Record for Andrea Mantegna and bought-ins for Peter Paul Rubens

[30.01.2003]

 

Andrea Mantegna: USD25.5 million! Two Peter Paul Rubens bought in. This was how the year started at Sotheby’s New York.

Buyers will still show up for works priced above USD20 million when the auction is worth it. On 23 January, three were still bidding above this mark. True, no Andrea MANTEGNA painting had appeared at auction since the Adoration of the Magi went for USD10.4 million at Christie’s London in 1985 (see ArtMarketInsight, 6 January 2003). So this latest sale had everything to hold the attention of the wealthiest collectors.

The extremely rare Renaissance painting, estimated at USD20-30 million, featured at a Sotheby’s New York auction where hammer prices rarely topped USD100,000. All in all, the auction generated almost USD48 million over two days. And yet, the auction house could have expected much better. Some lots estimated at over USD3 million were bought in. Two Peter Paul RUBENS paintings offered at Sotheby’s last week did not find a buyer. A Sandro BOTTICELLI estimated at USD3-5 million met the same fate. Only a portrait by Frans HALS sold for over USD1 million.

The question might be asked: Is New York still an ideal city to host prestigious auctions of old masters? Like Rubens’ Massacre of the Innocents, or The Drunkard pushed into the Pigsty by Pieter I BRUEGHEL (1525-1569) in 2002, exceptional paintings by old masters now tend to be auctioned in London.
New York is traditionally home to the most prestigious impressionist and modern art auctions. Andrea Mantegna’s painting is the first old master to exceed USD20 million in the US for ten years. Generally auction houses use New York to put up their finest impressionist and modern art works. And at the head of the rankings for records set in New York are works by Van Gogh, Cezanne and Picasso. Last week’s Mantegna ranks just 13th. .

TOP 20 auction records of Fine Art in the United States auction sales for 10 years

rank

artist

hammer price

Title

sale

1

Vincent van GOGH

$55,000,000

Portrait de l’artiste sans barbe (1889)

Christie’s (Nov. 19, 1998)

2

Paul CEZANNE

$55,000,000

Rideau, cruchon et compotier (c.1893-1894)

Sotheby’s (May. 10,1999)

3

Pablo PICASSO

$50,000,000

Femme aux bras croisés (1901-1902)

Christie’s (Nov. 11, 2000)

4

Pablo PICASSO

$45,000,000

Femme assise dans un jardin (1938)

Sotheby’s( Nov. 10, 1999)

5

Pablo PICASSO

$44,000,000

Le Rêve (1935)

Christie’s (Nov. 10, 1997)

5

Pablo PICASSO

$41,000,000

Nu au fauteuil noir (1935)

Christie’s (Nov. 9, 1999)

7

Paul CEZANNE

$35,000,000

La montagne Sainte-Victoire (1888-1890)

Phillips (May. 7, 2001)

8

Georges SEURAT

$35,000,000

Paysage, l’île de la Grande Jatte (1884)

Sotheby’s (May 10, 1999)

9

Pablo PICASSO

$29,000,000

Les Femmes d’Alger (Version «O») (1955)

Christie’s (Nov. 10, 1997)

10

Pablo PICASSO

$25,500,000

Angel Fernandez de Soto (1903)

Sotheby’s (May 8, 1995)

11

Paul CEZANNE

$25,000,000

Nature morte: Les grosses pommes (c.1890-1894)

Sotheby’s (May 11, 1993)

12

Pablo PICASSO

$25,000,000

Nature morte aux tulipes (1935)

Christie’s (May 9, 2000)

13

Andrea MANTEGNA

$25,500,000

Descent into Limbo

Sotheby’s (Jan. 23, 2003)

20

George Wesley

$25,000,000

Polo Crowd (1910)

Sotheby’s (Dec. 1, 1999)

15

Vincent van GOGH

$24,500,000

Sous-bois (1890)

Sotheby’s (Nov. 8, 1995)

15

Pablo PICASSO

$22,500,000

Femme assise dans un fauteuil (Eva) (1913)

Christie’s (Nov. 10, 1997)

17

Claude MONET

$22,000,000

Le portail (soleil) (1892-1894)

Sotheby’s (May 10, 2000)

18

Paul CEZANNE

$20,000,000

Madame Cézanne au fauteuil jaune (1888-1890)

Christie’s (May 12, 1997)

19

Claude MONET

$20,500,000

Nymphéas (1905)

Christie’s (Nov. 8, 1999)

20

Max BECKMANN

$20,500,000

Selbstbildnis mit Horn (Self-Portrait with Horn) (1938)

Sotheby’s (May 10, 2001)

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