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    Sunday, February 12th, 2017

    Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) – Bauerngarten painted in 1907

    Gustav Klimt’s Bauerngarten will lead Sotheby’s highest value Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale in London on March 1.  One of his finest landscapes it was first exhibited at a pivotal moment for the artist in Vienna in 1908. It was acquired just two years after the Kunstschau show in Vienna by the National Gallery in Prague.  Last year the painting, at auction for the first time in two decades, was a highlight at the Painting the Modern Garden exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

    Helena Newman, Global Co-Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Department & Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, said: “Gustav Klimt is one of the most desirable artists today and his iconic masterpieces are revered and recognised the world over. The star of this season’s offering is undoubtedly Klimt’s luminous Bauerngarten, dating from the artist’s celebrated and much-loved golden period and from the same year as his famous golden Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. Innovative in its composition and jewel-like in its exquisite blaze of colours, it is one of the artist’s greatest masterpieces ever to come to auction. Most of the artist’s oil paintings of this calibre are in major museums around the world with only a handful works of this importance having appeared at auction in the last decade.”

    The estimate for the work is in excess of $45 million. Klimt ranks among the few artists whose works have sold for over $100 million.


    Saturday, February 11th, 2017
    The first of two of this years highly anticipated exhibitions at the National Gallery of Ireland – which amounts to an embarrassment of riches by Caravaggio and Vermeer – opens today in Dublin.   Beyond Caravaggio brings together over 40 works including four by Caravaggio as well as significant works by those artists he influenced. It runs from today until May 14.
    It will be followed in June by a show which will bring together 60 paintings from around the world, including no less than ten by Vermeer. This represents almost a third of his surviving oeuvre. Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry will include work by Gabriel Metsu, Jan Steen, Gerard ter Borch, Pieter de Hooch and Frans van Mieris.  Organised by the National Gallery in conjunction with the Louvre and the National Gallery of Art in Washington it will run from June 17 to September 17.

    Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) Boy bitten by a Lizard, 1594-5 The National Gallery, London © Copyright The National Gallery, London 2017

    Francesco Buoneri (or Boneri) called Cecco del Caravaggio (c.1589–after 1620) A Musician, c.1615 The Wellington Collection, Apsley House (English Heritage)
    Photo: Apsley House, London © Historic England


    Friday, February 10th, 2017

    Jean-Michel Basquiat Untitled (1982) UPDATE: THIS MADE £2,225,000

    Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled (1982) from the collection of U2’s bassist Adam Clayton is to be a major highlight of Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art evening auction in London on March 7. Held for over twenty-five years in Clayton’s collection, Untitled featured on the front cover of the catalogue for the exhibition Basquiat Drawings held in 1990 at The Robert Miller Gallery in New York.  A deeply poignant self-portrait, the work offers a rare insight into Basquiat’s psyche at a pivotal moment in his career: a tear drops from his eye; his arms seem to pierce his body like an arrow. Basquiat depicts himself as a martyr: a Saint Sebastian-like figure for the contemporary age.  It is estimated at £1-1.5 million.

    Adam Clayton: “There was a group of them – there was Basquiat, there was Keith Haring, and obviously Warhol was the granddaddy of the whole movement. The idea that these young painters without any gallery experience could make their mark on the streets of New York – could go to the hippest night clubs, could mix with musical culture – was very exciting to me. It was where I came from – I always thought music and art went hand in hand together.”

    Francis Outred, Chairman and Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art EMERI: “On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of U2’s Joshua Tree, an album which was a thorough exploration of the band’s political and spiritual relationship with the United States, it is a rare privilege to showcase this work which Adam Clayton acquired during his first months of moving to New York.  Unlike other self-portraits by Basquiat it articulates his fragility as a figure who is coming to terms with his new position in the world and injects the deepest pathos into the narrative of his dramatic trajectory from anonymous graffiti artist to international art superstar.”


    Thursday, February 9th, 2017

    Max Ernst (1891-1976) – Le Chaste Joseph

    A special exhibition of loaned works by Surrealist Max Ernst (1891-1976) will go on public view at Sotheby’s in London from February 13 to March 2.  The exhibition coincides with Sotheby’s Surrealist art evening auction on March 1.  The eleven works showcase a dynamic period in the Paris art scene from 1921-28 when Ernest was the foremost surreal artist in the city.  They are on display in London for the first time in almost three decades.

    Ernst’s fascination with nature – and in particular, birds and forests – will be brought into the spotlight with this exhibition. The paintings have remained in private hands since they were painted.

