Balthasar van der AST Bouquet de fleurs dans un vase en verre 1622 Collection Pallamar Artcurial
Arts and Culture,  Auctions

Artcurial holds Old Master and 19th Century Art Auction during the Fine Arts Paris fair

Artcurial will hold its Old Master and 19th Century Art auction on 13 November 2019, during the Fine Arts Paris fair, with the selection of works going under the hammer of Matthieu Fournier.

The sale is set to be dominated by Lucretia, a very significant painting by Artemisia Gentileschi, recently discovered in a Lyon-based collection where it had been for more than 40 years. This canvas was executed in the 1630s, during the artist’s first stay in Naples. It is estimated at €600,000 – 800,000.

Works by Artemisia very rarely come to the market. Regarded as one of the greatest Italian baroque painters, the artist enjoyed an illustrious international career in which she received commissions from the greatest courts of Europe. She was completely forgotten for almost two centuries before being rediscovered in the 1910s by the eminent art historian Roberto Longhi.

“It is a privilege to discover a subject like this, painted by an artist as legendary as Artemisia Gentileschi. The exceptional state of preservation of this painting makes it a unique work. ”
~ Matthieu Fournier, Director
Department of Old Master and 19th Century, Artcurial

Artemisia GENTILESCHI Lucrece circa 1630 photograve Artcurial
Artemisia GENTILESCHI Lucretia, circa 1630 Oil on canvas 95.50 x 75 cm Estimate: €600,000 – 800,000

Lucretia: Artsemia’s autobiographical portrait

The similarities between the stories of Lucretia and Artemisia are so striking that this portrait can be seen as an autobiographical work. Both women were disgraced after being raped. For Lucretia, the only way out was death. Artemisia on the other hand, found strength and salvation in the masterful accomplishments of her oeuvre as a painter. The rape of Artemisia by Agostino Tassi in 1611 led to a memorable public trial. Tassi was condemned to exile, whilst Artemisia went on to marry the Florentine painter Pierantonio Stattiesi. The famous story of Lucretia, the beautiful and virtuous wife of general and consul Tarquinus Collentius, was recounted by many ancient writers, including Tite-Live. Subjected to blackmail and raped by Sextus, son of king Tarquin, she killed herself as she protested her innocence. The crime is said to have led to the revolt of the Roman people and subsequently the end of the monarchy and the establishment of the Republic in 509 BC.

A popular subject amongst artists from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, the story of Lucretia became a favourite theme for Artemisia, who produced several versions of it: there is a Lucrèce (Lucretia) (circa 1623-1625) in the Etro Collection in Milan, as well as in the Museo de Capodimonte in Naples (circa 1642 – 1643). In May 1636, Artemisia also received a payment of 600 ducats from Prince Karl Eusebius of Liechtenstein for three paintings which included a Lucrèce (Lucretia) 11 palms (or 290 cm) in height. The artist also chose to depict Tarquin et Lucrèce (Tarquin and Lucretia) in one of her final works (Postdam, Neues Palais).

Artemisia, a singular embodiment of the female condition of her time

Whilst all the other female painters of her era confined themselves to modest genres like portraiture and still life, Artemisia shattered every convention . The only woman to have been admitted to the Accademia del Disegno in Florence, she took on the “grand genre” – historical painting of biblical and mythological themes – and mastered the expression of passions, the human body and the nude, space and light… With extraordinary determination, she won her independence, moved in the most closed-off intellectual circles, built up her oeuvre and forged an international career in which she received commissions from the great European courts – those of the Medicis, the Spanish viceroy in Naples, the king of Spain, the Dukes of the East and the English court – at a time when careers in art were a male preserve.

The Rudolf & Friederike Pallamar collection

The 17th century will also be represented by the collection of Rudolf and Friederike Pallamar, the passionate collectors who founded a Viennese gallery specialising in the Northern schools in the 1960s. Artcurial will present the final artworks bearing witness to their great adventure, which have been kept in the Pallamars’ private apartment for more than 30 years. A masterpiece of balance and harmony by Balthasar van der Ast (1593- 1657), Bouquet de fleurs dans un vase en verre (Bouquet of flowers in a glass vase), oil on copper, small, from 1622, is estimated at €80,000 – 120,000. Continuing on, the sale will include Champs de linge à Haarlem (Bleaching grounds in Haarlem) by Jan van Kessel (1641- 1680) and a Banquet dans le parc d’un chateau (Banquet in the grounds of a castle) by David Vinckboons (1576 -1632), both of which are estimated at €50,000 – 80,000.

