Tuesday, 8 January 2013


Photo: Wikipaintings

Fantastic Ingres drawing coming up later this month at Christies in New York, which I saw on view with the Old Master sales in London a few weeks ago.  I also like the Parmigianino from the same collection, formerly at Chatsworth.  The Old Master paintings sales look strong to me, but my taste isn't always the market's taste.  I'm not overly fond of Caravaggio, but the still life from his circle at Sotheby's is very impressive.  The rediscovered Memling Christ Blessing looks good too.  I saw another version of it at the Norton Simon Museum last year.  The $1m-$1.5m estimate looks low to me, but I usually get these things wrong. 

Christie's best lots are in the separate Renaissance sale, with some good early Italian works, an exquisite Fra Bartolommeo and an early Raphael drawing.  My favourite is the Rockefeller Botticelli.  The highest estimate is for a rediscovered Bronzino.  I've only seen the reproduction, but I'm not convinced.  At the very least the condition seems to me rather compromised, particularly in the face, and it appears selectively cleaned.  The treatment of the clothing seems more summary than in other painting of Bronzino's, where he revels in depicting different textures and patterns.  The face also seems strangely constructed, with a lop-sided nose.  I wonder if it will sell. 

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