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Artprice by Art Market: the geopolitics of the 15th Lyon Biennale

2019/09/18 Commentaires fermés

Some fifty artists have been commissioned this year to produce in situ artworks at the former Fagor factories in Lyon. It’s the first time the Lyon Biennale will make use of the 29,000m² site located not far from the highly symbolic spot where the Saône flows into the Rhone. Entitled “Where Water Comes Together with Other Water”, from a poem by the American writer Raymond Carver, the theme of mixity has clearly been singled out as the dominant focus of this 2019 edition and the whole thing has been put together by the young team of curators from the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

The Lyon Biennale is seeking to establish itself as a major event in the international Contemporary Art calendar and is supported by a substantial budget; but its primary responsibility is to highlight French culture and promote France’s power and influence. The result is of course a delicate balance that has to be re-imagined every two years… a challenge for its new Director Isabelle Bertolotti.

Courtesy of Biennale de Lyon 2019 "Where Water Comes Together With Other Water" © Stephen Powers

Courtesy of Biennale de Lyon 2019
« Where Water Comes Together With Other Water »
© Stephen Powers

[https://imgpublic.artprice.com/img/wp/sites/11/2019/09/15th-biennale-lyon-2019.jpg]

thierry Ehrmann, Artprice’s CEO/Founder, explains “Created in 1991 by Thierry Raspail, the Lyon Biennale has become one of the most remarkable cultural events of its kind worldwide. I particularly remember the legendary 2000 edition when Jean-Hubert Martin achieved a veritable tour-de-force with his Biennale entitled Shared Exoticism. The event was exceptionally coherent and relevant, a direct and logical suite to his founding exhibition The Magicians of the Earth presented in 1989 at the Pompidou Center.

Steered by Thierry Raspail for nearly 30 years, the Lyon Biennale has earned a global reputation and has been supported – in particular for Shared Exoticism – by its institutional partner Artprice and the Organe Contemporary Art Museum which manages The Abode of Chaos. Over the years it has come to overshadow the Paris Biennale, founded by André Malraux in 1959 and the last edition of which was in 2008.”

The Lyon Biennale is today at a crucial juncture with the first change of management in its history and the arrival of Isabelle Bertolotti. Recently appointed Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art of the City of Lyon, Bertoletti is expected to set the Lyon Biennale on a new path and her first project is indeed ambitious: “This 15th edition of the Lyon Contemporary Art Biennale is devised as an ecosystem at the intersection of biological, economic and cosmogonic landscapes. It bears witness to the shifting relationships between human beings, other living species, the mineral kingdom, technological artefacts and the stories that unite them

The curators and artists involved in this year’s Lyon Biennale have been working with a number of obligations and constraints. First and foremost among these are related to the place itself: a huge factory located outside the city center and preserved in its original state, with its original demarcation, its abandoned machinery and its visible wear and tear. The artists – most of whom have had very little exposure in France and often no auction history to their names – have been asked to work with local artisans from the Rhone Valley basin. One third of them are French and a strict gender balance has been applied.

The Biennale is by no means confined to the vast Fagor space; there are manifestations throughout the region. The new format is organized around four complementary platforms: the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lyon, which is acting as an outgrowth of the main exhibition with 6 artists including the famous duo Gregory & Daniel GICQUEL & DEWAR; the Young International Creation which – as in the past – will occupy Villeurbanne’s Institute of Contemporary Art; Veduta which promotes meetings between artists and the region’s inhabitants; and a broad program of associated exhibitions, including exhibitions in Resonance with the Biennale at various galleries and cultural venues in the region. In all, the event will use 150 venues and will encompass not only the field of Contemporary Art but also literature, dance, theater, music and cinema.

An internationally recognised and appreciated artistic event, the Lyon Contemporary Art Biennale is one of the five most important biennales after Venice. The previous edition attracted more than 300,000 visitors, its best-ever attendance. The 2019 edition is far more ambitious with larger spaces, major installations, deeper regional networking and unprecedented bridges between the art world and the world of business and commerce.

In 1999, in conversation with thierry Ehrmann, Thierry Raspail perfectly summed up his vision of the Lyon Biennale…. « Biennales are geo-political acts. They mark the territory between where there is everything and where there is nothing…” , a bold statement that highlights with rare clarity the primary and underlying logic of Biennales wherever they are staged.