    Samuel Valette, Sotheby’s Senior Specialist in Impressionist & Modern Art, commented: “We are honoured to have been loaned a selection of Max Ernst’s greatest works to present a public exhibition that places a much-deserved spotlight on the artist who was at the very forefront of the Surrealist movement’s aesthetic innovation. Presented in a specially created gallery display to evoke Ernst’s magical yet dark account of the first time he entered a forest, this small but gem-like show will envelop visitors in Ernst’s mastery of the natural and the fantastic. It provides a greater understanding of the artist himself and his profound influence on many of the greatest artists who followed him.”

    With over half of these works still in their original constructed frames designed by Ernst himself, the paintings present an incomparable insight into the most innovative period of the artist’s career. The jewel of the exhibition is Le Chaste Joseph, loosely based on an account in the Old Testament – one of the greatest masterpieces by Max Ernst in private hands.


    Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

    Property from the estate of Patrick Swayze will come up at Julien’s Auctions in April.  The three-time Golden Globe nominee who died too early in 2009 became an instant celebrity in 1987 when he starred as the misunderstood dance instructor Johnny Castle in the surprise hit Dirty Dancing.

    After starring roles in other films such as Red Dawn, he went on to star in the hit mini-series, North & South, Books I & II. In 1987, everything changed as Dirty Dancing went on to become a Hollywood box office sensation which secured Swayze as a Hollywood icon. His star continued to rise as he was cast in iconic films including Road HouseNext of KinPoint BreakCity of Joyand To Wong Foo: Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar.

    In 1990 Patrick Swayze starred alongside Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg in the romantic drama Ghost. The film grossed over $200 million and earned Swayze a Golden Globe nomination, one of three he would receive throughout his career. He was also a singer whose hit “She’s like the Wind” catapulted to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts in the late 1980s. Fans will also never forget Swayze being named People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1991.

    The live and online auction will take place April 28-29, 2017 at Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles.  Highlights include Patrick Swayze’s leather jacket from the film Dirty Dancing ($4,000-$6,000); his shirt and shoes from the film Ghost ($2,000-$4,000); a Patrick Swayze Golden Globe nomination certificate ($800-$1,200); a collection of script packets for Season 16 of Saturday Night Live when Swayze hosted  ($600-$800); a Patrick Swayze Point Break worn O’Neill wetsuit ($2,000-$4,000); a Point Break surfboard ($4,000-$6,000) and Point Break skydiving gear ($1,000-$2,000).

    Other highlights include Patrick Swayze personal Wong Foo script and signed photo ($6,000-$8,000); Swayze’s DeLorean automobile ($30,000-$50,000) and his 1986 Harley-Davidson Softail motorcycle ($8,000-$10,000).

    Patrick Swayze leather jacket from Dirty Dancing

    Swayze auction catalog cover

    Patrick Swayze personal Harley-Davidson

    Patrick Swayze shirt from Ghost.


    Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

    René Magritte – La corde sensible

    The Art of the Surreal sale at Christie’s in London on February 28 will include 35 lots that chart the history of Dada and Surrealism. Highlights include René Magritte’s La code sensible, 1960 (£14-18 million), one of the largest oils he created, alongside his painting Le domaine d’Arnheim 1938 (£6.5-8.5 million). A group of seven works by Max Ernst include Portrait érotique voilé (1933 and circa 19500)(£1.5-2.5 million), offered by the artist’s family, and Les deux oiseaux 1925 (£100,000-150,000) from the personal collection of Barbara Lambrecht, sold to benefit the Rubens Prize Collection in the Museum of Contemporary Art at Siegen in Germany.

    René Magritte’s La corde sensible, a composition unique in his oeuvre, exemplifies the artist’s lifelong quest to reveal and revel in the mystery that he perceived to exist within the real world. Magritte originally presented it as a gift to his wife, Georgette. Later owned by Ronald Winston, the son of the world-renowned jeweller, Harry Winston, the painting has remained in the same private collection since 1990. Situated under a blue sky, amidst a verdant green landscape with a mountain range in the distance, an enormous crystal glass stands incongruously in the middle of the valley. Hovering just above it is a cloud, the weightless form meeting the solid glass creating a compelling contrast between lightness and weight, transparency and opacity, atmosphere and earth.


    Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

    A first edition of Gulliver’s Travels.

    A first edition of Gulliver’s Travels is one of the leading lots at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on 1 March 1. From a world-class collection of 17th, 18th and 19th century fantasy and scientific literature it is estimated at £20,000-30,000.

