Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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  • Archive for May, 2022


    Wednesday, May 18th, 2022
    Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564). A nude man (after Masaccio) and two figures behind him
    with inscriptions ‘Pietro Faccini’ (twice, on the mount, probably by Genevosio); with inscriptions ‘Pietro Facini/Collection Borghèse’ and ’86’

     A nude young man (after Masaccio) surrounded by two figures by Michelangelo made €23,162,000 at Christie’s in Paris today. This is the most expensive work by the artist to have ever sold, the highest price ever achieved for a work on paper offered on the European continent, and the third highest price for an Old Master drawing ever sold.

    This unpublished drawing, one of the most exciting discoveries made in the field of Old Master drawings in recent decades, is an important addition to a small group of drawings by Michelangelo from the 1490s, copied from works by earlier Florentine masters. ‘He drew for many months from the pictures of Masaccio in the Carmine,’ Giorgio Vasari wrote in his 1568 life of Michelangelo, referring to the paintings by the early fifteenth-century painter Masaccio (1401-1428) in Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence’s Oltrarno quarter, ‘where he copied those works with so much judgment, that the craftsmen and all other men were astonished, in such sort that envy grew against him together with his fame.’These drawings can be dated to the time when Michelangelo enjoyed the protection of Lorenzo de’ Medici, and later of his son Piero de’ Medici, who encouraged the young artist’s study of antique sculpture and early Renaissance art in the years immediately preceding the creation of some of his most famous works, such as the Pietà in Saint Peter’s, Rome (1498-1499), and the marble David in the Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence (1501-1504).

    The drawing was first recognised as the work of Michelangelo in 2019 by Furio Rinaldi, then a specialist in Christie’s department of Old Master Drawings. Paul Joannides, Emeritus Professor of Art History at Cambridge University and author of the complete catalogues of drawings by Michelangelo and his school in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and the Musée du Louvre, was able to study the original, and supports the attribution. Sold in 1907 at the Hôtel Drouot in Paris as a work of the school of Michelangelo, the drawing escaped the attention of all scholars until its recent rediscovery. It is probably the earliest surviving nude study by the artist.


    Wednesday, May 18th, 2022
    Circa 1847 a watercolour of a famine stricken family. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,050 AT HAMMER

    The artist of this poignant and stark reminder of the ravages of the Irish famine is unknown but the watercolour, in very good condition, comes up as lot 57 at Whyte’s Eclectic Collector sale on May 21. It is estimated at 800-1,200. The annual sale has attracted attention from collectors worldwide. Viewing for the timed auction of 838 lots gets underway at Whyte’s, Molesworth St., Dublin today and the catalogue is online. There is a range of historical documents and artefacts, medals, militaria, books, coins, banknotes, entertainment and sporting memorabilia.

    (See post on for May 14, 2022)


    Wednesday, May 18th, 2022
    Pablo Picasso – Femme nue couchée SOLD FOR $67,541,000

    Picasso’s Femme nue couchée was the top lot at Sotheby’s Modern evening auction in New York last night. It made $67.5 million in a sale which realised $408.5 million. This was the third highest total for an auction at Sotheby’s. Monet’s view of the Grand Canal in Venice with Santa Maria della Salute made $56.6 million and The Glade by Paul Cezanne made $41.6 million. There were artists records for Milton Avery’s The Letter ($6.1 million) Leonora Carrington’s The Garden of Paracelsus ($3.3 million) and Jared French’s The Double ($1.1 million) and Robert Motherwell’s Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 59 ($1.2 million) set an auction record for a work on paper by the artist. 


    Tuesday, May 17th, 2022
    Mark Rothko – Untitled (signed and dated 1960) made $48 million

    The sale of 30 lots from the Macklowe Collection achieved $246.1 million at Sotheby’s in New York last night. When added to the results of the November auction the total comes to $922.2 million, making this the most valuable collection ever sold at auction. Highlights last night included Mark Rothko’s Untitled, which made $48 million, Gerhard Richter’s Seestuck (Seascape) which made $30.2 million, Andy Warhol’s Self Portrait which made $18.7 million, and Willem de Kooning’s Untitled which sold for $17.8 million.


