Begin Your Collection with Accessible Art from the 16th through 19th Centuries

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For the aspiring buyer hoping to begin the perfect collection of Old Master Paintings or 19th Century European Art, Sotheby’s online auctions offer a wide range of important works, many of which are at no reserve. Click ahead to discover just a small selection of these accessible lots, whose subjects range from religious scenes to charming animals.

Begin Your Collection with Accessible Art from the 16th through 19th Centuries

  • After Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, The Cardsharps. Estimate $2,000–3,000. Offered Without Reserve.
    This work derives from the prime version by Caravaggio in the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX (inv. no. AP 1987.06). It is an affordable opportunity for emerging collectors to own a work inspired by masterpieces in a museum.

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  • Charlotte Sorre, Flo, the Pug. Estimate $2,000–3,000. Offered Without Reserve.
    Charlotte Sorre was an animal portraitist, best known for her paintings of thoroughbred race horses, show dogs and other pets. Flo the Pug is a charming portrait of a man’s best friend, where the personality of this sweet creature shines through.

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  • Master of the Adulterous Woman of Ghent, Saint Joseph. Estimate $5,000–7,000. Offered Without Reserve.
    This panel is a discovery and has been attributed to the Master of the Adulterous Woman of Ghent who was active in Antwerp circa 1530 and part of the circle of Pieter Coecke van Aelst. Discoveries in the Old Masters field are fantastic and at times rare. This painting presents a wonderful opportunity to own a fully attributed painting to a known hand at an accessible price point.

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  • Eugène Galien-Laloue, La gare de l'Est. Estimate $6,000–8,000.
    Just across the rue La Fayette from Gare du Nord in Paris’s 10th arrondisment, La gare de l’Est opened in 1849 as the main connection between Paris and Strasbourg. Eugene Galien-Laloue’s depiction of this busy and pulsating station befits the Belle Époque masterpiece that witnessed the first departure of the Orient Express in 1883.

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  • Pier Francesco Cittadini, Portrait of a Lady, Three-Quarter Length, in an Elaborately Decorated Silk Red Dress with White Lace and a Sheer Falling Collar. Estimate $6,000–8,000. Offered Without Reserve.
    This established Milanese artist entered the studio of Guido Reni in Bologna during the early 1630s. Although he painted still lifes and landscapes, his portraits have a characteristically Lombard sense of realism, combined with an acute attention to detail in the elaborate lace and silk costumes of his female sitters. This work serves as a testament to the success Cittadini had as a portraitist.

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  • Constant Troyon, Cows in the Pasture. Estimate $7,000–9,000.
    Constant Troyon was an early member of the group of artists that established the Barbizon school, though the present work dates to the second half of the artist’s career when he came under the spell of Dutch 17th-century animaliers, such as Paulus Potter and Aelbert Cuyp. Cows in the Pasture combines Troyon’s skill in rendering atmospheric landscapes and his careful observation of a pair of cows.

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  • Circle of Pietro Di Cristoforo Vannucci, called Perugino, Portrait of a Man, Possibly Perugino, Bust Length, Wearing a Black Cap. Estimate $5,000–7,000. Offered Without Reserve.
    This panel is inspired by Perugino's Self Portrait from circa 1497-1500 in the Collegio del Cambio, Perugia. There is a similar portrait painted in 1504 that was once thought to be by Raphael, but is now attributed to Lorenzo di Credi (inv. no. 1482) in the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence. This charming and compact panel is an accessible gateway to build a portrait collection inspired by museum paintings that depict distinguished sitters, including artists.

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  • Marcel Brunery, Two Cardinals Relaxing in a Drawing Room. Estimate $7,000–10,000.
    Two Cardinals Relaxing in a Drawing Room is an excellent example of Marcel Brunery’s most popular subject, humorous images of red-robed Cardinals in sumptuous interiors. The intricate decoration on the walls of their drawing room may be inspired by the frescos discovered in Pompeii during the 18th and 19th centuries.

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  • Circle of Ludovico Carracci, Fate Deciding Her Destiny. Estimate $7,000–9,000. Offered Without Reserve.
    This canvas features an interesting subject that has a lot of depth, though the artist remains elusive. It stylistically relates to the elaborate subjects developed in the compositions by the Carracci Family and is the perfect decorative piece to start building an Old Masters collection.

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  • Arthur John Elsley, Go Away, Sir. Estimate $15,000–20,000.
    Arthur John Elsley was renowned for his charming paintings of children and their humorous and playful relationships to pets. The immediate charm of a young girl’s relationship with her puppy in Go Away, Sir is evident. It is the only work in Elsley’s repertoire to depict a pug.

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  • Vittore Giuseppe Ghislandi, Called Fra' Galgario, Portrait of a Man, Bust Length, Wearing a Black Silk Hat. Estimate $10,000–15,000. Offered Without Reserve.
    Vittore Ghislandi entered the Order of the Minims in the monastery of Galgario in Bergamo in 1702 at the age of forty-seven, and henceforward was known by the name of the saint, after whom the monastery was named. Mainly active in Bergamo, he was an Italian painter who distinguished himself as a portraitist during the late Baroque and Rococo periods.

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  • William Etty, A Study of a Standing Female Nude. Estimate $3,000–5,000. Offered Without Reserve.
    William Etty studied under Thomas Lawrence before becoming a member of the Royal Academy, the highest honor awarded to an English artist in the early 19th century. Known for his delicate male and female nudes, this particular academic study, offered without reserve, may have been a preparatory study for a larger work, as evidenced by the crouching figure see in the right background.

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  • Italian School, 17th/18th Century, Isaac and the Angel. Estimate $3,000–5,000. Offered Without Reserve.
    Although canvas and panel are the most common mediums seen in Old Masters, sometimes exotic surfaces, like stones, were used.

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  • German School, First Half 16th Century, Merchants Counting Coins with a Birdcage. Estimate $8,000–12,000. Offered Without Reserve.
    The figures in this composition are based on the lower left corner of Albrecht Dürer's Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple from the Marienleben woodcut series, which was first published circa 1511. Since the verso has remnants of gold decoration that is typical for altarpiece interiors, it is likely that this work was part of an altarpiece wing showing the Presentation on its exterior. Its approachable cost makes it a great opportunity for clients to own a fragment of what appears to be a period altarpiece from the 16th century.

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