January 2023.
The highlight of the sale is, undoubtedly, Rubens’s Salome Presented with the Severed Head of Saint John the Baptist, carrying an estimate of $25-35 million. The New Testament scene, painted at the same time as another of the artist’s masterpieces, the Massacre of the Innocents, was believed to have been lost prior to its rediscovery in 1998.
The other pictures being offered comprise important religious works by Orazio Gentileschi, Guercino and Bernardo Cavallino amongst others. The paintings in this collection are all connected first by their comparative quality, and second, by their depiction of dramatic, often violent acts and mental states. This is confirmed by Keith Christiansen of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, who states that ‘What distinguishes the Fisch Davidson collection is the sustained level of quality of the paintings, combined with a willingness to embrace powerful subjects that lesser collectors might find “difficult”.’
Although being sold in New York, highlights from the collection will be on view at Sotheby’s London in December