Copyright ©1987-2019 thierry Ehrmann – www.artprice.com – www.artmarket.com

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Artprice is the global leader in art price and art index databanks. It has over 30 million indices and auction results covering more than 700,000 artists. Artprice Images® gives unlimited access to the largest Art Market resource in the world: a library of 126 million images or prints of artworks from the year 1700 to the present day, along with comments by Artprice’s art historians.

Artprice permanently enriches its databanks with information from 6,300 auctioneers and it publishes a constant flow of art market trends for the world’s principal news agencies and approximately 7,200 international press publications.

For its 4,500,000 members, Artprice gives access to the world’s leading Standardised Marketplace for buying and selling art. Artprice is preparing its blockchain for the Art Market. It is BPI-labelled (scientific national French label) Artprice’s Global Art Market Annual Report for 2018 published last March 2019: https://www.artprice.com/artprice-reports/the-art-market-in-2018

Artprice is associated with Artron Group the Chinese leader in the Art Market, its solid institutional partner.

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Artprice (depuis Londres) : Le « Caravage de Toulouse » fait son coming out

2019/03/01 Commentaires fermés

« Si j’avais pu choisir de retrouver une œuvre parmi toutes celles qui ont été perdues au cours de l’histoire, une seule, j’aurais sans hésitation choisi celle-là ». Par cette confidence, l’expert en tableaux Eric Turquin exprime sa fascination pour la peinture connue comme le « Caravage de Toulouse », dont il se trouve être en charge de la vente avec le commissaire-priseur Marc Labarbe.

thierry Ehrmann : « Au terme de cinq années de recherches, d’analyses et de rebondissements, les deux hommes ont annoncé que les propriétaires étaient résolus à laisser le Marché de l’Art décider de la valeur de cette œuvre exceptionnelle, d’une rare puissance, à laquelle l’État français a finalement accordé son visa d’exportation ».

caravage-london

Vidéo
[http://serveur.serveur.com/Press_Release/video/caravage-london.mov]

Ce jeudi 28 février à la galerie Colnaghi à Londres, alors que les ventes aux enchères battent leur plein, Eric Turquin et Marc Labarbe ont confirmé lors d’une conférence de presse que la peinture Judith et Holopherne sera mise en vente aux enchères le 27 juin 2019.

Seulement, la vente ne se fera pas du tout là où on pourrait l’attendre. Ce ne sera ni à Londres ni à New York, ni même à Paris que le dernier acte de cette pièce se jouera, mais là où tout a commencé : dans le sud-ouest de la France. C’est en effet dans le grenier d’une habitation près de Toulouse que l’oeuvre a été retrouvée par hasard en 2014. Et ce sera Maître Marc Labarbe, le commissaire-priseur toulousain qui avait été contacté à l’origine par les propriétaires, le premier à avoir reconnu les qualités exceptionnelles de l’oeuvre, qui se chargera de conduire cette session de vente extraordinaire.

L’opération revêt une importance cruciale. Non seulement pour tous les amateurs d’art à travers le monde, friands de belles histoires et de sensations fortes, mais aussi et surtout pour le Marché de l’Art français. Trente ans après la vente historique à Paris des Noces de Pierrette (1905) de Pablo Picasso, une vente aux enchères organisée sur le sol français pourrait à nouveau bouleverser le Marché de l’Art mondial.

Une œuvre de qualité muséale

Comme l’a révélé Artprice au mois de janvier, les vendeurs ont opté pour une stratégie extrêmement originale pour vendre une œuvre encore plus originale.

Car il s’agit d’une œuvre exceptionnelle à bien des égards. Son sujet (une décapitation biblique), son âge (plus de 400 ans), sa découverte (dans un grenier du sud de la France) et surtout son attribution au Caravage ainsi que la puissance du regard de Judith confèrent à ce tableau une place très spéciale dans l’Histoire et sur le Marché de l’Art.

68 œuvres seulement du Caravage sont connues à ce jour, dispersées à travers l’Occident. Beaucoup sont restées en Italie, ornant les plus belles églises de Rome, de Naples et de Sicile, tandis que ses autres tableaux font la renommée des plus prestigieuses institutions européennes et américaines : la National Gallery, le Metropolitan Museum et le Louvre en possèdent trois chacun, alors que le Prado et l’Ermitage se contentent d’un seul tableau du Caravage.

Aussi tous les grands musées doivent-ils rêver d’acquérir celui-ci. Malheureusement, peu d’entre eux en ont les moyens. L’estimation actuelle de l’oeuvre la donne entre 100 m€ et 150 m$. Or, le budget d’acquisition annuel du Musée du Louvre (le premier musée de la planète en nombre de visiteurs) reste lui-même inférieur à 20 m€. Les musées japonais, anglais ou russes, qui convoitent nécessairement cette œuvre inattendue sur le Marché, pourront difficilement entrer dans la compétition.