    Monday, May 16th, 2022
    Harry Kernoff, R.H.A. – Sunday Evening – Place du Combat, Paris – sold for 94,500

    A 1937 oil by Harry Kernoff – Sunday Evening, Place du Combat, Paris – sold for €94,500 over a top estimate of €60,000 at Sotheby’s Ireland / France : Art and Literature sale in Paris today. Roderic O’Conor’s Rocks and Foam, St. Guénolé sold for €352,800; Pieta by Mainie Jellett made €88,200 over a top estimate of €25,000; A Sandhill near Tralee Bay by Jack B Yeats made €50,400 as did Bottle Still Life by William Scott and The Newly Married Man by Sean Keating made €44,100. The sale total was €928,116.


    Monday, May 16th, 2022
    A gold and diamond Penelope necklace by Cartier. UPDATE:THIS WAS UNSOLD

    This gold and diamond Cartier necklace comes up at the James Adam sale of fine jewellery and watches in Dublin on May 17. It is estimated at 15,000-20,000.  A total of 262 lots will come under the hammer. There are rings of every shape, hue and price along with an appetising selection of earrings, bracelets, cuffs, necklaces, brooches, cufflinks and watches by renowned makers.


    Saturday, May 14th, 2022

    One of only three known copies in private hands of Robert Emmet’s inspirational 1803 Proclamation comes up at Whyte’s Eclectic Collector sale on May 21 with an estimate of €50,000-€70,000.  No other example has ever been offered for sale. Neither the National Museum nor the National Library possess a copy. Emmet’s request to read his proclamation in court was rejected but he did manage to  include parts of it in his speech from the dock. It calls on the Irish to claim their independence and specifies that we war against no religious sect.  The line “we will put no man to death in cold blood, the prisoners which first fall into our hands shall be treated with respect” predates the first Geneva Convention by 60 years. After the Rebellion he was found guilty of treason.  Robert Emmet was hung, drawn and quartered at Thomas St. in Dublin, one of the last prisoners to be subjected to this barbaric form of execution.  


    Saturday, May 14th, 2022
    Paul Cezanne – Clairiere (The Glade) at Sotheby’s in New York next Tuesday. UPDATE: THIS MADE $41,688,500

    THE big game hunters of the global art world are out in force right now.  There are rich pickings for the super rich in a stellar round of May sales in New York sales showcasing major artistic movements of the 20th and 21st centuries. At Christie’s last Monday evening Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn from the collection of Thomas and Doris Ammann of Zurich sold for a record $195 million (€184,421,250). The 40 square inch canvas became the most expensive 20th century artwork ever sold. In 1964 Warhol developed a time intensive new process and used it to create a limited number of portraits – including Shot Sage Blue Marilyn – before abandoning the technique.  The painting has been exhibited at galleries including the Guggenheim, New York, the Pompidou in Paris and Tate Modern in London. The 36 works from this collection realised $317.8 million (€300,610,198),  All proceeds will directly benefit the Ammann Foundation’s global efforts to create healthcare and education programmes for children.

    With everyone from Monet and Degas to Balthus and Wayne Thibaud Christie’s delivered in style this week. At this stage the running total for their Marquee Week spring sales is $1.36 billion. The Post War and Contemporary art day sale yesterday achieved $97 million.

    Next it is the turn of Sotheby’s.  Their six sales with 800 lots carry a combined estimate of over $1 billion (€950,800,000) on a level with their record setting season last November.  Then the Macklowe Collection of 35 artworks made $676 million (€642.9 million) after real estate mogul Harry Macklowe and his wife Linda were ordered by a judge to sell their collection and split the proceeds during their 2018 divorce trial. Another 30 works from their collection come up next Monday evening with artists like Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly, Sigmar Polke, Donald Judd, Cy Twombly, Gerhard Richter, Jeff Koons, Anselm Kiefer, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti and Andy Warhol.

