7 Specialist Picks Under $20k from Master Paintings

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In advance of the Master Paintings auction on 8 June in New York, seven Specialists from the Old Masters department chose a favourite painting from the sale under $20k. From still lifes and portraiture to the mythological and divine, there is something for everyone’s taste. Click ahead to see what they picked. 

Master Paintings
8 June | New York

7 Specialist Picks Under $20k from Master Paintings

  • Circle of Claude-Joseph Vernet, A Mediterranean Harbor Scene with Figures on the Shore, and Fisherman Launching a Boat. Estimate $10,000—15,000.
    The relaxing warmth of this delightful cabinet picture is what most appeals to me. Once attributed to Vernet, on whose innovative style it is heavily dependent, the picture has eluded a secure attribution but is all the more charming for it. – Edoardo Roberti

  • Giuseppe Santi, Minerva Defending the Arts. Estimate $20,000—30,000.
    One of my favorite pictures in the sale is Giuseppe Santi’s depiction of Minerva defending the arts—the lively brushwork, colorful palette and dynamic composition are particularly impressive and engaging. I love Minerva’s fabulous shield and helmet--coupled with her casual, confident pose--what a goddess! – Calvine Harvey

  • Attributed to Aert de Gelder, The Enraged Ahasuerus. Estimate $20,000—30,000.
    This painting, which is attributed to Aert de Gelder, is a classic Rembrandt school picture depicting the Old Testament figure Ahasuerus. I love the confident and muscular brushwork with which the artist applies the paint along the figures drapery. This dappling technique was typical of de Gelder, with whom the painting has been identified for its entire scholarly history. – David Pollack

  • Spyridon Ventouras, Scene from the Life of Saint John Chrysostem. Estimate $12,000—16,000.
    It’s perhaps an offbeat choice, but I really like the panel by the Greek artist Syridon Ventouras.  I collect icons, and this painting is a perfect cross between that tradition and Italian painting, my other great love. Ventouras worked in the Ionian isles, and trained in Venice, so both influences are strong. It also depicts a scene from the life of the fourth century Saint John Chrysostom, one of the most important and interesting figures of the early church. – Christopher Apostle

  • Pieter Cornelisz. van Slingelandt, Boy in a Window with a Bridge. Estimate $20,000—30,000.
    As a lover of northern paintings, I am drawn to Pieter van Slingelandt’s painting of a young boy with a bird cage leaning out of a window. This small work, which I can hold in my hand, is a charming example of the fijnschilder tradition championed by Gerrit Dou and other seventeenth-century genre painters of the Leiden school.  Here, through a meticulous attention to detail, Slingelandt seemingly creates the illusion of a three dimensional object, and I cannot help from wanting to explore every last element of the tiny scene. – Elisabeth Lobkowicz

  • Attributed to Jacob Gerritsz. Cuyp, Portrait of a Young Boy and Dog in a Landscape. Estimate $15,000—20,000.
    This little chap is by far the best dressed in his price bracket and I love the detail of the tiny bells on his coral rattle. The skirts may have fooled you but actually boys didn't wear two-legged garments until they were around seven years old; being "breeched" was a rite of passage into mini-manhood. That crisply folded linen, fresh from the drawer, is a sign of the immaculate care taken over his appearance. You imagine an anxious governess hovering just outside the picture, ready to swoop at the merest hint of dirt. – Jonquil O’Reilly



  • Franchoys Elaut, Still Life with a Pewter Jug, a Ham on a Pewter Plate, Lemons, Bread, a Gilt Mounted Roemer and other Objects on Table Covered in White Cloth. Estimate $20,000—30,000.
    This is a classic, signed example of a Dutch monochrome still life. I particularly like the way the artist has rendered the reflections of some of the objects on the pewter plates and jug. What’s really interesting is that the artist has depicted three lemons on the plate at left but, when you look closely, the reflection in the jug shows a plate of olives. Did Elaut swap lemons for olives at the last minute and decide not to alter the reflection, or was he deliberately playing a trick on the viewer? – Andrea Kust


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