A moins qu’un Etat décide d’accorder une enveloppe exceptionnelle, les musées publics devront s’effacer devant les grands collectionneurs privés. Les milliardaires occidentaux, asiatiques et moyen-orientaux ont tour à tour raflé les plus belles pièces passées aux enchères ces dernières années. Leur immense puissance financière paraît sans limite lorsqu’il s’agit d’investir dans les derniers joyaux de l’Histoire de l’Art en circulation.

Résultats en ventes publiques supérieurs à 100 m$

© Arptrice.com

Artiste Œuvre Prix Vente Maison

  1. Leonardo DA VINCI (1452-1519) Salvator Mundi (c.1500)
    450 312 500 $ 15/11/2017 Christie’s – New York
  2. Pablo PICASSO (1881-1973) Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’) (1955)
    179 365 000 $ 11/05/2015 Christie’s – New York
  3. Amedeo MODIGLIANI (1884-1920) Nu couché (1917-18)
    170 405 000 $ 09/11/2015 Christie’s – New York
  4. Amedeo MODIGLIANI (1884-1920) Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) (1917)
    157 159 000 $ 14/05/2018 Sotheby’s – New York
  5. Francis BACON (1909-1992) Three Studies of Lucian Freud (1969)
    142 405 000 $ 12/11/2013 Christie’s – New York
  6. Alberto GIACOMETTI (1901-1966) L’homme au doigt (1947)
    141 285 000 $ 11/05/2015 Christie’s – New York
  7. QI Baishi (1864-1957) Screens of landscapes (1925)
    140 954 580 $ 17/12/2017 Poly – Pékin
  8. Edvard MUNCH (1863-1944) The scream (1895)
    119 922 500 $ 02/05/2012 Sotheby’s – New York
  9. Pablo PICASSO (1881-1973) Fillette la corbeille fleurie (1905)
    115 000 000 $ 08/05/2018 Christie’s – New York
  10. Jean-Michel BASQUIAT (1960-1988) Untitled (1982)
    110 487 500 $ 18/05/2017 Sotheby’s – New York
  11. Pablo PICASSO (1881-1973) Nude, Green Leaves and Bust (1932)
    106 482 500 $ 04/05/2010 Christie’s – New York
  12. Andy WARHOL (1928-1987) Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) (1963)
    105 445 000 $ 13/11/2013 Sotheby’s – New York
  13. Pablo PICASSO (1881-1973) Garçon à la pipe (1905)
    104 168 000 $ 05/05/2004 Sotheby’s – New York
  14. Alberto GIACOMETTI (1901-1966) L’homme qui marche I (1960)
    103 689 994 $ 03/02/2010 Sotheby’s – Londres
  15. Alberto GIACOMETTI (1901-1966) Chariot (1950)
    100 965 000 $ 04/11/2014 Sotheby’s – New York

A ce jour, quinze œuvres seulement ont dépassé les 100 millions de dollars aux enchères. Toutes ces transactions ont été effectuées dans les trois grandes capitales du Marché de l’Art, et organisées par les trois plus belles maisons de ventes de la planète. Mais à l’heure de la globalisation, ce mode de fonctionnement est peut-être obsolète.

Après être restée longtemps cloîtrée dans le cabinet d’Eric Turquin à Paris, l’oeuvre a enfin reçu son visa d’exportation et commencé son tour du monde. Judith se trouve à présent à Londres, puis elle ira à New York pour voler la vedette aux grandes ventes de mai, avant de retourner à Toulouse pour être mise en vente.

thierry Ehrmann, Président et Fondateur d’Artprice, explique que « lorsque tout le monde aura bien vu Judith décapitant Holopherne et aura saisi toute la puissance de ce tableau, la localisation de la vente importera peu finalement. Qu’il soit vendu à Toulouse ou à New York, le Caravage ira au plus offrant. De toute façon, le tableau ne restera certainement pas à Toulouse, ni en France… Les propriétaires de l’œuvre veulent une vente authentique : laisser le Marché avoir le mot final, sans chercher à le contrôler. C’est une façon de faire que l’on avait presque oubliée, pourtant c’est la véritable raison d’être des ventes publiques. Cette confiance dans le Marché ne peut qu’être récompensée ».

