RAPHAEL PORTRAIT SELLS FOR £18.5 ($37.3 MILLION/ €27.3 MILLION) AT CHRISTIE’S IN LONDON This evening’s auction of Important Old Master and British Pictures realises £41,540,000 / $83,703,100 / €61,396,120
room for £1,812,000 ($3,651,180 / €2,678,136), setting a world record price for the artist at auction.
- The Revel of Baachus and Silenus by Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678), which had been hidden from public view since 1953, realised £1,700,000 ($3,425,500 / €2,512,600).
- The Woodland Maid by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830) realised £1,196,000 ($2,409,940 / €1,767,688).
- Part Two of the Goudstikker Collection, arguably the most important collection of Old Master Pictures ever restituted. Following on from Part One which took place on 19 April 2007 in New York and totalled $9,741,200, the collection is an overview of Dutch Old Master Pictures from the 15th to 19th centuries, together with excellent examples from 16th century Germany, early Italian and 18th century French works. Part Two of the sale held at Christie’s this evening realised a total of £3,120,400 ($6,287,606 / €4,611,951). Highlights included The Plaats, the Hague, with an elegant hawking party by Gerrit Berckheyde (1638-1698) which realised £512,800 ($1,033,292 / €757,918) and A stormy seascape by Jan Josefz. van Goyen (1596-1656) which sold for £356,000 ($717,340 / €526,168). Part Three of the Goudstikker Collection will be offered at Christie’s Amsterdam on 14 November 2007.
RAPHAEL’S PORTRAIT OF LORENZO DE’ MEDICI
The portrait shows a swagger Lorenzo de’ Medici standing proud and resplendent against a rich green background. In the Duke’s right hand he holds what is probably a portrait miniature showing his future wife, and his striking tunic and shawl of gold and red are of the most impressive order with the fur on the neck and lining of his cape painted in a delicate manner which highlights Raphael’s exceptional ability and technique. The vivacity and boldness of the colours, together with the handling of the abundance of fabrics worn by the Duke, are typical of the style of the Renaissance master and substantiate his being known as ‘the Prince of Painters’.
The portrait is recorded in the possession of Cosmo de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, in an inventory of 1553. During the 1800s, it was in the possession of two of the most prominent collectors of the 19th century; Lord Northwick (1769-1859) whose collection was offered at auction in 1859, and then the merchant Hollingworth Magniac (1786-1867) whose collection was sold over an eleven day sale at Christie’s in 1892 where the present picture, lot 84, sold for 567 guineas. The painting was the subject of attributional debate with regards both the artist and the sitter from 1862, although Sir Charles Robinson (1824-1913), the esteemed scholar of Italian Renaissance art, supported the attribution as it is accepted today. It was sold again at Christie’s in November 1962 and in 1968 it was sold at an auction in New York to Ira Spanierman, who offered the portrait at this evening’s auction. In 1971, Professor Konrad Oberhuber conclusively reinstated the attribution of the painting in an article for The Burlington Magazine, a view now accepted by all major scholars of the artist.