    The Modern evening auction on Tuesday is the most expensively estimated in the category at Sotheby’s for 15 years.   It will feature one of Monet’s finest Venetian works, a 1932 portrait of Marie Therese Walter by Picasso and The Glade by Paul Cezanne.  These three works alone are expected to bring in around $150 million (€142.6 million).

    On Thursday the Now evening auction and the Contemporary evening auction will bring this months series of marquee evening auctions to a close.  The Now sale will open the evening with ten consecutive works by women artists including Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Christina Quarles, Jennifer Packer and Tracey Emin.
    Highlights of the Contemporary evening auction are Study for Red Pope 1962, 2nd version 1971 by Francis Bacon, Cy Twombly’s large scale Untitled from 1969, a silkscreen of Elvis by Andy Warhol and Cold Beer Beautiful Girls, a quintessential text painting by Ed Ruscha.  Who could ask for anything more?

    Francis Bacon Study of Red Pope 1962, 2nd version, 1971 at Sotheby’s, New York next Thursday evening. UPDATE: THIS MADE $46,284,500.


    Friday, May 13th, 2022
    CLAUDE MONET (1840-1926) – Le Parlement, soleil couchant made $75.9 million

    THE final evening sales at Christie’s in New York last night achieved $843.7 bringing the running total for the Spring 2022 Marquee Week sales to $1.26 Billion. The collection of Anne H. Bass made $363.1 million, the 20th century evening sale made $468.2 million and The Raptor sold for $12.4 million. The collection of Anne H. Bass was 100% sold, and 149% sold above the low estimate. There was a new record for Edgar Degas’s Petite danseuse de quatorze ans which soared over its high estimate of $30 million to sell for $41.6 million, breaking his record for the first time in almost 15 years. Monet’s Parlement was the top lot of the sale and made $75.9 Million.

    Bonnie Brennan, President of Christie’s Americas, commented, “We were honored to sell the exquisite collection of Anne H. Bass. The twelve masterpieces, beautifully chosen, reflect the unique perspective of a female collector.”

    The 20th Century evening sale sold 98% by lot and 99% by value. The Sugar Shack by Ernie Barnes set a new record at $15.2 Million, 76 times its high estimate. In Barnes’ first appearance in an evening sale, the work had competition from 22 bidders. It sold to a buyer in the room after more than ten and a half minutes of bidding. Another artist record was established by Emanuel Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware, which sold for $45 million. The work had hung in the White House for multiple presidencies. Thirteen works in the sale achieved more than $10 million. The top lot of the sale was Number 31, an iconic drip painting by Jackson Pollock which made $54.2 million.

    (See posts on for April 19, April 22 and May 3, 2022)



    Thursday, May 12th, 2022
    Jack B. Yeats- Market Day, Mayo / The Long Car
    Executed in 1920 Exhibited Paris, Galeries Barbazanges, l’Exposition d’Art Irlandais, 1922,

    This Yeats painting is again on show in Paris this week. Sotheby’s has included it in their exhibition and viewing of lots for Ireland / France: Art and Literature sale which is open online for bidding until May 16. The sale includes a strong group of paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures by Ireland’s leading artists from the 19th century to the present day, including Roderic O’Conor, John Lavery, Jack B. Yeats, Mainie Jellett, William Scott and Rowan Gillespie. In addition are a select group of books by Ireland’s celebrated writers including Joyce, Beckett and Yeats.

    The auction coincides with the centenary anniversary of the 1922 World Congress of the Irish Race – a significant event in modern Irish history in which the newly founded Irish State participated in a week-long international conference in Paris to promote the country’s national identity. In attendance were Irish politicians, diaspora delegates, writers, artists and musicians. It is on view in Paris until May 14.