The sale of Old Master and British Drawings totalled £4,653,925. The highest result was for Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s Italianate Park Landscape with Tall Cypresses, which made £554,500.
Georges Dormeuil (1856-1939) was one of the greatest drawings collectors of his time. A group of exceptional 18th-century French drawings from his collection, all bought in the late 19th or early 20th century and now offered for sale by his descendants, are among the highlights of this remarkably strong and varied sale. They include masterpieces by Watteau, Boucher, Fragonard and Greuze of a quality not seen on the market for decades, all exceptionally grand, large-scale works, and all proudly bearing Dormeuil’s distinctive collector’s mark.
Also noteworthy are two fine drawings by Goya from a private album known as Images of Spain, created around 1815-20, each of which captures a different aspect of Goya’s narrative genius. Among the earlier works of note are two spectacular, newly discovered late 16th-century gouaches of horses, made for the eccentric, horse-mad Moravian Jan Šembera, Baron Boskowitz, and a fascinating early 17th-century gouache representing the English fleet fighting the Spanish Armada. Later masterpieces include Jean-Etienne Liotard’s superb pastel portrait of important Geneva lawyer and politician, Jean Tronchin, and Samuel Palmer’s The Near and the Distant.