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    Sir Peter Paul Rubens – Study of a Horse with a Rider

    A rare example of a large-scale animal study by the Flemish painter Sir Peter Paul Rubens achieved $5.1 million at Sotheby’s sale of Old Masters in New York.  A rare example of a large-scale animal study by the artist, Study of a Horse with a Rider had been until recently described as by a follower of Sir Anthony Van Dyck. However, the authorship had been difficult to discern due to overpaint and background added later, which dominated the original scene. With the removal of these later additions, the canvas has been revealed as a work of high quality, and a typical example of the spirited and rapidly-painted oil sketches for which Rubens is celebrated.

    The sales of Old Master Drawings and Master Paintings and Sculpture at Sotheby’s  – part of Masters Week in New York – realised a total of $31.8 million.  Christopher Apostle, Head of Sotheby’s Old Master Paintings Department in New York, commented: “This evening we saw exceptional prices for several exceptional pictures – this market understands and appreciates a masterpiece when it sees one. That applies both to famed artists like Rubens and Botticelli, who continue to attract a global audience, as well as names celebrated among connoisseurs like Drost and de Coster, both of whom saw new auction records set tonight. We had strong private bidding across our field, including participation from Asian and Russian collectors, with Dutch 17th-century pictures, early Italian, and Flemish works performing particularly well.”

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