Highlights of the sale include the Spanish painter Joaquín Sorolla’s Niños en la playa (Children on the Beach), which has been in the artist’s family since the late 1950s and now appears at auction for the first time, together with two iconic interiors by the Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi. These works are complemented by important paintings spanning all of Europe’s regions and schools including fine examples by Fernand Khnopff, Albert Edelfelt, Akseli Gallen-Kallela and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot.
We look forward to welcoming you to our Bond Street galleries for the pre-sale exhibition, which begins on 19 May. Selected highlights will also be on view in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Madrid, and New York in March, April and May.
The 19th Century European Paintings at Sotheby’s London brought a total of £6,988,575 / $10,501,033 / €8,172,455 against a pre-sale estimate of £7,448,000 - 10,529,000 / $11.2 – 15.8 million / €8.7 – 12.3 million. The sale was 70.9% sold by value and 59.6% by lot.
Together with the results of The Orientalist Sale in London in April (£6,339,500 / $9,967,149), this brings the total for Sotheby’s London sales of 19th Century European Paintings thus far this year to £13.3 / $20.2 million.
Commenting on the sale, Adrian Biddell, Head of Sotheby’s 19th Century European Paintings Department, said: “The sale illustrated how the strength of the market lies in top quality works across all fields. It was particularly strong in prime Spanish and Scandinavian works, Sorolla topping the bill. There was also spirited demand for the works of Turkish interest, the robust results following our recent Orientalist sale.”
The auction was led by Joaquín Sorolla’s Niños en la playa, which sold to a Private Collector for £2,770,500 / $4,162,953 / €3,239,829. Two further works by the artist found buyers: En la Playa (By the Seaside) fetched £386,500 / $580,755 / €451,974, and En el Rio (At the Riverside) sold for £62,500 / 93,912 / €73,038.
A signature interior by Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi, Ida in an Interior with Piano sold for £1,142,500 / $1,716,720 / €1,336,042, establishing the second highest price for the artist at auction.
Finnish artist Albert Edelfelt’s The Boys’ Workhouse, Helsinki, painted in 1885, at auction for the first time in almost thirty years, sold to a Private Foundation for £458,500 / $688,942 / €536,171.
Works by Turkish artists saw strong prices: Diyarbakirli Tahsin’s Marine sold for £134,500 / $202,100 / €157,285, more than twice over the pre-sale high estimate (£40,000-60,000), and establishing a record for the artist at auction; Sevket Dag’s Repose sold for £140,500 / $211,115 / €164,301, against an estimate of £30,000-50,000.
Two Majorcan landscapes by Spanish artist Joaquim Mir – Paisaje mallorquín con naranjos (Orange Trees in Mallorca) and Soller – achieved prices above their pre-sale estimates, selling respectively for £128,500 / $193,084 / €150,268 and £93,700 / $140,794 / €109,498.
A trio of paintings by Norwegian artists performed well. Adolph Tidemand’s A Hardanger Interior, Young Girl knitting, which had remained in an English Private Collection since it was commissioned from the artist in 1872, sold for £74,500 / $111,944 / €87,120, against an estimate of £50,000-70,000. View over the Elbe and the Barracks by the father of Norwegian landscape painting Johan Christian Dahl fetched £50,000 / $75,130 / €58,470, against an estimate of £15,000-20,000. Winter Day by the Fjord by Frithjof Smith-Hald sold for £11,250 / $16,904 / €13,156, against an estimate of £8,000-12,000.
Among the works by French artists, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot’s Le Contribandiers exceeded its pre-sale estimate to bring £158,500 ($238,162) (€185,350), and Henri Geoffroy’s L’Heure de gouter fetched £42,500 / $63,860 / €49,700 against an estimate of £18,000-25,000.