17th century Holland is also beautifully represented by a painting by Cornelis Kick (1634 -1681), Bouquet de fleurs sur un entablement (Bouquet of Flowers on an Entablement), oil on oak board, 60 x 46.50 cm, from a private collection based in the South of France, estimated at €150,000 – 200,000.

Artiste nordique actif en Italie dans la seconde moitie du XVIe s
Nordic artist who was active in Italy during the second half of the 16th century Head-and-shoulder portrait of a man Black pencil drawing Estimate: €40,000 – 60,000

Old drawings

Two drawings from the collection of Henri de Peyerimhoff de Fontenelle (1871-1953), a French business figure, are bound to attract attention. Executed in black pencil by a Nordic artist who was active in Italy during the second half of the 16th century, a Portrait d’homme en buste (Head-and-shoulder portrait of a man) has an imposing presence (est. €40,000 – 60,000). Meanwhile, a Portrait de Jules II (Portrait of Julius II) in pen and brown ink from a 16th century Italian School in the Raphaël style is estimated at €15,000-20,000. A rare drawing by the Florentine artist Francesco di Cristofano, known as Franciabigio (1482- 1525), Etude d’homme assis (Study of a man sitting), from the Joshua Reynolds collection in London, is estimated at €60 000 – 80,000, whilst a large red chalk drawing by Charles Le Brun representing a Etude d’homme (Study of a man) provides evidence of the research undertaken by the Louis XIV painter for his great Passage du Granique from 1665, which can be found in the Louvre Museum (estimate: €80,000 – 120,000).

19th century

Two very lovely landscapes by Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot represent the 19th century. After remaining in the same family since the beginning of the 1930s, Environs de Givet, dans les Ardennes (Region of Givet, in the Ardennes) (estimate: €80,000 – 120,000) and Le chemin montant sous les arbres, à Ville d’Avray (The Path Leading up Under the Trees, in Ville d’Avray) (estimate: €60,000 – 80,000) are both in a perfect state of preservation. The sale will also feature Alfred de Dreux’s energetic brushwork, with a Cheval sortant de l’eau par temps d’orage (Horse Getting out of the Water during a Storm), a large canvas estimated at €150,000-200,000.

FEATURED IMAGE: Balthasar van der AST, Bouquet of flowers in a glass vase, 1622 Rudolf & Friederike Pallamar Collection Oil on copper 23.60 x 17.10 cm Estimate: €80,000 – 120,000

Exhibition from Saturday 9 to Wednesday 13 November 2019
Auction Wednesday 13 November 2019 at 6pm
Artcurial – 7, rond-point des Champs-Elysées – 75008 Paris

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The Artemisia Gentileschi’s painting Lucretia sold yesterday for almost € 4.8M including buyer’s premium during Artcurial Old Masters and 19th Century Art auction, making it the new world record for the artist!

  • The painting was sold to a European collector and it exceeded the base estimation of between €600,000 and €800,000.
  • It nearly doubled the previous record for Artemisia Gentileschi, which was €2.8M for a painting of Sainte Catherine d’Alexandrie sold in Paris in 2017.
  • It is quite topical as the National Gallery in London will next year (4 April – 26 July 2020) stage the first major exhibition of her work in Britain, bringing together 35 works from around the world.

‘The interest in older paintings is growing’ said Matthieu Fournier, Director of the Department of Old Masters at Artcurial, and Art Expert Eric Turquin in a statement. ‘For the first time, we are seeing contemporary art collectors migrate towards classical art.’

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Paris-based multidisciplinary auction house Artcurial, founded in 2002, strengthened its position as leader on the international art market in 2018. With 2 sales venues located in Paris and Monaco, the House totalled 195.3 million euros revenue in 2018. It caters for the whole spectrum of major specialities: Fine Arts to Decorative Arts, Collectors’ Cars, Fine Jewellery, Fine Watches, Fine Wines and Spirits… With a firm focus on the international market, Artcurial is able to leverage its international network, with offices in Brussels, Milan, Monte-Carlo, Munich and Vienna
 as well as a presence in Beijing and Tel Aviv, and biannual exhibitions in New York. In October 2015, Artcurial organised its first sales in Hong Kong and Morocco.

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