Copyright ©2019 thierry Ehrmann – www.artprice.com

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Artron.net est la marque la plus respectée du monde de l’art chinois. Artron.net compte plus de 3 millions de membres professionnels dans le secteur des arts et 15 millions de visites quotidiennes en moyenne, ce qui en fait le premier site Web d’art mondial.

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Artprice enrichit en permanence ses banques de données en provenance de 6300 Maisons de Ventes et publie en continu les tendances du Marché de l’Art pour les principales agences et 7200 titres de presse dans le monde. Artprice met à la disposition de ses 4,5 millions de membres (members log in), les annonces déposées par ses Membres, qui constituent désormais la première Place de Marché Normalisée® mondiale pour acheter et vendre des oeuvres d’Art à prix fixe ou aux enchères (enchères réglementées par les alinéas 2 et 3 de l’article L 321.3 du Code du Commerce).

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Artprice: Top 20 photographers by 2018 auction turnover

2019/02/14 Commentaires fermés

In our series of art market rankings designed to highlight some of its key trends, this week, artprice take a look at the photography market at auction.

thierry Ehrmann: ”The photography market represents just 1.7% of global Fine Art auction turnover, and 3% of the total number of Fine Art lots sold. But it has very interesting specificities that distinguish it from other Fine Art segments, starting with the fact that it is strongly dominated by Contemporary Art. Somewhat unusually, the figurehead of this market is, this year again, a woman, and an artist at the height of her art… Cindy Sherman”.

Gustave LE GRAY (1820-1884) Boats leaving the port of Le Havre (1856-57)

Gustave LE GRAY (1820-1884)
Boats leaving the port of Le Havre (1856-57)

 

1. Cindy Sherman (1954) – United States

$6,737,871

With 18 lots already auctioned above the $1 million threshold, Cindy Sherman is one of the three unmissable artists in today’s photography market. The prices of her photos have been gradually rising since 2012 and her market is particularly liquid with more than 60 photographs selling at auction per year and an unsold rate of just 20%.

2. Richard Prince (1949) – US

$6,504,718

3. Andreas Gursky (1955) – Germany

$5,147,708

4. Wolfgang Tillmans (1968) – Germany

$4,947,645

Single edition photographs from Tillmans’ series Freischwimmer Einzelgänger and Greifber have been hugely successful over the last two years in auction rooms and now fetch over $600,000. Yet more than 60% of his photos still sell for under $50,000 at auction. Wolfgang Tillmans was discovered by the general public in 2000 after winning the Turner Prize. In 2017, he was offered a retrospective at the Fondation Beyeler in Basel.

5. Irving Penn (1917-2009) – United States

$3,940,908

6. Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) – United States

$3,433,837

7. Hiroshi Sugimoto (1948) – Japan

$3,277,496

While the United States largely dominates the photography market, Germany, Japan and France are still very attached to this medium. Hiroshi Sugimoto has been the most successful Japanese photographer on the secondary market for the last 15 years. His maritime horizons – photographed all over the planet – form his most accomplished works and the works most appreciated by collectors. His major photos, in five editions, today fetch over $300,000.

8. Richard Avedon (1923-2004) – United States

$2,533,905

9. Ansel Easton Adams (1902-1984) – United States

$2,424,772

10. Diane Arbus (1923-1971) – United States

$2,380,129

11. Helmut Newton (1920-2004) – Germany

$2,266,289

Newton is one of the rare major photographers to have hammered an auction record in 2018. The only known print of Panoramic Nude with Gun, Villa d’Este Como (1989) far exceeded Phillips’ estimates in London on 18 May, fetching nearly a million dollars.

12. Peter Beard (1938) – United States

$2,260,378

13. Thomas Ruff (1958) – Germany

$1,517,803

14. Barbara Kruger (1945) – United States

$1,507,283

15. Gerhard Richter (1932) – Germany

$1,507,119

16. Gustave Le Gray (1820-1884) – France

$1,448,561

In 2018 no less than 77 photographs by Gustave Le Gray were auctioned, with a peak price of $225,000. This performance makes Le Gray the most successful 19th century photographer – or, put another way – the photography market’s leading historical figure. However, the prices of his works seem to be contracting. Boats leaving the port of Le Havre (1856-57), which had set a record $1,264,000 on 18 June 2011 at Rouillac (France), was resold for $965,000 on 17 February 2016 at Christie’s in New York.

17. Man Ray (1890-1976) – United States

$1,376,050

The year 2017 gave a substantial boost to Man Ray’s market, notably by setting two successive records for his photographs. First Portrait of a tearful woman (1936) on 17 May 2017 in New York, and then Black and White (1926) on 9 November 2017 in Paris, acquired for $2.2 million and $3.1 million respectively. Although his best works were much rarer in 2018, Man Ray remains a pillar of the photography market.

