L ed by one of the only three self-portraits by Rembrandt left in private hands and bookended by Gerhard Richter’s Wolken (fenster) of 1970, this auction spans the Italian Renaissance and Dutch Golden Age, traverses the birth of Modernism as wonderfully illuminated by the private family collection The European Avant-Garde, and ends in Pop art and postmodern abstraction.
Rewriting the Rule Book from Rembrandt to Richter
Watch Andrew Graham-Dixon’s ‘Rembrandt to Richter’ Exhibition Tour
Tour the Virtual Gallery
500 Years of Art
Sir Peter Paul Rubens
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn
Joseph Mallord William Turner, R.A.
The sale is led by a striking Rembrandt self-portrait, and this arresting work is where we begin the journey through 500 years of art history. Arguably one of the artist's finest creations, this work sets the scene for an auction filled with masterful examples of portraiture through the ages. The work is joined by a number of portraits from masters of the genre, including Pablo Picasso's Femme endormie, Torso, self-portrait by Louise Bourgeois, Ben Nicholson's1933, Girl in a Mirror, a tender and intimate study of Barbara Hepworth at the beginning of their relationship, and the thickly-impastoed Reclining Head of J.Y.M, painted in 1972 by Frank Auerbach.
The groundbreaking Rembrandt to Richter sale encompasses a number of outstanding landscapes from the European Old Masters, through to contemporary painting such as Gerhard Richter's monumental Wolken (fenster), a 1970 panoramic study of clouds reminiscent of J.M.W. Turner's investigations in to every-changing skies. The cross-category nature of the sale allows for thematic threads to emerge, and we arrive at Gustav Bauerfeind's enigmatic Orientalist opus, Jerusalem, From the Mount of Olives at Sunrise, via Bernardo Bellotto's rediscovered Dresden cityscape from the late 1750s.
As well as work by Turner himself, and paintings by Lyonel Feininger and Wassily Kandinsky from a private collection spanning the European Avant Garde, the sale includes a pastoral scene from 1940 by Sir Stanley Spencer, that belies the mounting tension of the second world war and transports the viewer to a quintessentially British cottage garden, filled with flowers.