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    Monday, January 17th, 2011

    Canaletto's View of Mestre

    This View of Mestre by Canaletto, kept at Castle Durrow in Ireland until it was demolished in 1922, features at Christie’s two-part sale of paintings, drawings and watercolors by the great masters of European Art in New York on January 26.

    It is the only large-scale view Canaletto painted of Mestre, the mainland city now linked to Venice by bridge.  Previous owners were the Viscounts Ashbrook, whose ancestors likely purchased the work direct from the studio of Giovanni Antonio Canal, il Canaletto (1697-1768) during a Grand Tour and brought the work to Ireland.  It is estimated at $2,500,000-3,500,000.
    The sale of over 300 works in total represents great examples of European art dating from the 14th to the 19th centuries.  It features master works by Canaletto, Luca Carlevarijs, Jean-Francois Millet, Jean Léon Gérôme, William Bouguereau, and Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema among the highlights.
    UPDATE:  The Canaletto did not find a buyer in sales which brought in $36.6 million.


    Friday, January 7th, 2011

    The Madonna and Child enthroned with Angels, flanked by St. Bridget and the Archangel Michael at Sotheby's in New York. (click to enlarge)

    SIGNIFICANT works by artists from across Europe feature at Sotheby’s Important Old Master Paintings & Sculpture sale in New York on January 27.  This sale features Titian’s Sacra Conversazione (see post for November 2) estimated at $15/$20 million.

    Among the works to be sold by the J. Paul Getty Museum to benefit future painting acquisitions is
    The Madonna and Child Enthroned with Angels and Flanked by Saint Bridget and the Archangel Michael.  Erroneously known as “The Poggibonsi Triptych”  the work has been attributed to the as-yet-unidentified Master of Pratovecchio, who worked in and around Florence in the mid-15th century. It is estimated at $200/300,000.
    The afternoon session of Old Master Paintings and Sculpture is led by an Italian marble relief portrait of Cosimo I de ‘Medici by Baccio Bandinelli, executed just prior to the future Grand Duke’s rise to power in 1537.
    Luis Meléndez’s Still Life with Tomatoes, a Bowl of Aubergines and Onions leads the Spanish paintings.   It is estimated at $1.5/2 million.  A popular exhibition of 40 still lifes by Meléndez (1716-1780), organised in collaboration with the Prado Museum in Madrid, was held at the National Gallery of Ireland in the summer of 2004.