18. Edward Henry Weston (1886-1958) – United States

$1,353,158

19. László Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946) – Hungary

$1,332,653

20. Robert Frank (1924) – Switzerland

$1,316,356

After experiencing strong price growth just before the 2008 crisis, the value of Robert Franck’s works has slowly stabilized. The price of his photos are still 2.5 times higher on average than 20 years ago, with results regularly exceeding $100,000.

Copyright ©2019 thierry Ehrmann – www.artprice.com

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Artprice is listed on the Eurolist by Euronext Paris, SRD long only and Euroclear: 7478 – Bloomberg: PRC – Reuters: ARTF.

Founded by thierry Ehrmann (see Who’s who certified Biography ) (c) https://imgpublic.artprice.com/img/wp/sites/11/2018/10/bio-2019-whos-who-thierry-ehrmann.pdf ).

Dicover Artprice in video: https://www.artprice.com/video

Artprice is the global leader in art price and art index databanks. It has over 30 million indices and auction results covering more than 700,000 artists. Artprice Images® gives unlimited access to the largest Art Market resource in the world: a library of 126 million images or prints of artworks from the year 1700 to the present day, along with comments by Artprice’s art historians.

Artprice permanently enriches its databanks with information from 6,300 auctioneers and it publishes a constant flow of art market trends for the world’s principal news agencies and approximately 7,200 international press publications.

For its 4,500,000 members, Artprice gives access to the world’s leading Standardised Marketplace for buying and selling art. Artprice is preparing its blockchain for the Art Market. It is BPI-labelled (scientific national French label) Artprice’s Global Art Market Annual Report for 2017 published last March 2018: https://www.artprice.com/artprice-reports/the-art-market-in-2017

Artprice is associated with Artron Group the Chinese leader in the Art Market, its solid institutional partner.

About the Artron Group:

“Artron Art Group (Artron), a comprehensive cultural industrial group founded in 1993 by Wan jie, is committed to inheriting, enhancing and spreading art value. Based on abundant art data, Artron provides art industry and art fans with professional service and experience of quality products by integrated application of IT, advanced digital science and innovative crafts and materials.

Having produced more than 60,000 books and auction catalogues, Artron is the world’s largest art book printer with a total print volume of 300 million a year. It has more than 3 million professional members in the arts sector and an average of 15 million daily visits, making it the world’s leading art website.”

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Artprice (New York): Top bracket artworks for sale at the beginning of 2019

2019/01/03 Commentaires fermés

Artprice (New York): Top bracket artworks for sale at the beginning of 2019

No respite for art lovers! The new year has already begun, with French provincial sales throwing up superb treasures… The auction calendar will resume back in New York with Christie’s starting 2019 with five sales, including a highly anticipated Art Brut sale. But it is Sotheby’s which gathered the most expensive lots for the very first big sale of the year: Master Paintings Evening Sale, that will be held on 30 January 2019.

Top 10 upcoming artworks at auction in January 2019

© Artprice.com

Artist Artwork Estimate Sale
1 Joachim WTEWAEL (c.1566-c.1638) A Banquet of the Gods $5,000,000 – $7,000,000 01.30.2019 – Sotheby’s NY
2 Elisabeth VIGE-LEBRUN (1755-1842) Portrait of Muhammad Dervish Khan (1788) $4,000,000 – $6,000,000 02.30.2019 – Sotheby’s NY
3 Jan VAN DE CAPPELLE (c.1624-1679) A Shipping Scene on a Calm Sea $4,000,000 – $6,000,000 03.30.2019 – Sotheby’s NY
4 Ambrosius BOSSCHAERT I (1573-1621) A Still Life of Flowers in a Glass Flask (1607) $2,500,000 – $3,500,000 04.30.2019 – Sotheby’s NY
5 Peter Paul RUBENS (1577-1640) Nude Study of a Young Man $2,500,000 – $3,500,000 05.30.2019 – Sotheby’s NY
6 Orazio GENTILESCHI (1563-1639) The Fall of the Rebel Angels $2,500,000 – $3,500,000 06.30.2019 – Sotheby’s NY
7 Pieter BRUEGHEL II (c.1564-1637/38) St. George’s Kermis (1627) $2,000,000 – $3,000,000 07.30.2019 – Sotheby’s NY
8 Fede GALIZIA (1578-1630) A Glass Compote with Peaches $2,000,000 – $3,000,000 08.30.2019 – Sotheby’s NY
9 Jacobus VREL (c.1630-c.1680) Street Scene with Two Figures Walking Away $1,500,000 – $2,000,000 09.30.2019 – Sotheby’s NY
10 Luis MELENDEZ (1716-1780) Still Life with a Plate of Azaroles $1,500,000 – $2,000,000 10.30.2019 – Sotheby’s NY

