Sunday, December 18, 2011

Upcoming auctions: Old Master drawings at Sotheby's

Old Masters drawings
Sotheby's, New York
25th January 2012

Portrait of a young man, head and shoulders, wearing a cap
Attributed to Piero del Pollaiolo
Pen and brown ink over black chalk
360 by 228 mm
Estimate: 300,000 - 400,000 USD

In what is one of the richest and most varied Old Master Drawings sales for years, perhaps the most remarkable single sheet is the exceptional, large-scale portrait head of a young man, executed in the late 1460s or early 1470s, and attributed to Piero del Pollaiolo.  An exceptionally well preserved masterpiece of Florentine Early Renaissance draughtsmanship, nothing like this drawing has appeared on the market in recent years.

Representing a totally different artistic world are the 38 lots from a Distinguished European collection, a wonderful group of drawings, most but not all of them 18th-century French, which encapsulate both the milieu in which they were created and the very personal and refined taste of the collector.  The leading lights of this great moment in French art – Watteau, Fragonard, Boucher, Robert, Natoire – are all represented by very appealing works of the highest quality, but there are also extremely good drawings by less familiar artists, as well as three fine Tiepolos to add an international flavour.

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