    Jonathan Swift’s Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World … by Lemuel Gulliver, commonly known as Gulliver’s Travels, was published on 28 October 1726, selling out within two weeks. It has been popular ever since and is the most widely read work of 18th century English literature. Adapted many times for film, television and radio – and even opera – the stories of Gulliver’s travels to fantastical lands, including Lilliput and Brobdingnag, are famous throughout the world.

    The collection was assembled during the 20th century by a French bibliophile. It has a strong emphasis on works which would now be classified as science fiction, although important scientific and philosophical writers such as Galileo and Descartes are also represented. Other highlights include:

    • A first edition of Johannes Kepler’s very rare imaginary tale of a voyage to the moon – Somnium, seu opus posthumum de astronomia lunari. Divulgatum (A Dream: or, a Posthumous Work of Lunar Astronomy)– published posthumously in 1634, and estimated at £20,000-30,000. The book features an astonishingly accurate description of how the rest of the celestial system would look as seen from the moon.
    • La découverte australe par un homme-volant, ou le Dédale francais by Restif de la Bretonne estimated at £4,000-6,000. This proto-science fiction Utopian novel is the account of the voyages to mythical lands by the hero, Victorin, in his flying machine made of cape-like wings of silk and a head-worn umbrella-device. It is illustrated with plates depicting the flying machine and the exotic tribes encountered by Victorin on his journey, including men-asses, men-frogs, men-snakes, men-elephants and men-lions.
    • De la terre à la lune, trajet direct en 97 heures, by Jules Verne estimated at £800-1,000. A second edition of Verne’s classic From the Earth to the Moon of 1865 which drew on the latest scientific and technological knowledge to envisage a manned flight to the moon more than 100 years before it actually happened.


    Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

    Auctioneer Denis Lynes with a collection of sporting memorabilia.

    Sporting memorabilia always creates considerable interest at auctions in Ireland. Auctioneer Denis Lynes will offer a lifetime collection of GAA hurling and football programmes will feature at the next Lynes and Lynes sale in Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork on March 25.  They are currently being catalogued. He expects considerable interest.


    Tuesday, February 7th, 2017


    Luggala, one of Ireland’s most famous homes used to film scenes in Braveheart and Excalibur, is on the market for 28 million. It is being sold by the honourable Garech Browne, the great, great, great grandson of Arthur Guinness. The Gothic  house beside Lough Tay  in Co. Wicklow was built in 1787 by the banking La Touche family and modelled on Strawberry Hill in London.  It was bought by Ernest Guinness in 1937 who gave it to his daughter Oonagh as a wedding present. It is on 5,000 acres.  There are seven bedrooms plus lodges around the estate with another 20 bedrooms.

    Home to Garech Browne (77) the founder of Claddagh Records, for the past 47 years it was overhauled in 1996 with a six million euro makeover.  He is selling up as his wife lives in Singapore.  Over 2 million worth of art and furniture from Luggala and other Guinness estates was auctioned in 2006.

    Another Irish stately home, Westport House, has just changed hands.  (See post on for January 27, 2017)


    Monday, February 6th, 2017

    Peter Doig – Cobourg 3 + 1 More (1994).

    Peter Doig’s Cobourg 3 + 1 More (1994) comes up at Christie’s post war and contemporary art evening auction on March 7 in London. A visionary apparition rendered on a majestic scale, Cobourg 3 + 1 More conjures a distant, half-remembered reality beneath a shimmering membrane of scattered pigment. It is among the  icons of Doig’s early oeuvre. Acquired in 1994 by German insurance company Provinzial Rheinland Cobourg 3 + 1 More comes to auction for the first time in its history. Estimated at £8-12 million it will be at Christie’s New York from February 24 to 26 February and at King Street in London from March 3. Provinzial Rheinland will use the proceeds of the sale to uphold a long-standing tradition of engagement with the arts and culture in the Rhine region and to continue to acquire works of young contemporary artists.

    Francis Outred, Chairman and Head of Post War and Contemporary Art, EMERI said:  “Back in 1994 when the tendency was for cool conceptual art, Provinzial Rheinland displayed a brave collecting vision by recognising that Peter Doig was developing a new approach to painting which gave new life and energy to the medium. Standing in front of this work one is taken to a different world and through the whiteout gradually we see a memory of his childhood home landscape and begin to pick out the silhouettes of Doig himself and his brother. Up close the thick texture of snow and staccato brushmarks create a tapestry of paint, the like of which nobody had seen before.”