Nevertheless, the most exciting lots are not necessarily the most expensive ones. thierry Ehrmann, Founder and CEO of Artprice insists : “The mid-range Art Market is full of opportunities and it is worth keeping track of what is on offer as soon as the year begins…”

The unique world of Henry Darger

Henry Darger (1892-1973) created an exceptionally broad spectrum œuvre that was discovered in his room after his death. A secretive and reclusive character, Darger created a unique world, including a 15,000-page illustrated and typed manuscript, The Realms of the Unreal, describing events from a completely imaginary world in which a bunch of pre-teen girls (the Vivian Girls) on an imaginary planet wage a war against adults to obtain their freedom. Parallel to this written saga (but never published), Darger also painted. He produced – sometimes on both sides – large narrative panels that are pure masterpieces. His technique was also unique, drawing inspiration from a variety of sources (children’s art books, various magazines, fashion catalogs, etc.) copying the images in charcoal before applying water colours.

The first Darger works sold on the secondary market were actually auctioned in France at Loudmer’s in 1989. At that time, a panoramic drawing by the obscure celebrity fetched less than $10,000. Today, his drawings are in the collections of major museums including the MoMA, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris and the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne. On the auction market one would expect to pay at least $150,000 for one of his most important works because they are both in-demand and rare. The one proposed by Christie’s on 18 January in New York is monumental – nearly three meters wide – and double-sided (drawn on both sides). It is expected to fetch between $250,000 and $500,000. Two days later, Sotheby’s will, in turn, sell a smaller double-sided drawing by Henry Darger (178-cm long) with an estimate value between $150,000 and $300,000. The simultaneousness of these two upcoming sales is noticeable, as only 19 drawings by Henry Darger have been seen in auction room since 1989.

The opulence of a small masterpiece by Wtewael

Jumping back over 400 hundred years… we have a superb baroque painting on copper entitled Banquet of the Gods by the Dutch painter Joachim Anthonisz Wtewael, one of Holland’s most important artists, active in the years 1580 – 1620. This masterful work depicts 47 figures – gods, fauns, women and putti – in orgiastic debauchery… all within the confines of 15.8 x 20.4 cm. With unmatched density, the artist portrays Bacchus, Ceres, Mars, Venus, Cupid, Pan and his muses at a grand banquet, and despite its small size, the work is expected to sell for between 5 and 7 million dollars on 30 January at Sotheby’s (New York). However, in view of its quality, it is quite possible the lot will reach its high estimate, especially since a smaller Wtewael work has already crossed the $7 million threshold. That was also an oil-on-copper measuring just 18.2 x 13.5 cm, a virtuoso composition depicting 12 bodies on the sensual theme of Mars and Venus surprised by Vulcan (Mars and Venus Surprised by Vulcan, $7.26m, at Christie’s London in 2012).

One of Rubens’ best drawings

Sotheby’s will also be offering an exquisitely rare drawing by Rubens which should fetch the Dutch virtuoso’s second best-ever auction result for a work on paper. It’s a study of a young man with arms raised measuring almost 50 centimeters, drawn in charcoal with a couple of white chalk highlights to catch the light. The work shows the artist’s change of mind regarding the position of the tensed and muscular legs. The torsion of the lower limbs and the momentum of the figure, forward and upward, is typical Baroque bravura. A result within the estimated range of $2.5 – $3.5 million would make it the second best-ever auction result for a Rubens drawing (and the best result for a Rubens charcoal). On 10 July 2014, Christie’s London hammered his best-ever result for a work on paper – an ink representing Samson and Delilah – at over $5.5 million.

Apart from the provincial sales in France and the year’s first New York sessions at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, we don’t yet know what other wonders the other major auction houses around the world will be offering over the coming months (China’s Poly Auction and China Guardian, Germany’s Dorotheum, France’s Artcurial, Korea’s Seoul Auction). In fact, the majority of auction operators do not start selling until later in the year, and some wait as long as May (Grisebach) before reopening after the winter break.

Copyright ©2019 thierry Ehrmann – www.artprice.com

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