Old Master & British Works on Paper Highlights

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The star of stars in the sale of Old Master & British works on paper is the extraordinary Canaletto masterpiece The Coronation of the Doge on the Scala dei Giganti, without question the most important drawing by the artist to come to the market in a generation. A masterpiece of brilliant technique and witty observation, this perfectly preserved drawing is one of the grandest that Canaletto ever made. Other standout drawings include a splendid study of the figure of a river god, by Francesco Salviati and major, previously unrecorded drawings by two pioneering Dutch draughtsmen of the period around 1600, Jacques de Gheyn II and Joachim Wtewael. Along with strong French presence including Watteau and François Boucher, the British section of the sale includes ten watercolours by Turner, alongside drawings by Constable and other leading English artists.

Click ahead to see the highlights.

Old Master & British works on paper
London | 5 July

Old Master & British Works on Paper Highlights

  • Joachim Anthonisz. Wtewael, A Fishmarket.
    Estimate: £30,000–40,000
    Previously unrecorded, this excitingly drawn, fully signed depiction of a fish market is an extremely important addition to the very small number of known drawings by the brilliantly talented early 17th-century Utrecht artist Joachim Wtewael.  Wtewael has long been recognised as one of the most individual and gifted Netherlandish painters of the first quarter of the 17th century.

  • Francesco de' Rossi, called Francesco Salviati, A reclining river god facing left, and lifting a veil.
    Estimate: £100,000–150,000
    A masterpiece of the artist’s mature period, commissioned for the Duke by some highly influential advisors at the Medici court, this is the work that established and confirmed Salviati’s reputation as one the most important fresco decorators of his time. 

  • Giovanni Antonio Canal, Called Canaletto, The Coronation of the Doge on the Scala dei Giganti.
    Estimate: £2,500,000–£3,500,000
    A masterpiece of brilliant technique and witty observation, this perfectly preserved drawing is one of the grandest Canaletto ever made. Originally part of a famous series of ten magnificent images of Venetian festivals, it was drawn in the 1760s and since then has only been up for auction once.

  • Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, A Puppet show.
    Estimate: £250,000–350,000
    This delightful drawing with the most entertaining subject 'Il teatro dei Pulcinella', was only known, until now, through an etching by Teodoro Viero (1740-1819), first recorded in 1879 by Urbani de Gheltof. It has been described as the most original of all Giandomenico's contributions to Venetian art.

  • Jean Antoine Watteau, Young girl sitting on the edge of an armchair, embroidering.
    Estimate: £120,000–180,000
    This serene and intimate image of a young woman, totally focussed on her handiwork, encapsulates a certain aspect of Watteau's remarkable narrative and observational genius. The drawing is the study for one of the figures in a lost painting entitled L'occupation selon l'age, a composition that is known only from an engraving, made in reverse.

  • Jean-Etienne Liotard, Still-life with pears, an apple, plums and walnuts on a white glazed plate.
    Estimate: £200,000–£300,000
    A very late work - it was executed when the artist was in his late eighties - this iconic representation of a dish with fruits, like many of Liotard's late 'Natures mortes', is drawn with even more directness and economy of means than the artist's earlier works.  

  • Henry Fuseli, R.A., King Amycus of Bebryces.
    Estimate: £30,000–£50,000
    Fuseli has inscribed this superb drawing with a quote from Idyll 22 of Theocritus’s poem Castor and Pollux. It identifies this extraordinary figure as King Amycus of Bebryces, son of Poseidon and the nymph Melia. A learned artist, Fuseli had been introduced to the writings of Homer, the Nibelungenlied, Dante, Shakespeare and Milton while still a boy in Zurich and throughout his long and brilliant career he constantly mined his library for inspiration.

  • Joseph Mallord William Turner, Lichfield Cathedral, Staffordshire.
    Estimate: £300,000–£500,000
    The only oil painting by Turner of a German subject left in private hands, this magnificent picture is one of the artist’s great late masterpieces. It is based on a series of on-the-spot pencil sketches made during Turner’s third tour of the Rhine in 1833. When it was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1835 Ehrenbreitstein elicited huge critical acclaim and it has been considered one of the artist’s most celebrated masterpieces ever since.

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