Inside the Private Collection of an Esteemed Old Master Paintings Dealer

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After a distinguished 30 year-career, Old Master paintings dealer Otto Naumann is stepping from down from his New York gallery. Naumann is parting with a varied collection that reveals his astute, scholarly eye: 35 paintings by Dutch, Spanish and Italian masters, many of which adorned the walls of his home and gallery. One highlight, Giovanni Baglione’s impressive and exquisitely painted Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness, was recently attributed to the artist. The works are “more or less my entire inventory in Old Master and 19th-century paintings,” Naumann says. “Many of which have not been seen on the market for years.” Click ahead for highlights from this exceptional collection.

The Otto Naumann Sale
31 January 2018 | New York  

Inside the Private Collection of an Esteemed Old Master Paintings Dealer

  • Giovanni Bilivert, Venus, Cupid and Pan. Estimate $300,000–500,000.
    In this intimate painting we see Venus, goddess of love, dipping her feet in a shallow, crystalline pond. Naked save for her pearl headdress and earrings, she is assisted by Cupid who tenderly washes her left leg. He is naked as well, wearing only a silk sash that billows up behind him as he bends forward. Standing in the background is Pan who holds Venus’s crimson cloak and a shepherd’s crook, his attribute as god of the wild and protector of flocks. 



     



    The Otto Naumann Sale
    31 January 2017 | New York  

  • Louis-Auguste Lapito, A view of Genoa from the east. Estimate $80,000–120,000.
    Louis-Auguste Lapito travelled extensively throughout Europe, creating numerous watercolours and oil sketches fueled by his interest in the natural world. While many travellers visited Florence, Rome, Naples and Venice while on their Grand Tour, the port city of Genoa did not draw as many tourists. Visitors, such as Lapito, were rewarded by the city’s impressive architectural landmarks, including this work’s La Lanterna, Genoa’s ancient lighthouse visible at the right edge of composition, which until 1902, was the tallest lighthouse in the world.



     



    The Otto Naumann Sale
    31 January 2017 | New York  

    The Otto Naumann Sale
    31 January 2017 | New York  
    The Otto Naumann Sale
    31 January 2017 | New York  
    The Otto Naumann Sale
    31 January 2017 | New York  
    The Otto Naumann Sale
    31 January 2017 | New York  
  • Charlotte Vignon, Peaches and grapes on a table draped with a red velvet cloth. Estimate $150,000–200,000.
    Charlotte Vignon deftly captures a range of textures in this enchanting, delicately rendered still life. The contrast between the crispness of the leaves, the soft fuzz of the peach skin and the luminescent red cloth are exceptionally realised. While the composition may appear simple at first, it is remarkably complex: the five peaches are placed in a precarious balancing act, while the artist’s use of shadows and the subtle shifting of the cloth underneath provide a convincing sense of depth and tension between the objects.



     



    The Otto Naumann Sale
    31 January 2017 | New York  

  • Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, Viejo castellano sirviéndose vino (The Old Man of Castille), 1907. Estimate $200,000–300,000.
    Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida’s impressive life-sized Viejo castellano sirviéndose vino (The Old Man of Castille) was painted in 1907, a particularly successful and productive year for the artist’s figural painting. Here the “old man” is enrobed by multiple layers of a heavy brown cloak – with textured swaths of paint and subtle tonal shifts suggesting its rough-spun cloth – which frames his grey stubbled and sun-reddened skin, as a bandaged hand emerges to pour wine from a green and yellow glazed clay pitcher. Sorolla’s expressive brushwork, impressionistic shifts of light and shade, and cropping of the compositional space suggest both a casually observed moment of daily life and careful study.  



     



    The Otto Naumann Sale
    31 January 2017 | New York  

  • Giovanni Baglione, Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness, 1610. Estimate $400,000–600,000.
    Giovanni Baglione’s impressive and exquisitely painted work is a recent addition to the artist’s corpus, rediscovered in a private collection where it had remained since 1970. The painting’s starkly lit figure and pronounced chiaroscuro effect make it tempting to compare this Saint John the Baptist to Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s treatment of the subject in the Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City. The two artists, working concurrently in Rome, were fierce rivals and Caravaggio accused Baglione of imitating his distinct painting style. Baglione was keen to include both the foreground plants and the background landscape, elements that are more often merely alluded to in his work. This notably disciplined approach runs counter to Caravaggio’s preparatory methods. 



     



    The Otto Naumann Sale
    31 January 2017 | New York  

  • Denys Calvaert, The Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist and an Angel, 1579. Estimate $100,000–150,000.
    In this magnificent canvas, the Holy Family, Saint John the Baptist and an angel, all adorned with delicate golden halos and some dressed in thick draping fabrics, fill the entirety of the composition, surrounded by Classical architecture and a window that opens up to a landscape beyond. At the centre is the Madonna and Child, his body turned slightly to gaze at the loose bouquet of flowers falling from the angel’s hand and his mother’s adoring gaze. Captivated by the scene is the young Saint John, who energetically twists towards the central figures pointing upwards with one hand and gently caressing the arm of the Christ child with the other.



     



    The Otto Naumann Sale
    31 January 2017 | New York  

  • James Drummond R.S.A., The Return of Mary Queen of Scots to Edinburgh. Estimate $70,000–100,000.
    Born in Edinburgh, James Drummond is best known for his paintings of Scottish history and folklore. While the title of this work suggests that the subject is Mary’s return to Edinburgh from defeat at Carberry Hill, Drummond has portrayed her departure from Edinburgh on 17 June 1567 for the island fortress of Lochleven Castle where she would abdicate the Scottish throne on 24 July in favour of her one-year-old son James.



     



    The Otto Naumann Sale
    31 January 2017 | New York  

  • Bartholomeus van der Helst, Portrait of a Gentleman, Probably Hendrick Zegersz Van Der Kamp, Seated Before a Balustrade, a Landscape with Country House and a Distant View of Haarlem Beyond, 1655. Estimate $400,000–600,000.
    The sitters in this impressive pair of portraits are life-size, both seated facing each other on a terrace in front of a balustrade. In the background beyond are extensive dune landscapes under cloud-filled blue skies. Van der Helst has taken great care in depicting the sumptuous fabrics of their costumes, demonstrating his extraordinary skill at rendering different textures and materials. Both are attired at the height of fashion for the period, richly garbed in black velvet with starched white linen collars and cuffs. The man wears a broad-brimmed hat, his only adornment consisting of two tassels hanging from his collar. 



     



    The Otto Naumann Sale
    31 January 2017 | New York  

  • Bartholomeus van der Helst, Portrait of a Lady, Probably Hester Du Pire, Seated Before a Balustrade, Holding a Fan, with a View Out to the Sea Beyond, 1655. Estimate $200,000–300,000.
    The background landscapes are given prominence in both portraits and allude, perhaps, to the couple’s landed wealth in addition to their obvious material wealth. In the distance of the Portrait of a Man can be seen the silhouette of the church of St Bavo in Haarlem, while the background of the woman’s portrait looks out to a broad expanse of water in the distance with faintly defined vessels. Rendered in extraordinary detail, the pictures were likely painted by a highly skilled collaborating artist who specialised in landscapes.



     



    The Otto Naumann Sale
    31 January 2017 | New York  

  • Cristoforo Savolini, The Madonna and Child. Estimate $60,000–80,000.
    At the time of his tragic death at age 38 followinga horse-riding accident, Emilian artist Cristoforo Savolini was approaching the height of his career. A number of works were left unfinished in his studio, including this depiction of the Madonna and Child. 



     



    The Otto Naumann Sale
    31 January 2017 | New York  

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