Renaissance to the Golden Age: 500 Years of European Masters

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Launch Slideshow

The upcoming Old Masters Day Sale in London on 7 December will bring together paintings from 500 years of European art. The sale includes historically significant works from the Italian Renaissance through to the Dutch Golden Age, alongside some of the finest examples of portraiture produced in the 18th Century – including an important self-portrait by Richard Wilson, a founding member of the Royal Academy of Arts. Click through to see selected highlights from the auction. 

Old Masters Day Sale
7 December | London

Renaissance to the Golden Age: 500 Years of European Masters

  • Bartolomeo Schedoni, Saint Irene tending Saint Sebastian. Estimate: 40,000–60,000.
    This tender scene depicting Saint Irene removing arrows from the body of Saint Sebastian by Schedoni is a recent discovery. One other treatment of this subject by Schedoni is known in the collection at the Capodimonte in Naples. The Capodimonte canvas is unfinished but the compositions are largely similar. Visible on this little copper plate are some incised lines (around the Saint's foot and right thigh) that suggest the transfer of the design from a drawing or cartoon.



     



    Old Masters Day Sale
    7 December | London

  • Pedro Machuca, The Baptism of Christ.
    Estimate: 30,000–40,000.
    This idiosyncratic lake-side baptism scene is by Pedro Machuca, a Spanish associate of Raphael's. Machuca is known to have worked in Rome and Naples before returning to his homeland and settling in Granada. It is thought that this panel was executed during Machuca's Roman period, years during which he is also thought to have worked on several frescoes in the Vatican Logge. The plasticity of form and frozen gestures recall Michelangelo's Sistine ceiling, which Machuca (if he didn't witness Michelangelo's decoration of it at first hand) certainly will have known well. 



     



    Old Masters Day Sale
    7 December | London

  • Workshop of Joos van Cleve, Virgin and Child with a pear. Estimate: 60,000–80,000.
    This charming lozenge shape Madonna and Child from the workshop of Joos van Cleve, a prominent master from Antwep working during the early decades of the 1500s, is in beautiful condition and is of undeniably high quality. The probability of intervention from the master himself is high; analysis of infra-red images of this little panel reveals dynamic under-drawing with multiple adaptions and changes to the design at the drawing stage.



     



    Old Masters Day Sale
    7 December | London

  • Harmen van Steenwijck, Still life with a ham, a fish and a candle arranged on the edge of a tabletop; Still life with a ewer and some fruit on a partly-draped stone ledge.
    Estimate: 15,000–20,000.
    This small pair of perfectly preserved cabinet paintings of still lifes by Harmen van Steenwijck are dated to circa 1645. Harmen van Steenwyck and his brother Pieter van Steenwyck studied in Leiden from 1628 to 1633. He lived in Delft in 1644 and is known to have travelled to the Indies, returning in 1655; this experience no doubt explains his liking for exotic subjects.



     



    Old Masters Day Sale
    7 December | London

  • Giovanni Battista Discepoli, called Lo Zoppo da Lugano, Allegory of the Earth, with the Four Seasons.
    Estimate: 20,000–30,000.
    Newly identified as the work of Discepoli (nicknamed 'Lo Zoppo' on account of his limp), this allegory of the Earth includes motifs that allude to each of the four seasons; white flowers for Spring; ears of corn for Summer; grapes for Autumn; and a glowing brazier for Winter. 



     



    Old Masters Day Sale
    7 December | London

  • Richard Wilson, R.A., Self-portrait. Estimate: 20,000–30,000.
    This portrait by the grandfather of British landscape painting is an exciting new addition to the artists oeuvre, and the only known self-portrait by Wilson. The artist depicts himself holding his brushes and palette looking out confidently at the viewer. Wilson is a young man here and is likely to have painted this self-portrait in his early twenties just as he left the studio of his teacher Thomas Wright, and set up his own business in Covent Garden. Perhaps this portrait served as something of a calling card for the young artist in his early attempts to win commissions of his own.



     



    Old Masters Day Sale
    7 December | London

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