The auction brought an overall total of £3,271,500, against a pre-sale estimate of £2.3-3.5 million.
A complete set of Goya’s La Tauromaquia led the sale, with determined bidders driving the final sale price to £512,750. The thirty-three prints celebrating the Spanish master’s unique understanding of the art of bullfighting are virtually flawless examples of the first and only contemporary edition that was printed for Goya from large copperplates etched and aquatinted by him in 1815-1816.
The sale also included 15 prints from the collection of Lord & Lady Attenborough featuring works by Picasso, Chagall, Cézanne, Matisse, Braque, Rouault, Toulouse-Lautrec and David Hockney, which sold for a combined total of £526,875.
Sotheby’s Prints & Multiples sale on 4April spans five hundred years of printmaking. The auction begins with an exceptional collection of Old Master prints, including a very fine first edition of Goya’s Tauromaquia only recently re-discovered by the owners in their library at the château de Montigny.
Also being offered is a selection of works from the collection of Lord and Lady Attenborough, the focal point of which is an excellent impression of the etching Le repas frugal from La suite des Saltimbanques; a workevocative of Picasso’s youthful enthusiasm for printmaking and its capabilities. Highlights of the various-owner Modern section are a strong group of works by Picasso including L'Égyptienne and Jacqueline au chapeau noir, Edvard Munch’s haunting Moonlight I, and the extremely rare complete, handcoloured portfolio by Alexej von Jawlensky Köpfe: 6 Lithographien.
The Contemporary section of the sale comprises the vibrant and seductiveAfternoon Swimming by David Hockney and a fantastic group of Warhol screenprints including a variety of endangered animals: Giant Panda, Elephant and Turtle; together with more iconic subjects such as Mick Jagger and Ingrid Bergman. These are offered alongside an exciting group of multiples by various artists including Joseph Beuys, and works from important post-war printmakers such as Roy Lichtenstein, Louise Bourgeois and Gerhard Richter.